Published on October 21st, 2022

Steampunk is a genre of science fiction that has roots in Victorian aesthetics and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology. Alas, first contact for many consisted of atrocious, heedless Hollywood output (ahem, “Wild Wild West” and “Van Helsing”) but Florida’s dedicated steampunk community is rearing to right those wrongs with the first annual Steampunk Adventurers Weekend.

Abney Park

No shade on the RenFest crowd but there’s something about the Victorian era’s romantic views of science and industry that hits closer to modernity – maybe it’s the tea kettles hissing in the distance.

“I was Googling pictures of custom guitars because I thought it might be fun to make a unique signature guitar for myself to play on stage,” one Captain John Sprocket tells PureHoney. “While searching I found a few steampunk guitars and thought they were some of the coolest looking I’d ever seen, and I immediately fell in love with the aesthetic.”

Sprocket (John Mondelli), lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist for The Cog is Dead, cut his teeth in DeLand’s pop punk scene and found more kinship with steampunk and its embedded disposition to varying musical styles.

“When I realized we could take on steampunk personas and give the band a fictional backstory, I jumped at the chance to call ourselves time travelers who had been influenced by all the different music we’ve heard throughout our time traveling adventures,” he says.

John Sprocket

Like many who will be in attendance, Sprocket enjoys modifying things into steampunk versions of themselves. “There’s a connection to makers and tinkers,” he notes. “Most steampunk musicians are DIY folks who make their own costumes and customize their instruments.”

The Cog is Dead, normally a three-piece when scheduling allows, will be a solo show here. The weekend event will be headlined by Seattle’s Abney Park and will feature Tank and Tilly’s Clockwork Cabaret, DJ Vlad and Escape the Clouds. Festival goers can also enjoy games, rides, a scavenger hunt, lectures, fashion shows and family-friendly activities including face painting and crafts for kids.

The first Steampunk Adventurers Weekend runs Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 12-13 at Yesteryear Village in West Palm Beach. ~ Abel Folgar