WHAT IT IS
Glorifying a futuristic version of the 1800s—think steam-powered air ships and computers that run on manual gears—the world of steampunkers revolves around a combination of Victorian elegance and futuristic technology. Dressing in their finest corsets and safari gear, the 15 regular members of Chicago Steampunk gather monthly for cocktail soirees, antique-market trips, game nights and dance parties. If you’ve got a question about how to build an engine using watch gears, where to find the best goggles or industrial tunes, these are your guys (and gals).
Anyone over 18 can technically join, but Chicago Steampunk organizer Joseph CR Vourteque says many of the group’s events are for those ages 21 and over. “You don’t have to dress up, but a lot of people do because they dress steampunk everyday,” he adds. “We get a lot of artists who have a passion for avant-garde fashion, industrial design and music.”
For Carnivale Delirium, a 500-person showcase of futuristic music and old-timey sideshow acts, Chicago Steampunk will join forces with bands, DJs, circus performers and stunt artists (Reggie’s Rock Club, 2109 S State St; Fri 22 at 9pm; $15, advance $10, open bar VIP $30). “It’s kind of a circus sideshow meets punk concert,” explains Vourteque. “We’re going to have fire-eaters, people hanging 100 pounds from their noses, a man who’s covered in puzzle-piece tattoos from head to toe who also has horn implants.” To pump the sound in a techy yet old-fashioned way, Vourteque built a machine called Aural Fusionoscope and Amplification Machine.
WHERE TO HAVE A BEER AFTERWARD
Punkers who want to keep the night going can head to Exit (1315 W North Ave, 773-395-2700, exitchicago.com) for the after-party.