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The Great Midwestern Ballyhoo Steampunk Fest Comes to Lockport – September 23, 2017

It’s not often that you can enter a different world when you cross a bridge, but for those entering Lockport on September 23 – you’ll be entering a world of a futuristic past. The city will be concluding its Summer Art Series with “The Great Midwestern Ballyhoo” – a Steampunk music fest with headliners Steam Powered Giraffe.

"It’s is the mixture of the Victorian Period with the concept of Science Fiction, where everything is possible"


Pictured above: Mayor Steven Streit and Summer Art Series Chairwoman Wendy Streit

So, what is steampunk?

“It’s is the mixture of the Victorian Period with the concept of Science Fiction, where everything is possible, “ stated Lockport Summer Art Series Chair Wendy Streit in a 2016 interview, “steam, gadgets or dirigibles – all things are possible during that Victorian Time Period.” 

The clothing dates back to the Victorian time (where things weren’t so outlandish), but adds that bit of a twist to it. “Adding your sci-fi flair to it,” added Streit,” whether it has a jet-pack, it lights up …”

The Day Starts …

With High Tea at Embers Tap House (933 S. State Street), of course! It’s the Victorian Era, of course. The ladies of the Lockport Oolong Protectorate Society have just returned from a spectacular tour of the major tea producing areas in China, Japan and India on their dirigible airship, The Jewel of Lockport. You are cordially invited to join the Society at an Afternoon Tea to welcome the members home from their triumphant voyage and sample teas collected during their travels. They will be providing tea from one of the oldest regions in the world, considered to be the birthplace of tea. You will be soothed by the beautiful music of a harpist and enjoy the beauty of textiles from around the world.  Tickets cost $35 per person, $20 per child (aged 10 and under). Get more info at http://summerartseries.com/archives/events/high-tea.

The Festival …

The Festival takes place from 10am to 11pm. The majority of the festivities take place in front of the Norton Building (200 W. 11th Street), with the VIP area being Embers Tap House. Food trucks will be on site, along with pop up shopping. 

The Festival Lineup …

  • 1:00-2:30 Eli August
  • 2:30-3:00 Mr. Automatic
  • 3:00-4:30 LePercolateur
  • 4:30-6:00 Mr. Automatic
  • 4:30-5:30 Eli August *along the I&M canal
  • 6:15-8:15 Fire & Fury Cabaret - Angela Eve & Eve's Parlor Productions (Break/Meet & Greet 7:00-7:30)
  • 8:15-9:15 Mr. Automatic & Costume Contest winners announced
  • 9:30-11:00 Steam Powered Giraffe

Eli August

The music of Eli August is akin to the waters of a great river. It’s always moving and pushing forward, whether through percussive guitar and banjo, or the urgency of delicately crafted lyrics; the music never looks back.

Mr. Automatic

Mr. Automatic is a versatile DJ , whose style has its origins in Electro and Nu Disco, although recently his jazz roots have come to the forefront as he has started fusing these genres with Electro Swing.  Mr. Automatic currently holds down a residency at Untitled’s Unbridled night in downtown Chicago and House of Burlesque (House of Blues Chicago). 


lePercolateur is Chicago's coolest gypsy-jazz alt-folk group. This female led band brings a new, hip vocal twist to the classic gipsy jazz / swing folk scene.

Angela Eve

Angela Eve is an accomplished artist, producer, director, international variety burlesque performer, aerialist and costume/set designer. Eve’s Parlor Productions originally helped kicked off the Neo burlesque movement in Chicago in 2004. Eve’s Parlor since has grown to a full multi-media production company created with her partner Anastasios Ketsios.

Steam Powered Giraffe

Steam Powered Giraffe takes on the guise of singing antique automatons and the fictional robotics company that made them. The quirky act combines comedic sketches, improvised android banter, and original music fused with multimedia visuals, billowing steam effects, and robot pantomime.

From their heartwarming nostalgic melodies to their funky cabaret rock, Steam Powered Giraffe’s songs are memorable, infectious, and as unique as the robots themselves. More than just a band, Steam Powered Giraffe is an experience that must be seen and heard by the entire family.

VIP Gala

The VIP Gala Package allows you to experience the festival to its fullest. You get to Meet and Greet with Steam Powered Giraffe, watch from the VIP viewing area, relax at the indoor lounge with live feed, beer tasting, food and drink, as well as have access to VIP air conditioned bathrooms. You and your squad can capture your memories at the LED Photo Cube and enter to win the Costume Contest! 

Get More Information

Tickets for the music festival are only $40. Access to the VIP Gala is $125 per person.  To get more information about this futuristic trip to the past, and to purchase tickets to the events, please visit summerartseries.com.