Welcome to the Asylum Steampunk Festival, Lincoln

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The Asylum Steampunk Festival in Lincoln has become the largest Steampunk event in the world. It was started 10 years ago by my friends Major Tinker and Lady Elsie (along with others) at an impressive building now called ‘The Lawns’, which was formerly the Lincoln Lunatic Asylum, hence the name of the event. If you have to ask; “What is Steampunk”, it is hard to describe but just have a look at the photos to get a good idea!

Martine in historic Lincoln
Martine in historic Lincoln, this was in the evening when it was much less busy - during the day this area was packed

This year (2018) the festival was a four day event over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Actually it consists of hundreds of mini events and trade stalls spread over 18 venues, mostly in the historic quarter of Lincoln City and the Bishop Grosseteste University campus. The events range from bizarre and surreal to practical and entertaining, including things such as various wacky races, parasol and tea duelling, talks, practical demonstrations, music, singing and dancing, art displays, an Illicit market and a costume parade. There were trade stands all over the place selling all manner of weird and wonderful items mostly to accessorise the amazingly creative steampunk costumes that most of the attendees were wearing.


It was my first time to this festival and I went for the day on Saturday with Rachel from Newark. First we went to the University campus to pick up our wristbands that would give us access to many of the events and venues. After perusing the trade stands that filled several of the campus halls and a bite of lunch, we caught the free shuttle bus service from the campus to Cathedral Square. The square was packed with many steampunks in their amazing costumes mingling with the bemused general public.

From here it was a slow walk up Castle Hill, stopping frequently to photograph the steampunks who were only too happy to pose and also be photographed myself. Having lost Rachel in the crowd, I eventually made it into the Castle grounds which was a large grassy area with yet more trade stands and where some of the many Asylum events took place. Unfortunately we were too late to catch The Jet Pack Race, The Wacky Racers, and the Wacky Pararacers, but Rachel who had got ahead of me did manage to catch The Minimum Altitude Display Team (I had been delayed by photography along the way!). However we both were able to enjoy a performance by Victor and the Bully on the stage in the Castle grounds.


After this we returned to Castle Hill and walked up the picturesque cobbled streets to Bailsgate were we enjoyed a gin in the Assembly Rooms. We eventually made contact with Julia and arranged to meet her at The Victoria pub and after a few drinks there (non-alcoholic for me as I would be driving later), the three of us enjoyed an excellent meal before Rachel and I returned home.

I will certainly be attending the Asylum Steampunk Festival again as it was such an enjoyable experience. Why not join us next time?

Click on any image below to see a slideshow of some of the many photos I took at the Steamuk Festival

Read 2703 times Last modified on Wednesday, 05 September 2018 18:06


  • Comment Link Sami Sunday, 02 September 2018 03:10 posted by Sami

    Very nice pictures. Looks like it was tremendous fun! Thank you!

  • Comment Link Nigel Bryan Sunday, 02 September 2018 16:31 posted by Nigel Bryan

    Thank you so much MY LADY for your gorgeous pics, plus Sparkle too. You would certainly have outshone all those who attended the Victorian Festival at Llandrindod Wells!


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