Fun, fantasy and frivolity at Steampunk festival

Excitement is steaming up in Christchurch, as self-described "Fantasizers and Steamologists" from all over Australasia get ready for a weekend of futuristic fantasy and fun.

The Fantasizers Festival is billed as an 'Extraordinary Weekend' of ingenuity, creativity and inventiveness of past and futuristic possibilities, and is new to the city.

Festival co-organiser Carl Yates, who goes by the Steampunk title of 'Sir Gideon Steamcrank', said he had a lot of support and wanted to offer a unique and exciting event to Cantabrians.

"This is a first for Canterbury. This is all about Steampunk, Cosplay, Victorian, It's about getting dressed up, having a lot of fun and living out your imagination."

The inaugural three-day festival is aimed at catering to a wide variety of genres, he said, including Steampunk, which sees 19th century steam-driven technology transported to and re-imagined in the future.

Sir Gideon Steamcrank (Carl Yates) and Duchess Saphirra Citrine (Yvonne Yates) are preparing for...
Sir Gideon Steamcrank (Carl Yates) and Duchess Saphirra Citrine (Yvonne Yates) are preparing for a busy weekend. PHOTO: GEOFF SLOAN
Yates is organising the festival with his wife Yvonne and a 19-member 'Cog and Compass' society. They were keen to celebrate the range of fantasy themes, with no large focused event for Steamologists and Fantasizers in Christchurch.

"We thought now is the time, it's well overdue. And once we got an idea in mind, we've just got to run with it. It's like a locomotive let loose on rails... You can't stop that steam engine once she's going."

Steampunk vehicles and inventions of all shapes and sizes will be on display over the weekend, along with themed games, activities and entertainment.

The couple are best known for their spectacular Shands Road Christmas Lightshow Experience, and are expecting hundreds of visitors from New Zealand and Australia for the event.

'Duchess Saphirra Citrine' - aka Yvonne Yates - said dressing up is an important part of Steampunk culture.

"I just love dressing up so enjoyable and you can let your imagination run away with you."

The Fantasizers Festival starts at 10am on Saturday at The Show Gate in Riccarton Park.

Tickets are available at:

- By Geoff Sloan
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