Monday, January 16, 2012

Clockwork Con in the Planning Stages

Back in Spring of 2011, I interviewed Alex Whisenhunt about the new all Steampunk 3 day convention they are putting together.  Unfortunately there was a major pressure leak in the steam driven logic and memory chambers of my brain. It seems between writing articles, writing a play, rehearsing the play, recruiting talent, responding to emails, and programming our own event, this never got put together into a finished article.  As a result the article never actually got put on my site.  As I just discovered this, due to the fact facebook keeps past threads in messenger, I advised Alex I would publish the very interesting and insightful glimpse into the mind of a "mad genius" crazy enough to try to take on such a daunting task and bring it to completion now.  The event will be this weekend on January 20th, 2012, so be there or be, well, not very steamy.

In areas where the information is out of date, I will try to insert a correction in brackets, but keep in mind this article is not so much about the event adn as about the thought process that brought it into being.  Here's how the question and answer session messages went:

Q: Is the venue set, if so where, and most important, has a contract been signed regarding the date and location yet?

A:To start off, yes, be booked our date and location, this was actually done before a Clockwork Wonderland and before A Difference Engine was announced. However we had been keeping it on the down low for a bit until we had things ready for pre-registration. In fact we had been talking to groups about it since December. It is at the Crowne Plaza in North Austin, January 20-22nd.

Q:Second, what are your thoughts about the timing and do you think it will appear to be a conflict with Marquis of Vaudville Events or with the Difference Engine New Years Event?

A: When Difference Engine announced it put us in a really bad spot, because even though we had been talking to people a while, they went public first so it made us seem “second” to their Con. I heavily looked into changing the date of our convention, however, moving to any time other than May-August (which would be horrible in Austin) there will always a Con within 3 weeks of us. Toby is highly supporting Clockwork Con, I have already talked to him and his event will not be happening in January next year. In fact he has already been booked to perform at Clockwork Con.

Q: I would strongly suggest, as a friend, that you contact Toby Lawhon, lead singer for Marquis of Vaudville and ask his advice about a date that would not conflict with an already hugely successful and well loved and well supported event, (The Marquis of Vaudville Clockwork Wonderland) and will avoid any hint of suspicion that the date and name was not coincidental.

A: One of the first things I did, Toby is a great guy as was his event and I would never want to interfere with that. In fact, Toby is already booked for our convention and is very excited about the event.

[editor's note:  Toby Lawhon of Marquis of Vaudville stated plans to move his groups annual special event to September, but their band was so well promoted and supported by the steampunk community that they were booked for so many performances they just couldn't make that happen.  They have just recently announced that they were booked by a non-steampunk group, Viva Dallas Burlesque to play their event on 2-3-2012 and to add their own unique air to the event.  This is how Viva Dallas Burlesque - Gadgets and Gobstoppers, organized and advertised primarily by Viva Dallas Burlesque, came to get scheduled so close to Clockwork Con.]

Q: Will you have bands, dj or both. If so whom?

A: We will be having both DJ’s and Bands performing at Clockwork Con. At the moment the only band with a signed contract however it Marquis of Vaudeville.

Q: What panelists of performers do you have committed so far to the event?

A: I have personally invited several of the Airships out to Clockwork Con to run events and panels. We also have several artists and authors lined up and are in the works of negotiating the specifics with them.

Q: Do you have volunteer staff from other conventions interested in helping you run this?

A: I currently have 2 Staff working with to run this event, however I have a block of around 10-15 volunteers who will actually help run /setup the Con for passes and food.

Q: You should also stay in close touch with Pablo of the San Antonio Neo-Victorian Society

A: Yes, Pablo and I are working very closely to make sure both of our events are a success.

Q: The other thing to consider is that while hotel based is preferred by some, convention halls or performance halls with many adjacent panel type rooms can be obtained much cheaper at other locations.

A: Well as our location is already booked, this isn’t much of an issue anymore. But our event is being hosted at hotel, with a bar and restaurant inside of it, as well as in close proximity to several restaurants. The event also has free parking.

And I do thank you for the concern, much of it has already passed through my mind in regards to timing and other events. I’ve also got a lot of support from several other steampunk conventions, so with their help, I think this event is going to turn out to be a wonderful weekend. Feel free to keep in touch and I will work to answer any other questions you may have.


For more info go to:  Clockwork Con

If you want to know more about how this whole journey evolved and future plans come to the event.  there is even a specific scheduled panel to discuss this topic and plans for similar events in the South Central US.

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