Meet the MoS – Lady M

Who are you?

Lady M / The Gin Lady / Malika (answer to most things, but don’t call me Baby!!!)

What do you do as part of the MoS to make the Festival happen?

I run Lincoln Castle as a venue. I can also be found walking around with gin and rum as part of the evening fringe programme. In the background I get involved in the application and programming side of things, as well as working with that Rostov chap to keep the website updated (he keeps it working and I keep it full of content).

What is your full time job/profession?

I am Head of Marketing at the National Space Centre. However, I also trade at events, make bustles and jewellery and run gin events around the UK (I occasionally sleep as well!)

Why are you involved in the MoS?

I attended the very first Asylum as a punter and my event organisation brain started running riot… I chatted to a random chap in the Victoria pub, who then introduced himself at the Festival Director… the rest is history.

Where can people find you during the Festival?

During the day I will be in the grounds of Lincoln Castle (the big stone walls make it difficult to leave). I will be found with booze (NOT Gordon’s) most evenings… giving it away!

What is your highlight of the Festival?

Working with such amazing people to make it happen. I have an event organising brain, so when all you awesome people get excited with new and unique ideas I just want to make them happen. The MoS is my support group for my Steampunk event addiction. I watch people spend a whole year making, creating, planning, writing, painting, drawing, building etc. to make this event happen… it makes me so happy to be in the midst of all of that and help facilitate the madness. You get out as much as you put in, so I get friendship, happiness and joy in massive brassy piles (not the painful type!) xxx

For full transparency the team are all unpaid, however they all get a bed in the student accommodation at BGU (including breakfast on the rare days they are not working by that time) and one lunch on the Tuesday after the Festival, by way of celebration. They all pay their own meals, transport and out of pocket expenses to attend and work the Festival. They will be on duty from Thursday to Monday and many will be on site from Tuesday prior to the Festival. 

Meet the MoS – Lady Elsie

Who are you?

Elsie Tinker

What do you do as part of the MoS to make the Festival happen?

I organise the trading part of the event, Which is sometimes very near a full time job. I encourage Tinker with some of his ideas, and support him with cups of tea and biccies. ( although that did lead to inventing Tea Duelling with Dr Geoff). I also attend the many meeting in Lincoln throughout the year, along with John. Working with our venues to allow us all to come and play.

What is your full time job/profession?

I work as a self employed historical costume maker/costume designer and run wardrobe departments for T.V.

Why are you involved in the MoS?

Someone had to help John set up the first event 11 years ago and I did not say NO quick enough !

Where can people find you during the Festival?

Usually based at B.G.U. but I do get out in the evenings to the other events.

What is your highlight of the Festival?

Seeing a years work come to fruition, and the hundreds of happy smiling people, knowing they are having a good time because of you. And having a large gin on Monday evening. xx

For full transparency the team are all unpaid, however they all get a bed in the student accommodation at BGU (including breakfast on the rare days they are not working by that time) and one lunch on the Tuesday after the Festival, by way of celebration. They all pay their own meals, transport and out of pocket expenses to attend and work the Festival. They will be on duty from Thursday to Monday and many will be on site from Tuesday prior to the Festival. 

Meet the MoS – Mark

Who are you?

Who am I 🎵I’m Jean Valjean!🎵( couldn’t resist)
I’m Mark Goodman.

What do you do as part of the MoS to make the Festival happen?

I run Constance Stewart ( in the uni) during the daytime and help with the evening events.

What is your full time job/profession?

I am a technician in a dental laboratory ( boring)

Why are you involved in the MoS?

I started attending the festival, then did some volunteering. I realised what a special event it was and how hard people worked to make it so. I wanted to do more. The best thing about being part of the MOS are the other members of the MOS!

Where can people find you during the Festival?

Constance Stewart

What is your highlight of the Festival?

Meeting people and seeing smiling faces but my individual feature highlight is the evening gin walks that I get to participate in.

For full transparency the team are all unpaid, however they all get a bed in the student accommodation at BGU (including breakfast on the rare days they are not working by that time) and one lunch on the Tuesday after the Festival, by way of celebration. They all pay their own meals, transport and out of pocket expenses to attend and work the Festival. They will be on duty from Thursday to Monday and many will be on site from Tuesday prior to the Festival. 

Meet the MoS – Stunt Ali

Who are you?

