Springingtiger's Blog


What Price Fun?
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Lincoln Ukulele Club

Today a friend asked me whether Asylum was expensive. I suppose the interpretation of expensive is a matter of opinion and may depend on a person’s financial resources. I must say I felt that a weekend pass for just under thirty eight pounds was excellent value given that the festival begins on Thursday evening (Okay I know the programme ostensibly starts on Friday and the opening isn’t until Saturday) and ends on Monday evening. When you divide the cost of the wristband by the number of days the event lasts it is cheap compared to a comic con.

 

The ticketed events can add quite a lot to one’s spend. The tickets for the Steam Powered Giraffe concert were nearly twenty five pounds and worth many times that! Apart from SPG we were also treated to two excellent support acts: Alice’s Night Circus (for some reason I keep calling it Alice’s Night Garden…I’m such a Tombliboo!) and Before Victoria. I have it on the authority of a young person that twenty five pounds is perfectly reasonable for a gig with two supports. Because I started my bookings a bit late I only bought tickets to one evening entertainment, however many people were content not to buy tickets and just to spend their evenings socialising. The Bus Bar with its upstairs cocktail bar remained open to eight o’ clock, but thereafter Lincoln is well served with public houses.

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Steam Powered Giraffe Q&A

As I mentioned in a previous post, for the price of the wrist band one gets access to a lot of events. There was plenty of free musical entertainment around the Castle and Westgate Centre. BJ Skinner playing the Blues, Morris Dancing from Poacher Morris and from the Raven’s Morris (Steampunk Morris Dancers), there was even Steampunk Belly dancing…no, really! Talking of dancing the Scarlet Butterfly was quite amazing. Alice’s Night Circus had a free gig at the Castle. For me my biggest surprise was discovering I like Ukulele bands thanks to the Lincoln Ukelele Club.

 

There were four markets of which I have already written and a food court with a bus dispensing gin…and anything else one might need like an emergency martini.

 

There were some amazing panels, talks, and workshops. So many I couldn’t get to all I wanted. I did go to what to me was essential, the Steam Powered Giraffe Q & A. However I now know all about Gin, how to use Simplicity sewing patterns (I think I need a bustle!), and how to use EVA to create my own armour, or just about anything else for that matter. There were talks on how to organise Steampunk Event, the history of airships, what Steampunk is in Steampunk 101, and advice on almost every aspect of writing a steampunk novel. Workshops included things as diverse as circus skills, making greetings cards, and Steampunk Knitting, yes that’s a thing! There wre workshops on making prosthetics, exo-suits. Accompanying the display of Gary Nicholl’s ‘Imaginarium’ there was a talk explaining the magic. There was even advice on copyright pitfalls facing those wanting to steampunk various fandoms. In the Meet and Merch tents fans got an opportunity to meet their heroes, get autographs, selfies, and buy stuff…SPG ran out of merchandise there were so many fans!

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Major Q talks EVA

On top of all this there was much more insanity, the Costume Competition (some participants put as much effort into their character’s description as into the costume), The Queens Parade inspected by Queen Victoria herself…honestly! An amazing array of steampunk versions of super heroes and villains. Tea duelling, obviously. Tea pot racing, Wacky Racers, Jet pack races, and opportunities to shoot each other with foam darts.

 

Was the Asylum expensive? I would have to say no. However was it worth every penny I spent? That’s an unequivocal yes and had I the opportunity and the money (there’s always a snag) I would happily have bought tickets to more events.

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