About the Event
What is Aethertopia?
In the year 1895, an officer of the Empire had the incredibly good fortune to stumble upon a crashed airship! On board was a small group of intrepid adventurers who had mastered Time Travel! Using their knowledge, he was able to construct a time travel device of sufficient power and proportions to transport a ship the size of an entire city… through time itself!
Aethertopia is that city within a ship. Contained in its borders you will find the Seven Maker Guild Districts, each dedicated to a different skill of Steampunk making. There are Hatters, Explorers, Story Tellers, Inventors, Seamsters, Artists, and even Assassins. And as a Benefactor, you will forever be a part of this experience.
A Unique Event
Aethertopia is like no other event ever held in the Steampunk universe. In addition to presentations by artists, musicians, writers and actors of all kinds, there will be symposiums and workshops to help guests advance their own creative endeavors as a Steampunk maker. This event is highly interactive, with everyone in attendance being a part of the atmosphere and experience. There will also be functions that carry over from Saturday to Sunday, so be sure your booth is fully staffed both days.
Saturday evening will also include a high Victorian banquet, followed by the Aether Ball, a night of dancing and fun for everyone.
All of these events occur within the same event space: the Entertainment Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds.
The Best Living History that Never Happened
We want our Guests to simply forget they are in the 21st century, and easily put themselves into a twilight London that never was. Therefore, we are working hard to create a “late dusk” atmosphere, with streetlamp and perhaps even fog. This means your booths will need to be self-lit with your own lighting kit (LED lights preferred). All booths will have 10-amp electrical service, sufficient to run normal lights, device chargers, etc. Just imagine you’re setting up for an outdoor evening event, and light your booth accordingly. This will enhance the overall experience for our Guests, and make them even more engaged with each booth.
The Seven Districts of Aethertopia
Prepare to immerse yourself in a classic London streetmarket of the Victorian era. Winding paths lead you through the many districts, with shops tucked in corners, or plopped right in the middle of the street! Peruse the delightful Hatters district, sit and drink tea while listening to Steampunk authors read passages from their work, stroll down Regents Park, where you can get your picture taken, or explore the dark recesses of the Assassins District, where Assassins Guild members will make sure you are safe… for now.
In addition to the vendors (Benefactors), there will be contest exhibits in all seven districts, where guests can vote for their favorite creations. Aethertopia is all about recognizing and appreciating the genius of Steampunk makers. 2018 proved that this was a phenomenally popular concept, as it “forced” guests to go through every street and alley of every Guild to see all the Maker submissions in each Guild District. It transformed what could have been a “looking” event into a “doing” event. And the vendors can tell the difference in the guest attitudes.
About the venue
We have locked in the temporal coordinates for the only venue in Tampa big enough to hold the entire city of Aethertopia… the Entertainment Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds! This enormous air conditioned venue is just perfect for this event, as it is larger than a football field, provides easy access from major highways, ample parking for any and all at a very reasonable price, and not two, not three, but FOUR hotels within walking distance of the Greatest Show in History! And we are getting special pricing deals put together for our Benefactors and Guests who are coming from out of the area and want to stay for both days!
We are limited in the number of Vendor spaces we have available this year, as we are changing the floorplan and adding in some rather large display pieces to really augment the experience.
About the Maker Contest
Many of our guests, and even some of our vendors, will be submitting their creations are doing so for the glory and honor of their Guilds, but as well, individual prizes will be awarded in several categories. There are actually two ways to win in Aethertopia: The Judges Awards, and the People’s Choice Awards.
Three celebrity judges will be roaming the event for the weekend, taking notes, comparing creations, and deciding from their expert maker experiences which creations deserve top honors. But that’s not the only way to win.
A big part of what makes Aethertopia different is this Maker contest, and the fact that the celebrities are on the floor both days, readily accessible to our guests. Just like you, they are part of the Steampunk environment.
Safe journeys, and we’ll see you in Aethertopia!