Here’s the scoop on Aethertopia
For the 1st time since Steampunk hit the US, Aethertopia, a large Steampunk Festival like no other, arrives this July 7-8 at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Hosted by the Tampa Bay Steampunk Society.
Unlike traditional convention gatherings such as Tampa Bay Comic Con and Metro Con, this is a festival themed event more like Bay Area Renaissance, but indoors and wholly masterminded by the local Steampunk Community.
Aethertopia is unique because the focus point of the event is to spotlight the ingenuity of the steampunk community. Using literally every type of art form imaginable and integrating up-cycled components – the steampunk makers and cos-players create an entire “imaginarium” of wondrous inventions, games, literature, music, sculpting, painting, jewelry, costumes and oh so many gadgets and gizmos!
Along with creating an immersive world of steampunk for its guests, Aethertopia has invited steampunk artisans and artists to open their markets in the seven different guilds. Vendors are both local and traveling in from across the state and nation.
Who Will Be There?
Some of the local vendors that will be there are small business owners like myself right here in the Tampa Bay Area. Below is a description of a few of the local vendors:
Jim Miller of IJM Industrial Designer – Maker of industrial lamps and home décor is found all over the state from Indie markets like Armature and Maven Market Channelside, to steampunk events like the one in Mt. Dora. He also can be found at the upcoming Atomic event in Sarasota in December and the one at the SWFL Steamcon in Lee County coming in October as well as many more.
Ana Mailler of Gypsy Weavings – Maker of chain maille and scale maille art and fashion has been featured all over the state in events small and large like Gulf Coast Makers Market. She also was in Bay Area Renaissance Festival, Maven Market Channelside, Raw Studios in St. Petersburg and many more events.
Bobbi O’Bry (myself) of Rav3nstar Steampunk – We have shown in multiple events around the state like the Steampunk and Industrial show at Mt. Dora, Victorian Christmas at Pinellas County Pioneer Village, Bay Area Renaissance Festival, Clearwater Comic Con, SY-FY Bartow, Rail under the Sea in Miami as well as many more both large and small events including Krewe Rush Night, Mad Hatter’s Wonderflow, Maven Market Channel Side, and Safety Harbor’s Market on the Main. We can be seen in upcoming events like SpaceCon and Steamcon at the Lee Civic Center as well.
From Steampunk and Industrial shows like at the twin markets in Mt. Dora, to Rail under the Sea at the Gulf Coast Train Museum in Miami, to Steam Con at the Lee Civic Center and from Makers Markets, to traditional Conventions and even in Bike nights, small pop up markets, Indie Markets, and local theaters Steampunk is …. well building steam! And it’s attractive to all ages.
The concept of this event came directly from the steampunk community when the founder of the event was asked why there were no events in steampunk like the ones in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) during a panel at a Convention about a year ago. After that the idea took hold and soon became a reality. Next it was discussed with the Tampa Bay Steampunk Society (TBSS) and determined there was not only an interest but a need for an event in Steampunk. Not just an ordinary convention or expo, Something Different; It needed to be more interactive and immersive like SCA events, but with Ren-Faire style vendorsmakers – That sparked a memory of the old Style Ren-Faire when it was in Largo, Florida – and gave it it’s theme of a nomadic city of makers.
TBSS is the hosting group of this event, but the Central Florida Steampunk Association and others are involved as well in the creation of it. Check out the Facebook group out here – founded in 2010 and now over 1,700 members and counting. For the wider Florida area, visit the Central Florida Steampunk Association and hang out with their over 2,400 members.
Read more about Aethertopia and find tickets available on the site. Discount codes for $3.00 off a one day pass use RAV33, For $19.00 off a two day pass use RAV319.