I had a fantastic time at The Watch City Festival this past weekend! I saw some old friends, made some new ones, and had a great time exploring what this festival has to offer. Watch City is a very unique festival because it’s mainly a 2-day, outdoor event that is much more open to the public (i.e. not JUST for Steampunks) than any other typical convention. Watch City is the perfect opportunity for “muggles” who are interested in Steampunk to get their feet wet. Welcoming new members serves to increase visibility of the Steampunk community and further our genre.
Because of this delightful mixing of worlds, some Steampunks may find themselves becoming part of the show. This is fantastic for those of us who have worked hard on our costuming (basically all Steampunks), and it’s a great opportunity to show off. I did happen to encounter a few photographers who didn’t seem aware of basic etiquette, but thankfully I’m used to having my picture taken, and Belladonna has retorts for such behavior ;)
In all it seemed that performers, guests, and attendees alike were having a spectacular time. For an event that poses a myriad of logistical nightmares, it seemed as if the convention was very well-organized with only a few minor hiccups. Props to the Watch City staff for putting on a great event. I do believe this was their best year yet.
More specifically the kick-off party on Friday night was a great way to connect with friends and have a couple drinks. The idea of having musical guests was well-intentioned, but the volume was far too loud for the venue. When the music did quiet down the kick off event served as a casual VIP party. This was pretty amazing because I got to meet Mike and Evan from Oddities! They were really great to chat with, and it’s motivating me to make a trip down to New York to visit their shop.
Saturday at the festival was even more enjoyable. Dr. Phobias and I presented a condensed form of our monsters panels to a fantastic audience. Our audiences truly inspire us to research new facets of horror and bring you more material. We’re already excited for next year.
Despite a few quick rain showers everyone came prepared with umbrellas and the vendors area on the common was bustling with activity. There were so many wonderful things to see, I wish I had more time to enjoy it all! I attended a rousing performance of Steampunk “Whose Line?” presented by Mr. Saturday and Sixpence, saw some hilarious antics at The Wandering Legion’s pub-crawl, and spent time getting to know my fellow Steampunks. The events were wonderful, but it’s really the interesting people and characters that always seem to make a convention worthwhile.
Then it was time for the 21+ Cirque De La Lune performance. What I loved most about this event was the immediate carnival feel when you entered the building. There were various carnival games with prizes, snow cones, balloons, cotton candy, a tarot card reader, and more. Because I come from a theatrical background, I’m very interested in immersion and creating a full experience for your guests. I loved this and I’m excited to see how this event evolves in coming years.
The performances themselves were entertaining and fun; bellydancing combined with a collection of sideshow and circus acts is definitely my idea of a good time. The open wine bar didn’t hurt. I only wished to see a more “adult” performance as this was a 21+ event. Also cabaret-style seating was a nice touch in theory, but seating was limited and many guests had to line the walls. For a first-year event (which can be very unpredictable) I think the Watch City staff did a good job and will put on an even more spectacular performance.