SPRINGFIELD, Vt.—The Springfield Steampunk Festival kicks off Friday, Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hartness House Inn, one of America’s most unique country inns and a Vermont historical landmark.
Festival-goers will arrive to the strings of the Springfield Springers with George Ainley rolling back the time machine to before bluegrass was born. Those attending will enjoy a social hour from 6:30–7:30 p.m. with Citizens of Antiford—a steampunk community fostering creativity through a shared fictional world.
The community expresses itself via cosplay, prop making, video, and especially via collaborative fiction. This fantasy story telling will take place in the Victorian Ballroom. For those “gamers” John and Laura Peterson will conduct Parlour Games in The Tavern and local entertainer Ghost Signal will perform throughout the social hour.
Food and drinks will be available for purchase from the Hartness House Inn. Following the social hour and opening ceremonies, Tritium Well’s Bobby Farlice-Rubio gets things rockin’. So get out your dancing shoes. They killed it last year. Their eclectic mix of originals, traditional American, Cuban, reggae, rock, funk, blues produces ecstatic musical experiences that feel like sonic excursions around the Earth—so they say.
A key link to Springfield’s Victoriana past and inventor history is the Festival’s presenting partner and main venue for the festival, the Hartness House Inn, an elegant Victorian turn-of-the-century mansion turned Inn that will be the perfect setting for Steampunk fantasy. Built by James Hartness former Governor of Vermont (1921-23) it features its own museum; astronomy observatory and antique telescope with a unique equatorial drive system. More unusual is the secret tunnel system built by Hartness to access the observatory, museum and his secret workshop.
Friday night and at various times throughout the weekend festival-goers and guests of the Inn will have an opportunity to tour the secret tunnel, view the private workshop of Mr. Hartness, and see the observatory and telescope. Stellafane club members, a group of amateur telescope makers, will provide a limited number of guided tours during the festival.
The festival continues on Saturday at 10 a.m. The entire day is packed with Steampunk activities, including a talk about “Reimagining Resilience” with Bruce Rosenbaum who was dubbed the “Steampunk Guru” by the “Wall Street Journal,” to kid’s crafts in the Tea House to the Steampunk Fashion Show on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Wedding Tent.
And there’s more, including: Tea Dueling with Robyn Priebe, and even Splendid Teapot racing with G.W. Smith and the New England Steampunk Meetup. Music on and off all day runs the gamut from folk, punk, and pop to pure Steampunk with bands including The King’s Busketeers, Psyche Corp, Eli August & The Abandoned Buildings, and Bella’s Bartok – there is something happening every hour.
Saturday night features a Burlesque Show with Colorado’s Mistress Fogg and Company at 9 p.m. She’ll perform along with a host of bountiful beauties from around the country to get your gears moving.
All weekend, vendors from all over the country will be selling everything Steampunk and more. The fantasy continues on Sunday with music, storytelling, Steampunk for Teens, Theremin Workshop with Kevin Colosa, Steampunk Zentangle with Wendi Germain, 19th Century Divination Methods with Madame Dina LaDuke, Steampunk Sherlock and even an Industrial Walking tour with Kelly Stettner and more parlor games.
This Way To The Egress caps off the weekend cascading onto the stage in an explosion of color and sound that’s equal parts unruly vaudeville, ebullient world beat band and three ring circus music.
Parking is located at designated parking areas and the Steampunk Bus will shuttle festival-goers to the Inn and back to their cars. Tickets can be purchased on line or at the door. Full details at www.springfieldvtsteampunkfest.com