World Steam Expo On Hold Indefinitely << Prev   Next >>
World Steam Expo put indefinitely on hold amid speculation of the cause and questions of its future...
By wilhelminaframe on Aug 07 2012 Category:Editorials, Events, Conventions, Steamlife

Per a statement cross posted in the Steampunk Revolution and Steampunk Convention Groups on Facebook, Arthur Geissler, Organizier of World Steam Expo, has has announced that the convention is on hold indefinitely. The Dearborn, Michigan Steampunk event was in its third year, with the most recent Expo held May 25 - 28, 2012. Throughout its history, World Steam Expo was a premiere event in the midwest and had the pleasure of hosts many notible musical performers including Abney Park, The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing, Sunday Driver and Steam Powered Giraffe.

Steampunk Chronicle first became aware of the breaking news through a comment placed by "A Member of the World Steam Expo Facebook Group" at the end of our recently published review of this year's Expo. The comment was a cross post of Mr. Geissler's Facebook statement:

"Steampunk has been something that I've been passionate about since long before I knew that what I enjoyed had a name. I've watched that interest grow and evolve for well over a decade and it has certainly been fascinating to see how the community has flourished and thrived in that time. Until recently I had always prided myself as being a part of a 'well-mannered', 'civil', and 'exceptionally friendly' cadre of people. I've even been complimented by the staff of the venues that I have hosted events at and even from random passer-bys over these virtues. But now is the present, and I am more than disappointed with how things currently stand.

I have worked long and hard to put on what many know as one of the greatest events of its kind, and I've done it quite well. With how I have seen things progress in just the last few months alone, I do not see how I can move on in good conscience to reward this behaviour. As of this time the World Steam Expo is on indefinite hold. There are many who will be dismayed by this announcement, but there are others who will rejoice. I have put my heart and soul into Steampunk as a whole and embraced it in more ways than I can count. To have those whom I thought to be my friends and colleagues in the community work so hard to undermine myself and what I stood for greatly saddens me.

I have made a great deal of friends in my time in the community and it deeply wounds me to have to withdraw, but someone has to make a stand. This is a result of the community as a whole that I, and the World Steam Expo, take a bow. I am truly disappointed in so many of you right now.

~Arthur Geissler

This statement appeared in the Steampunk Revolution Group on Sunday afternoon, August 5, 2012. Immediately, comments of sadness and support began to appear but other comments of question and concern were noted as well. Earlier on Sunday, William Thorson MacLeod of Anachro*Con, posted "An Open Letter to Steampunk Fandom", also in the Steampunk Revolution Facebook Group. This letter was then cross posted to other Facebook, blog and convention sites. The letter was signed by several prominent Steampunk convention organizers. The absence of World Steam Expo from that list immediately caused conjecture that Mr. Geissler's announcement was in response to the "Open Letter". As the afternoon and Monday continued, the length of the Facebook thread became unwieldy as various member weighed in and the focus of the commentary unravelled. Statements alleging World Steam Expo's relationship with Evelyn Kriete, a subject of a recent scandal, as the main reason for Mr. Geissler's decision were refuted.

"There are a score of reasons why I am withdrawing, and it is not because of the actions of one person, least of all Evelyn Kriete." Mr. Geissler stated Monday morning, replying to the original post in Steampunk Revolution.

In a later post in the thread, Mr Geissler also stated, "The message of this alliance is "it's my way or the highway", or "you will do this or there will be consequences", and I will not stand for this kind of bullying."

Steampunk Chronicle contacted Arthur Geissler for a statement to contribute to this article. He declined to offer a comment.

The Steampunk Revolution Facebook thread quoted above can be accessed via this link.

*UPDATE* August 7, 2012 -- While Mr. Geissler declined to comment on this article at press time he has since e-mailed Steampunk Chronicle a statement. This statement has been published as an independent article.


Editrix de Mode and Part Time Lion Tamer, Wilhelmina Frame travels the globe in pursuit of adventure and style. When not in the circus ring with Rajah, her tiger and the rest of her “Kitten Kabal” (seven lions, three cheetahs and a rather droll panther), Ms. Frame can be seen at the most fabulous parties, in the latest fashions, sparkling with wit in conversation. Wilhelmina is also the Tiffin Master and founder of The American Tea Duelling Society. Ms. Frame's alter-ego, Gretchen Jacobsen, is a freelance producer, self taught costumer and prolific crafter. She sings quite well also. You can check out the exploits of the Society on Facebook or follow Ms. Frame on Pinterest or @ptliontamer on Twitter. 


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