Alison , wife of the Safety Elf, High Priestess of Cthulhu’s Witnesses

What do you do as part of the MoS to make the Festival happen?

I provide the countdown posts on Facebook ! But I am proud to organise the Stewards. The unsung heroes of The Asylum, the brave band of Stewards who are running here, there and everywhere, putting on wristbands, helping with events, amazing people.

What is your full time job/profession?

My day job is working as a chef in a Children’s nursery.

Why are you involved in the MoS?

I am rubbish at running away. ! Honestly ? Look at the magic, who wouldn’t want to help out with the fantastic endeavors of the MoS ? I feel very strongly that everyone should feel that they belong, helping people achieve that is enough to make it worthwhile.

Where can people find you during the Festival?

On event control. You need information? You’ve lost something ? You need evening event tickets ? You want merchandise? I can probably help you, or point you in the right direction. Sunday night , you will find me getting Chromed by V2A.

What is your highlight of the Festival?

All of it ! Seeing happy, smiling laughing exhausted people wandering the streets , and catching the eye of someone and thinking we did it !

For full transparency the team are all unpaid, however they all get a bed in the student accommodation at BGU (including breakfast on the rare days they are not working by that time) and one lunch on the Tuesday after the Festival, by way of celebration. They all pay their own meals, transport and out of pocket expenses to attend and work the Festival. They will be on duty from Thursday to Monday and many will be on site from Tuesday prior to the Festival. 

Dinner at the Engine Shed

Tower Bar at the Engine Shed

For the Advance Guard and Dead Dog evenings we will be situated in the very comfortable and intimate surroundings of the Tower Bar at The Engine Shed.

Our bigger evening events will still be hosted in the main hall of the venue, but the Tower Bar will also be open prior to the gigs for wristband holders to grab a bite to eat.

The Tower Bar will also be serving food before and during the Advance Guard and Dead Dog events.

Our Festival Directors thought that this provision would make life a lot easier on wristband holders, as well as offer an affordable dining option for attendees:

Meet the MoS – Tiffin Mistress

Who are you?

I am Michelle, also known as The Tiffin Mistress.

What do you do as part of the MoS to make the Festival happen?

I guess I organise the tea dueling, maintaining the list of entrants and winners going forward into the World Championships. I test biscuits and do my best to make the sport accessible to all and I officiate the festival tea duels.  I also help wherever I can in checking out feature and content applications.

What is your full time job/profession?

After 30 years working with children in various different roles, I am now mainly my own boss as the owner and creator of Evangeline’s Emporium where I sell my strange creations. I also work part time in a fabric shop to supplement my sewing habit.

Why are you involved in the MoS?

I bumped into these crazy people at a comic con in 2009 (having just missed the first Asylum) and discovered my tribe. Once the Asylum moved to the August Bank Holiday weekend, I was free to attend the whole festival so was immediately put to work and I’ve been trying to escape ever since 😉

Where can people find you during the Festival?

Usually on or near a stage somewhere, forcing people to dunk biscuits in tea or introducing acts, or running between venues talking to the voices in my ear.

What is your highlight of the Festival?

Spending time with my awesome tribe of splendid, creative, crazy Steampunks and seeing all of the amazing creativity on display.

For full transparency the team are all unpaid, however they all get a bed in the student accommodation at BGU (including breakfast on the rare days they are not working by that time) and one lunch on the Tuesday after the Festival, by way of celebration. They all pay their own meals, transport and out of pocket expenses to attend and work the Festival. They will be on duty from Thursday to Monday and many will be on site from Tuesday prior to the Festival. 

Meet the MoS – Safety Elf

Who are you?

To some I’m Paul McGovern, to some I’m Govy, to most I’m The Safety Elf.

What do you do as part of the MoS to make the Festival happen?

Whatever the hell I’m told to do! That and wristbanding, market setup and generally making sure people are safe and happy.

What is your full time job/profession?

I’m a surveyor for a railway company, we do track renewals which is why you lot can’t get a train on a bank holiday weekend!

Why are you involved in the MoS?

To help make Asylum, Time Quake and MCM Comic Cons the best experience possible for the people that go there. Plus, I think someone dropped a shilling in my pint one night, and I’ve been told that resigning is not an option!

Where can people find you during the Festival?

