The Crewe economy will receive a major boost over the Bank Holiday when the inaugural Steampunk festival takes place across the town centre.
Free events, visiting attractions and lavish exhibitions will be staged across the weekend, with ticketed shows at the Crosville Club and Lyceum Theatre during the evenings.
The Steampunk movement celebrates Victorian science fiction and fantasy, and imagines that steam power never gave way to electricity or petrol combustion engines. The genre is growing in popularity across the country.
Between Friday 27th and Monday 30th May there will be concerts, street entertainment, music and buskers, a town crier, steam traction engines, a dancing bear, face-painting and a story-telling unicyclist.
A Time Travelling tea tent will pitch up by Christ Church, there will be a Palace of Curiosities running hourly shows at the Crown public house, plus lawn croquet and bowls will be staged on the paved area by the Law Courts.
Crewe businesses will feature prominently, including Offbeat micro-brewery who have embraced the festival wholeheartedly and brewed a craft beer especially for the event.
Brewery owner Michelle Shipman said: “Offbeat is quirky and very different from the norm, so we’re a great fit with the Steampunk festival. The Brewery on Thomas Street will throw its doors open and welcome visitors on the Saturday afternoon. Visitors will be able to enjoy drinks in a working brewery.”
“We love coming up with unusual flavours and names, so beer connoisseurs should love our SteamPunk’d Amarillo IPA that will be available in cask and in bottles. On Sunday and Monday we will take our mobile Argo bar onto Market Square, to show the people of Crewe what exciting beers we’re currently producing,” she added.
Many of the acts scheduled to appear during the festival have already booked in at local hotels. The Crewe Arms, Travelodge, Royal Hotel and Waverley Hotel have also reported business from visitors who are travelling from all areas of the country especially for the festival.
At the recently opened Crewe Lifestyle Centre there will be a lavish three-day Steampunk Market. Over 40 stallholders from across the region have booked space to sell a range of gifts, ornaments, fabrics and costumes.
EventCam, a Crewe-based company that produces 3D photos, will also operate their hi-tech photo booth within the Lifestyle Centre.
Owner Simon Szczurek said: “Some of the Steampunk costumes and accessories are amazing. We will be taking photos with a clever green-screen background that looks as though people are standing on a film set, so the characters will leap out. They will look stunning in 3D and can easily be shared on social media.”
The Bank Holiday event has been underwritten by Crewe Town Council. It is hoped that the Steampunk festival will become a regular feature on the annual calendar as Crewe is positioned as an exciting destination with much to offer the tourist industry.
Pam Minshull, Chair of Community & Environment Committee, said: “I’m really looking forward to the first Steampunk Festival in Crewe. There is a fantastic line-up of artists for the evening shows and I’d encourage folk to grab some tickets and see what this is all about. I’m also really excited about the free daytime activities, so I hope that everyone supports the events and enjoys the weekend.”
The Steampunk weekend begins with a Welcome Show at the Crosville Club on Friday 27 May, with daytime events and other evening shows spread across the Bank Holiday weekend.
For further details about the festival please visit www.crewe-steampunk-convivial.co.uk
Press release issued on 20th May, 2016