|Q: Who are you crazy people?
A: We are the Steampunk Society of Vermont, Ltd.; a small group of volunteers running a non-profit with an end goal of improving the town of Springfield by making it known New England-wide as the Steampunk Capital of Vermont. We hope that by spreading the theme of steampunk throughout the town of Springfield, that Springfield will become a more desirable place to visit, work, start businesses, and live. Steampunk, essentially being a melding of old and new, is a perfect theme for Springfield, a town rich with old bones that have potential to be restored for new purposes. A perfect example is converting the old Gear Shaper Building into a new Health Clinic, keeping that old world aesthetic but serving a modern purpose.
Q: What exactly do you do?
A: We do our best to coordinate steampunk related activities in and around the Springfield area, with hopes of engaging the local community to participate in these fun events. Currently our primary event is the annual Springfield Vermont Steampunk Festival. We also hope to inspire local businesses to adopt a steampunk theme to make Springfield a steampunk destination spot. Imagine a town with a steampunk café, movie theater, shops, and just a general steampunk aesthetic around town. We believe this would increase tourism and bring more income to local businesses and attract new businesses to Springfield. We want to see all those empty buildings on Main Street full and functional. Everybody wins!
Q: I have a Springfield business. Can I get involved? How will that benefit me?
A: Absolutely. We are always looking for ways to partner with Springfield businesses and organizations. In a fairly short time the Steampunk Society of Vermont, Ltd. and our Springfield Vermont Steampunk Festival have gained attention from people all throughout New England. The more businesses in Springfield that are willing to host steampunk themed events, adopt a steampunk theme aesthetic for their establishment, or partner with us by sponsoring any of our events, the more Springfield will be a desireable place to visit, live, and work to those who appreciate the steampunk culture. In addition those who sponsor events of ours, such as the Springfield Vermont Steampunk Festival, can take advantage of a fantastic marketing opportunity to a large captive audience needing food, gas, and lodging during such an event.
Q: Back to that festival you run….why are your event ticket prices so high?
A: They aren’t; you must be confusing us with another festival. We are a non-profit organization, run exclusively by volunteers. No one in our group is getting rich off of ticket sales; we are all volunteering our time and effort. We determine the ticket prices for our events based on what we need to cover costs of the event. We also make a point of donating net proceeds from events to local Springfield organizations, when we have net proceeds to give. We aren’t always able to make a donation due to our low ticket prices. Our annual steampunk festival is a multiple day event with multiple entertainment options scheduled throughout the entire festival. Comparing our ticket prices to festivals with similar scheduling and amount of events, you will find we probably charge a 3rd of what most festivals ask for a ticket. You cannot compare our festival to any local festivals in the Springfield area as most simply involve access to vendors and minimal entertainment. We provide access to vendors, workshops, live music, and performances throughout our entire festival; our event is different.
Q: What if I want to come to the Springfield Steampunk Festival but I can’t afford a ticket?
A1: We recruit for festival volunteers every year. Those volunteering to work a 4 hour shift during an event earn a free pass to that event.
A2: Peruse our entire list of ticket options. We don’t just offer 1 ticket price for our festival; there are weekend tickets, day passes, senior discounts, discounts for kids…. catch our drift?
A3: Consider attending one of our smaller events. Our goal is to expand beyond the festival and offer smaller steampunk events with lower ticket prices and when possible we’d like to offer free events.
Q: I have a great steampunk idea, do you want to hear it?
A: Definitely. We are excited about the local community getting behind our mission of making Springfield, Vermont the steampunk capital of Vermont. Ideally we hope to plan events close to “home” (Springfield) but we are interested in reaching out to surrounding communities as well.
Q: Hey, remember my great steampunk idea? Can you just make that happen?
A: Not without your help. We are a small group of volunteers and although we’d love to take on every good steampunk project people suggest to us, the reality is we can’t do it all. The annual Springfield Vermont Steampunk Festival is our primary project; however we do have a lot of other irons in the fire at any given time. If we think your idea/project is one we can take on, expect us to ask for your help. Chances are if it’s your idea you know a bit more about making it happen than we might. We will help and support you, but please don’t be upset if we can’t make your idea happen on our own.