Probably around Westgate & Bailgate mostly, or on the road between BGU and the Castle… Normally in hi-viz, often under a pointy hat and wearing pointy ears.
Where don’t you want to see me? Leading a Promenade on Monday (unless you have your running shoes on!)

What is your highlight of the Festival?

Seeing friends & making new ones. Seeing a year’s worth of hard work in everyone’s outfits, but best of all I love seeing someone fully attired in steampunk finery who was just a casual visitor at last year’s event….
… And finally: I want to beat my PB in the Promenade on Monday 😉

For full transparency the team are all unpaid, however they all get a bed in the student accommodation at BGU (including breakfast on the rare days they are not working by that time) and one lunch on the Tuesday after the Festival, by way of celebration. They all pay their own meals, transport and out of pocket expenses to attend and work the Festival. They will be on duty from Thursday to Monday and many will be on site from Tuesday prior to the Festival. 

Meet the MoS – Tinker Time

Image Credit – Eric Fan Art

So just like the QI Elves, there are a busy little team of people behind the scenes all working hard to make the Asylum Steampunk Festival happen (we even have our own Elf!)

As a small voluntary organisation, we wanted to put names and faces to the team, so you know who we are, what we do and where to find us.

The group is made up of a diverse range of people, with all manner of skills and abilities (some they don’t like to shout about, but we are going to out them as truly awesome human beings).

Who are you?

I am John but better known as Tinker since well before I got involved with steampunk. 

What is your full time job/profession?

My real work is in TV on historical shows both in front of and behind the camera.

Why are you involved in the MoS?

OK – an admission. It is MY FAULT. I had the idea of the Asylum. I have press-ganged these poor gullible fools into working on these crazy ideas. If anything goes wrong I am to blame.

Why are you involved in the MoS?

The dream was always to create a world where Steampunks could gather, socialize and share their creativity. Creating the sandpits for you to build castles is rewarding and enjoyable. I love to see visitors smiling and showing off their amazing work.

Where can people find you during the Festival?

I am always around and about during the festival (often zooming past on my bicycle). Please wave but sorry I can’t always stop to chat.

What is your highlight of the Festival?

I love the family that is the MoS. It is a delight to be part of a team of selfless, dedicated, skilled and creative people working unfalteringly even as they near exhaustion. The highlight for me is seeing them smile when you tell them how much you enjoy the event.

For full transparency the MoS team are all unpaid, however they all get a bed in the student accommodation at BGU (including breakfast on the rare days they are not working by that time) and one lunch on the Tuesday after the Festival, by way of celebration. They all pay their own meals, transport and out of pocket expenses to attend and work the Festival. They will be on duty from Thursday to Monday and many will be on site from Tuesday prior to the Festival. There is also the little task of organising the Festival that takes the rest of the year 😉

What to do about Steampunk Weapons

Examples of amazing steampunk weapons

We accept and recognise that fantastic steampunk weapons are a big part of the steampunk genre and we are always delighted and amazed by the creativity involved in people’s accessories – of all kinds.

Please note however that we do not condone, encourage or want you to break the law in any way, shape or form and advise you most strongly to ensure that you carry, wear and display any weaponry in an acceptable and safe way.

We suggest that all weapons are transported to and from the event in a suitable bag, case or cover. When not in use we advise you to lock your weaponry in your car/accommodation etc. Please be aware that even replica weapons can cause alarm in a public place and take care to display them only when and where appropriate.

Large steampunk weapons

We apologise but would ask that you do not wear large live role play/latex type weapons (e.g. swords and axes) as part of your outfit. You may be asked to return these to your vehicle/accommodation. This is due to access issues primarily. Very large items can cause accidents in busy areas or in enclosed spaces.

The Empire Ball

We ask that no weapons at all be brought to the Empire Ball. This is a social event and weaponry would be inappropriate. The best place for displaying weaponry is during the day in a wristband only venue. We are also are happy to accept submissions of your steampunk’ed items for The Great Exhibition.

Selling steampunk weapons

Any item for sale must meet UK legal requirements with regards to weapons and replica weapons. We particularly draw your attention to the law with regard to the sale of knives and the Violent Crime Reduction Act as it relates to replica and reproduction weapons and derivatives thereof.

