Who could forget Whitby Steampunk Weekend back in February? I certainly couldn’t, so I was really keen to ensure that I got there this time round. If not so that just once I could witness Whitby when it’s not freezing cold. It doesn’t matter whether I’m there for a holiday or an event (Busman’s Holiday?) it’s always at a cold time of the year.
The first Whitby Steampunk Weekend was an incredible success. Moreso than I actually could have anticipated. It was packed with traders, well organised and tightly managed. Not to mention the sheer volume of people that turned up.
Onwards we forge though and look towards the coming event which is to be held this weekend on the 28th to the 30th July 2017.
It kicks off in incredible style with a cabaret night which I suspect – and hope – is like the Vaudeville evening at the last event. You can read my full review of it by clicking on this text. That was a raucous night of music, laughter, tricks and stunts. This time round visitors are to be treated to music from Leeds based British steampunk favourites Biscuithead & The Biscuit Badgers who describe themselves as sleek bodied birds of prey (or maybe some kind of musical alternative) who “hover above the grass verge of British music, waiting patiently to feed the sound of Sam’s tuba, Bob’s piano, Matty’s drums and Dean’s beautiful melodious voice and ukulele into your gaping beaks.”
Supporting them will be Captain of the Lost Waves. Now I’ve not heard any music from either Biscuithead or the Captain, but judging by their descriptions of themselves alone, this is going to be a wonderful night. Follow this link for the full prologue of the Captain. It’s a fantastic read.
Headlining the night are a duo who are the embodiment of what would happen if steampunk went to Midwich and adopted all the children there. I’m under a suspicion that Victor & The Bully have been mentioned more times in this magazine than the actual name of the magazine. Of course it’s worth it, because not only are Matt & Harry so fit, they produce some of the best music that the British steampunk scene has to offer.
Master of Ceremonies for the evening is Lord Montague Jacques Fromage. Now this is someone who generally needs no introduction such is his reputation throughout the community. However, Monty is an international steampunk name and as well as a great solo performer he’s worked with BB Blackdog many times. He’s as well known and received in America, Europe and New Zealand as he is in Britain. As well as introducing each act, Monty will also be playing a set of his own music which will be great as I’ve never seen him play live. Throughout the weekend he’ll be flitting about the site chatting, taking selfies and generally being his usual adorable self.
Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th weekend daytime
The Saturday day event is a free entry market and workshop set in the Whitby Spa. Located at the top of Khyber Pass, just past the Whale Bones. There will be over 70 stalls there. You can find out more of what the day will be like via the Steampunk Journal review of Whitby Steampunk Weekend. The best news about the markets is that I will be holding a stall to chat about Steampunk Journal and my newest project The Hellfire Club. I’ll be offering discounts on memberships to the club as well as selling limited editions of high quality images wax sealed with a Hellfire Club stamp.
Along with the market stalls there are a number of workshops taking place throughout the day. The cast and crew of a new Wuthering Heights film will be giving talks and answering questions about the film. There are a number of images available to view on the official website which look amazing. Whitby will once again be graced with the presence of steampunk assembling maestro Thomas Willeford of Brute Force Studios. He and his gorgeous partner Amy Wilder – a highly successful steampunk model in her own right – will be giving workshops, selling their products and be available for a chin wag. Alongside them will be Faye Clements from White Rose Costumier. She makes fantastic period garments and has produced clothing for Outlander and Da Vinci’s Demons. For the spiritualists among us, WSW is to be joined by Ray Bokor from Healing Rays. he’s a spiritiualist, medium and broadcaster. He’s the resident medium at Schooner Hotel in Alnmouth (arguably Britain’s most haunted hotel) and for the Clarendon Hotel in Redcar.
If you prefer something more practical, there will be Bartitsu demonstrations. I had a go at these while attending Leeds Steampunk Market. Bartitsu is the art of gentleman cane fighting. For those of you more into guns, you can take a look at the NERF pistol duelling and practical demonstrations. The Steampunk Campervan will be making a return – no doubt with some interesting additions. This time it will be accompanied by the Time Travelling Tea Tent, no less.
Don’t go wandering off on Saturday though, because at 5.15pm the event is having its first Seaside Summer Stroll. Starting at West Cliff and walking down to the Whale Bones for a group shot. I was honoured to be a part of British steampunk history when I attended the first Whitby Steampunk Weekend. I’m definitely going to be part of this as well.
Saturday 29th night
WSW is taking a different direction on the Saturday from the first event. The Masquerade Ball looks like it’ll be a more refined affair as guests are asked to dress up in their finest steampunk clothing with a mask. I’m unsure of the sequence of events but there will be appearances from Arco String Quartet who hail from the North East and have a fantastic version of Rule the World by Take That on their YouTube channel. I’m particularly looking forward to the appearance of The Vedettes who are a Jazz Dance troupe from Newcastle. Now whether they’re doing something seperate to Arco or working with them is what’s going to interest me. Either way, I think we’ll be in for a treat. There will also be some surprise guests that I can’t even find out with my investigative journalism. However, the night will also be DJ’d by none other than that loveable Scottish scoundrel Atticus Oldman. He’s also going to be hobnobbing through the event over the course of the days. He’s covering it for his magazine Steampunk Almanac.
This looks to be another fabulous event and you must come and say hello. I’m not sure where I’ll be put, I was a bit last minute so I expect I’ll be getting squeezed in somewhere between the toilets and Michael Young’s ego.
You can find out more about how to drop everything you’re doing and get tickets to the event by going to the Facebook page.