My photography takes me to many places and allows me to meet so many new people, and non more so than this weekend when I was attending the Hastings Steampunk Extravaganza on the south coast.
After an early start on Sunday morning to do the hour and twenty drive to the venue I was greated first with a large open sports field that had exhibitors and vendors all the way around and busy setting up.
From amazing birds of prey, psychic’s, and gothic clothing through to food from around the world and a ‘Gin’ stop. I knew this was going to be fun packed day when I saw the size of the event, but it was only about to get even bigger.
Arriving an hour early so I could get some shots of the exhibitors and stalls before the public came in, I got straight in by working my way around the field meeting and shooting all the colourful stalls and their even more colourful owners who were dressed in their Steampunk outfits.
After working my way around I then found the sports hall that was also packed inside with traders selling their goods, and they were even more colourful. Hand made leather hats that look like they came from a Conan movie that were so well crafted you knew that the creator loves his job and took great pride in his work. Their was the Steampunk hats, Steampunk goggles, and all sorts of creations that took you away to a world of imagination where anything can be made or done.
I really was in awe, and then the public started to arrive. When I say public I don’t mean like you or me, this public was individuals from all over the UK and from as far away as the USA, who had travelled to be here. And they were all dressed in the finest of Steampunk costumes.
Spats, boots, long stripy jackets, top hats, goggles, pocket watches, gloves, dark, bright, faces painted, wigs, beards in hair bands, and of course cogs and guns! If they could imagine it they could build it and wear it.
They all looked amazing and everywhere you looked your eyes were met with another colourful character. It was all ages as well. I saw baby’s, young teenagers through to the older generations that all took just as much pride.
Above all they were all really approachable and all were happy to have their picture taken and pose for me to show of there outfits.
The wether was stayed hot all day and made for a magical day as they all got together to parade around the field as a large group to beat of drum band, the pentacle drummers, who also dressed up for the day.
The afternoon then focused on acts inside on the main stage. I love a live band and none of them disappointed. Captain of the lost Waves, Professor Elemental, The Wondering Werlitzer and the pinnacle for me was the wonderful Alice’s Night Circus who I even brought a CD from and had signed.
If you want to see something different, be open minded and like subcultures, then I would truly recommend going to a Steampunk convention. The people are amazing, warm and so colourful you will be welcomed with open arms. I know I’m a huge fan now and can’t wait to go to my next one.