Photographing Steampunks at the Asylum

Photography is popular at the Asylum Steampunk Festival. As a community we are very much aware that photographers find steampunks very photogenic, indeed, camera clubs often organise trips to steampunk events. Whilst the vast majority are respectful and considerate, there always seems to be a few that occasionally fail to follow common courtesy when photographing steampunks.

Photographing steampunks at the Asylum - a portrait of Robert RankinIn this post we are going to look at some guidelines to help steampunks who find photography sometimes a little intrusive, and offer some recommendations for dealing with photographers.

If you are a photographer coming to the Asylum Steampunk Festival, then we hope you will read this post to get an appreciation of how to approach steampunks when wanting to take a photograph, and we offer a few simple guidelines to get the best out of any photo opportunities.

And then, of course, there are a number of you attending the Asylum who are both steampunks and photographers!

Photography in the Street

If you are on the streets of Lincoln, photographers can take a photograph of you without consent. You have no legal right not to be photographed. A lot of paparazzi style photography is done in this way, using long lenses and often taking photos while the recipient is unaware to try and capture that candid moment.

If you spot a photographer taking candid shots of you on the street, then you can approach them and ask them politely to remove any images you are in – explaining that you don’t want to be photographed. Whether the photographer complies with your request will be up to the individual. We suggest keeping it polite rather than insisting that they delete your image. Photographing steampunks at the Asylum - LM CookeThe photographer doesn’t have to do it if you are on the public highway, but if you are civil then they may be more amenable to removing any images that you deem to be unsuitable.

Photographing children is a completely different matter and I would urge you to look up relevant legislation if you are going to have kids with you. The NSPCC also have some good guidance on this.

 

Photography in the Castle

If you are in the Castle grounds, it is not on the public highway, so different rules apply, you are well within your rights to ask for photos to be deleted. Photographers should ask prior to taking any photos of you or your party.

If you do not want your photo taken then a simple ‘no thank you’ should suffice.

If they are insistent and continue to take photos, turn your back on them. Don’t give them an opportunity. You can mention the Protection From Harassment Act 1997. If you continue to feel harassed by a photographer, try to find an official from the Castle or an Asylum steward. Photographer’s who are harassing members of the public (steampunks or otherwise) can be asked to leave the area.

Consent when photographing steampunks

We do know that for many steampunks being photographed in their awesome outfits is something they enjoy and they will happily pose for photos. So if you don’t mind your photo being taken, when a photographer approaches you, ask for their business card and also what Photographing steampunks at the Asylum - Professor Elementalthey are planning on doing with the images afterwards. Remember, that if they are going to be selling the photo, then you are effectively an unpaid model. Once you’ve given your consent, they can pretty much do with it what they like. Always exchange details before any photos are taken.

Professional photographers and press photographers may ask you to sign a consent form and take some details from you – again this is entirely voluntary, and always read any forms before you sign.

Some basic safety precautions.

Don’t be led away from your party alone. If the photographer wants to take photos with a more photogenic backdrop, take someone with you.

The session is over when you say it is. If you become uncomfortable at any time, just tell them that you need to get back to the festival. Remember to always be safe!

A Guide for Photographers

We understand you want to get that one perfect shot, but you won’t achieve that with reluctant models and a hostile community. It’s quite simple – be polite and respect a person’s wishes.

Many steampunks love being photographed – but many do not. Many like the attention; but again, an equal number find it annoying. Most steampunks dress the way they do for fun, because they enjoy it, and not to be photographed. Steampunk is very inclusive and there are members of our steampunk community who find social situations difficult and are not comfortable with too much attention.

As long as you ask politely, those who are inclined to let you photograph them will most likely do so, and those who refuse should not be offended.

Please remember when photographing steampunks, they are not  paid models, you do not get to order them around just to get the right angle.

  • Do ask politely
  • Do explain what the images will be used for and offer contact details
  • Respect the individual’s wishes
  • Remember steampunks are not paid models
  •  “No” means no

There are some fantastic photo opportunities offered by the festival, and if you are polite and respectful, that will continue to be the case. Buying a Festival Wristband will allow you into the different venues and you will be supporting the Asylum Steampunk Festival so it continues to be a spectacle worth photographing.

Lastly, it’s a steampunk festival – why not consider becoming part of the community yourself!

Photographing steampunks at the Asylum - The Morgan Family

Europe's biggest and longest running Steampunk festival