• Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Adobe Photoshop 23.4 (Windows)
  • 2022:06:28 06:21:13
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  • 2022:06:26 10:59:46
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Shot Notes

Steamfesta has a world record for the largest gathering of Steampunks. The Brolga Theatre in Maryborough, Queensland was a great choice as the “chuf chuf” from the Mary Ann steam train added to the atmosphere. Nostalgic passengers travelling around Queens park, put their fate in the hands of a driver who looked old enough to have built the steam engine. Fire, extreme pressure and historic metal, what could possibly go wrong?

I first became aware of Steampunk after my brother commented on this post from the UK in 2010. The style is a creative mix of old and new, so anything goes, from the mechanical to the whimsical. More specifically, it is a fantasy alternative reality of how Victorians may have envisaged a future where everyone owns welding goggles instead of smartphones.

Science fiction author K.W. Jeter created the term in 1987. This makes it the same age as my van, which I have renovated, with Steampunk in mind, by adding lots of brass, portholes and a valve amplifier. Although my effort is more Heath Robinson than Terry Gilliam.

As I approached the festival, looking for the carpark, I somehow drove into the centre of the event. Next thing, I was surrounded by costumed characters on stilts and unicycles. A nice lady, who could have stepped out of a Jane Austen novel, approached the van and showed me the way. As I could not turn, the only route was a narrow gap past a row of priceless classic cars and quirky food stalls. I inched through the crowd to eventually discover the other carpark entrance everyone else was using.

There was an excellent Steampunk band from the Northern Rivers, NSW, called LunaSea. I am not sure what I expected Steampunk to sound like, but they nailed it. I guess the same musicians had a hand in the music for the festival promo video here. There was a costume competition, which I was asked if I wanted to enter. This made me smile all day as I was in my normal clothes.

3 Responses to “Maryborough Steamfesta”

  1. 1
    muonman:

    Very amusing text. I started down the route to identify the motorbike as I usd to be a Rocker in the 1950s. The link back to the other image shows FBC on the side of the tank. The FBC site did not show anything like your exhibit. One thing I noticed about the FBC bike is that it had three carburettors visible on one side visible. By symetry this made me think that the owner have shoehorned in a V6 engine from a car. This was not uncommon in my day to fit weird (powerfull) engines into bike frames. Its nice to see originality still survives. The weather doesn’t look bad for mid Winter.

  2. 2
    Jason Benz:

    Thanks for the comment, Half the fun of photography is learning about the stuff you photograph to properly index it. As for weird retrofits, This bike was at Steamfesta, I think I overheard someone say it was a diesel engine.
    Diesel Engined Bike

  3. 3
    muonman:

    Amazing what you can do with a welding torch and some nylon ties. I think the vibration of a diesel engine would be a bit tiring and kick starting it might be tricky but a Vincent Black Shadow also required skill to kick start it or it would flip you off the bike.

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