Aetherfest took place between April 29th – May 1st, 2011 in San Antonio, making it the first steampunk convention in Texas. I’ve been in touch with Pablo Vazquez for about a year now, and when he hinted last fall about an upcoming convention, I was more than thrilled to make my first Texan debut at his con. I was looking forward to meeting a new community, but was a bit nervous going myself. Luckily, Lucretia Dearfour accompanied me on this adventure, and we discovered that The Emperor of the Red Fork Empire was also a featured guest here. While at Aetherfest, the three of us interviewed several of the other guests and attendees at the con. That footage is still in post, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy the following reports & pictures from this event. Mr. Saturday (aka Pablo Miguel Alberto Vazquez III) is the co-chair for the event, and talks about what went on in prep for this con and how he thought it turned out. Author O. M. Grey writes about her experience as a special guest, and Lucretia Dearfour relates her con experience as well. All pictures are provided by me, unless otherwise noted.
Mr. Saturday (aka Pablo Miguel Alberto Vazquez III)
It seems strange writing a con report for AetherFest and not have it come out as some emotionless business report about backroom proceedings. Being a con chairman, I was privy to a world very few attendees see and now when I attend conventions elsewhere, it becomes nearly impossible for me not to notice the good and the bad of convention organization and hospitality. Thankfully, if there’s one thing I can brag about when it comes to AetherFest, it’s that every attendee and guest I talked to told me that we excelled at both.
When I first walked into the St. Anthony, I was quite literally halted in my steps as I marveled at the beauty surrounding me. Crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling, and rich burgundy upholstery covered the myriad of couches and chaise longues that garnished the lobby. Once the room started filling up with steampunks, it was as if one had stepped directly out of a time machine into a wondrous past of adventure, invention, and beauty.
San Antonio Texas–it’s got The Alamo (unless you’d forgotten) but it also had Aetherfest, the first Steampunk convention in Texas! As a trans individual from the Northeast, I will admit to a little bit of worry travelling down South given the stereotypes. Having travelled to Houston last year, however, I had no trepidation in wanting to see more of the Lone Star State.