The Top Steampunk Events in Europe You Don’t Want to Miss

Europe is home to some of the biggest and best steampunk events in the world. From small intimate gatherings to massive festivals attracting thousands, Europe has it all for the steampunk enthusiast. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the neo-Victorian alternate history scene, meet fellow aficionados, show off your elaborate costumes and watch entertainers, artists, and musicians who embrace the steampunk aesthetic, then you need to check out these top steampunk events in Europe.

1. The Asylum Steampunk Festival, Lincoln, England

The Asylum Steampunk Festival in Lincoln, England claims to be the world’s first steampunk festival. Since 2009, Asylum has brought thousands of steampunk fans from around the globe together for a long weekend each August.

Spread across various indoor and outdoor historical venues in the city, Asylum features live music, theater, cinema, art, participation events, shopping, and more. Many attendees come decked out in their finest steampunk attire.

The festival includes a gin tasting event called Juniper Jive, bands and entertainers, exhibits, workshops, a steampunk market and the Majesty of Mechanical Music which showcases unique steampunk musical contraptions.

Having attended this several times, I can testify that it is an amazing event, in a beautiful, historic city.

Key Details:

  • Location: Lincoln, England
  • Dates: Annually in August
  • Size: Several thousand attendees
  • Highlights: Musical acts, costumes, theater, cinema, art, workshops

2. Weekend at the Asylum, Lincoln, England

Weekend at the Asylum is Asylum’s little sister event, held annually in May. It’s a smaller festival with many of the same features but a more intimate vibe.

You can expect live music and entertainment, participation events, art, shopping, talks, and panel discussions over the course of a weekend.

Many steampunks from around Europe attend both Asylum and Weekend at the Asylum each year.

Key Details:

  • Location: Lincoln, England
  • Dates: Annually in May
  • Size: Around 1,000 attendees
  • Highlights: Music, art, costumes, talks, workshops

3. The Great Steampunk Exhibition, Brussels, Belgium

In 2017, The Great Steampunk Exhibition was a massive museum exhibition held at the Cinquantenaire Museum in Brussels, Belgium. It focused on steampunk art, fashion, and design.

With 700+ exhibits, it was the largest steampunk exhibit in the world at the time. There were works from artists and fashion designers from around Europe and North America. The centerpiece was a huge steampunk tree sculpture.

Though the original exhibit was temporary, it helped cement Brussels as a major center for steampunk art in Europe.

There are hopes that The Great Steampunk Exhibition may return in the future.

Key Details:

  • Location: Brussels, Belgium
  • Dates: May – August 2017 (potentially future events)
  • Size: Major museum exhibition
  • Highlights: Art, fashion, design

4. Steampunk Festival Paris, France

Steampunk Festival Paris has been running since 2011 and has established itself as one of the most popular steampunk events in Europe.

It’s a free outdoor festival spread throughout the Haute de Jardin area in northern Paris. Attendees are encouraged to dress up in neo-Victorian garb.

You’ll find stands selling art, jewelry, clothing, and accessories. There are also demonstrations of steampunk-inspired machines, exhibits, shows, concerts, tea rooms, costume contests, and more.

Key Details:

  • Location: Paris, France
  • Dates: Annually in late September/early October
  • Size: Around 1,000 attendees
  • Highlights: Music, art, fashion, performances

5. Steampunk NBG Festival, Germany

The Steampunk NBG Festival takes place annually in the Franconian city of Nuremberg, Germany.

Nuremberg has a long history stretching back to medieval times and plenty of old architecture, making it an ideal setting for a steampunk festival.

Since 2015, the Steampunk NBG Festival has grown into one of the must-visit events on the European steampunk calendar. It spans a whole weekend and takes over much of the old town.

You can enjoy live music from steampunk bands on multiple stages, participatory events, art installations, costume contests, talks, and shopping for food, handicrafts, and antiques.

Key Details:

  • Location: Nuremberg, Germany
  • Dates: Annually in late August
  • Size: Around 3,000 attendees
  • Highlights: Music, art, costumes, street performances

6. DraconSteam, Turku, Finland

DraconSteam is a multigenre event with a strong steampunk presence held annually in the Finnish city of Turku. It brings together fans of science fiction, fantasy, roleplaying, cosplay and gaming.

The steampunk contingent provides much of the flair, with abundant neo-Victorian costumes, gadgets, weaponry, and performances on show.

In addition to the steampunk focus, DraconSteam offers LARPing (live action roleplaying), tabletop and video gaming, talks, workshops, a masquerade ball, concerts, and more.

Key Details:

  • Location: Turku, Finland
  • Dates: Annually in late May
  • Size: Around 1,500 attendees
  • Highlights: Costumes, gadgets, music, gaming

7. TeslaCon, Madison, Wisconsin, USA

TeslaCon is an American convention focused on “steampunk in an immersive environment”. It takes place annually in Madison, Wisconsin.

So why is an American event on this European list? Well, because TeslaCon takes a different international city as its theme each year, often European cities.

In 2022 it’s Paris, in previous years it was London (2018), Vienna (2017), Rome (2016) and more. Attendees and performers base their costumes, performances, and decor on that location.

It’s an interactive convention with storylines, panels, workshops, exhibits, dining, concerts and balls.

Key Details:

  • Location: Madison, Wisconsin, USA
  • Dates: Annually in November
  • Size: Around 1,500 attendees
  • Highlights: Immersive storylines and performances

8. Whitby Goth Weekend, England

Whitby Goth Weekend is one of the biggest goth/alternative subculture events in the world. It’s held twice a year in Whitby, England.

Though it has more of a gothic and medieval vibe, there is always a strong steampunk presence among the thousands of attendees. Alongside the goths, you’ll see neo-Victorian dress, inventors showcasing steampunk contraptions, and music acts.

With the dark romanticism shared by goth and steampunk cultures, Whitby offers the chance to celebrate both together by the seaside.

Key Details:

  • Location: Whitby, England
  • Dates: Twice annually in April and October
  • Size: Several thousand attendees
  • Highlights: Live music, shopping, costumes, spooky events

9. Dutch Comic Con, Utrecht, Netherlands

Dutch Comic Con is the largest comic book convention in The Netherlands, attracting around 30,000 visitors. It’s a major pop culture extravaganza spanning comics, cosplay, movies, gaming and more.

Naturally, there is a strong steampunk presence among the hordes of cosplayers who flock to the event. Alongside superheroes and anime characters, you’ll find scores of steampunk inventor outfits, airship crews, and Victorian adventurers.

Dutch Comic Con offers the chance to embrace your inner steampunk in a hugely creative cosplay atmosphere.

Key Details:

  • Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Dates: Annually in April
  • Size: Around 30,000 attendees
  • Highlights: Cosplay, comics, pop culture

Final Thoughts: Top Steampunk Events in Europe

As you can see, Europe has steampunk event options to suit all tastes. From small gatherings where you can interact with fellow connoisseurs to huge festivals full of music, art, and performances, there’s something for everyone.

So if you want to show off your latest steampunk costume creations, watch extraordinary entertainment, shop for vintages and curiosities, or simply immerse yourself in neo-Victorian alternate history, be sure to check out one of these top 10 steampunk events in Europe. If you can’t make one of these events, why not hold your own?

Just don’t forget your goggles, airship captain’s coat, and other steampunk accouterments.

Which one is your favorite event?

Have we missed any? Let us know in the comments below.

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