Steampunk World's Fair
|Steampunk World's Fair|
|Status||No longer running|
|Venue||Radisson and Embassy Suites of Piscataway|
|Location(s)||Somerset or Piscataway, New Jersey|
|Attendance||c. 4,000 (in 2012)|
|Organized by||Jeff Mach Events / Widdershins, Inc|
Steampunk World's Fair (SPWF) was the largest annual Steampunk festival on the East Coast of the United States and one of the biggest in the world held over the course of a weekend during the month of May in Piscataway, New Jersey or Somerset, New Jersey. The programming embodied an atmosphere of fandom, including musicians, performers, vendors, artisans, authors, and other guests whose work is related to the steampunk subculture.
Activities at the convention typically included (but are not limited to):
- Panel Discussions - On a variety of subjects related to Steampunk, such as technology of the alternate histories, writing, publishing, the philosophical and sociological implications of the genre's works, costuming, etc.
- Speeches or other presentations.
- Socializing in common areas and at parties.
- Role-playing Gaming - A room for playing role-playing games (live-action and table), board games, and card games
- Performances of Steampunk music
- Costuming - both formal competition (the "Masquerade"), and casual "hall costumes"
- Fashion shows
- Theatrical productions
- H.P. Lovecraft-themed murder mystery dinners
- Political demonstrations linking contemporary and historical political issues
- Dealers' rooms selling books, movies, jewellery, costumes (often including weapons), games, comic books, etc.
History, production, and promotion
The fair was founded in 2010 by Jeff Mach, Josh Marks, Erin Tierniegh, and Jack Manx.
- 2010 - The Steampunk World's Fair was first held May 14–16, 2010 at the Radisson Hotel, Piscataway, New Jersey. Nearly 3,000 people attended this first year.
- 2011 - The second annual SPWF was held May 20–22, 2011 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Somerset, New Jersey.
- 2012 - The third annual SPWF was held May 18–20 at the Embassy Suites and the Radisson Hotel in Piscataway, New Jersey. Attendance was over 4,000.
In January 2018, former volunteers and employees of Steampunk World's Fair and other events organized by Jeff Mach Events (JME) accused JME founder Jeff Mach of sexual misconduct and questionable practices surrounding volunteer and employee compensation and event safety. On January 26, 2018, Jeff Mach announced on Facebook that he would be stepping down from running events. A community run steampunk event took place on the 2018 event dates, with no association to the Steampunk World's Fair. It was called C.O.G.S., or Community Organized Gathering of Steampunks. 
- Economopoulos, Aristide (May 8, 2017). "2017 Steampunk World's Fair". NJ.com/Star Ledger. Advance Digital. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
- Levin, Robert (April 2010). "The Steampunk's World Fair". Inside Jersey. New Jersey On-Line. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
- Rocca, Mo (October 30, 2011). "Steampunk: Yesterday's Tomorrow". CBS News. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
- Pho, Diana (June 10, 2011). "Convention Extravaganza: Steampunk World's Fair II". Beyond Victoriana. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
- O'Donnell, Chuck. "City resident brings steampunk fans togetherdate=May 18, 2012". The Record: North Jersey.com. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- Schwalm, Andrea (June 11, 2012). "Journey to the Steampunk World's Fair". Wired. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- Grace, Toby. "Steampunk World's Fair was the gayest ever". Out In Jersey. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
- Nolde, Patricia (June 21, 2011). "Steampunk World's Fair 2011, a Travelogue". Steampunk Chronicle. Retrieved January 3, 2012.