Eastbourne will host its very first Steampunk Festival along the seafront this weekend.
The event will debut in the town on Saturday, September 13 and Sunday, September 14 from the Pier down to the Wish Tower.
The Steampunk Festival bills itself as an ‘indelible, incredible festival of curiosities and wonders’ that takes Victorian England and places it in an alternative universe.
The event is being run by Eastbourne Bonfire Society in association with Eastbourne and Hailsham Steampunkers Industrial Pioneers, who both hope it will become a regular addition to the tourist calendar.
Attractions across the weekend include live music, drummers, acrobats, stilt walkers, community groups, a Victorian-style fairground, Hands on History, Circus Pizaz, the 1648 Brewery company and much more.
While the daytime attractions are free to attend and aimed at families with children of all ages, the Steampunk Festival is also hosting an adults-only Masquerade Ball at the Winter Garden on Saturday night (September 13).
The town’s inaugural Steampunk Ball will transport people back to a world of Victorian gentility. It will be a night of shadow puppet theatre, vibrant musical stylings, tantalising burlesque, illusion and comedy.
There will also be a life-size replica of the Time Machine and Pepper’s Ghost Magic lantern show, among many others.
Tickets for the masked ball are available from the Congress Theatre Box Office.
Alongside all the weekend’s entertainment, guests will be able to shop from a wide selection of stalls including relic prop weapons, Steampunk customised clothing and accessories, handmade boxes and frames, jewellery and trinkets, Emma’s experimental emporium of hats and henna, bespoke handmade collars, cuffs and headwear and Forever Living Aloe Vera products.
There will also be a selection of stalls selling foods such as ice-cream, freshly prepared pizza, crepes and galettes and jams, marmalades and chutneys.
For the children during the day, there will be face painting, a Punch and Judy puppet show, workshops and storytelling.
Event organisers hope this event will bring a new demographic of tourists to the town, while also introducing a new style of entertainment and wonders to Eastbourne residents.
For more information, visit the festival’s website at www.steampunkfestival.co.uk.
In the build up to the town’s first Steampunk Festival, The Little Chelsea Gallery is hosting a special exhibition to run alongside the event.
‘The Remarkable Compendium of Curiosities’ will include an assortment of photography, design, art and sculpture and is billed as an exhibition ‘of tasteful elegance, pure quirkiness and polite Victoriana that gently leads in to the world of fantasy and fun’.
The exhibition runs until September 28, excluding Mondays, between 11am and 4pm. Visit www.thelittlechelseagallery.co.uk for more information.