August 2, 2021 1.11 pm This story is over 33 months old

Five-year deal to keep Steampunk festival in Lincoln

The event will return in 2022

By Local Democracy Reporter

The annual Asylum Steampunk festival will stay in Lincoln until at least 2026 after the Ministry of Steampunk, Lincolnshire County Council, City of Lincoln Council and Lincoln BIG signed a five-year agreement.

It won’t take place in 2021 but it will return in 2022 on the August Bank Holiday and will centre around Lincoln Castle and the Bailgate area of the city.

The festival, which is the largest Steampunk event in the world and attracts around 100,000 visitors to the city, was initially planned to move to Newark and Kelham Hall in 2021, after local authorities in Lincoln could not guarantee COVID safety.

However, after Kelham Hall went into administration at the end of June and Newark and Sherwood District Council confirmed they had yet to receive plans for the public event to the local safety advisory group, the relocated event was also shelved.

Over 100,000 people typically come to Lincoln for the festival each August, many of whom wear eye-catching costumes that celebrate the retro-futuristic, sci-fi subculture.

City of Lincoln Council had told The Lincolnite reporters it was already in discussions to bring the event back to the city in 2022.

John Naylor, of the Ministry of Steampunk, said “Lincoln has provided a spectacular backdrop for the steampunk community’s creativity since 2009 so we are delighted to be able to return.

“We are supremely grateful for the support and encouragement of Lincolnshire County Council, Lincoln City council and Lincoln BIG together with Lincoln Cathedral and our other local partners.

“We are looking forward to growing and developing this unique event over the next five years to build a spectacular imaginative festival that Lincoln can be proud of.”

Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of City of Lincoln Council, said: “I am very pleased that, collectively, we have been able to reach such a positive conclusion that will see Steampunk return to the city for at least the next five years. In doing so, it will open up a number of opportunities to build the event year-on-year to make it even more spectacular.”

Councillor Lindsey Cawrey, executive councillor for culture at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “I’m so pleased Steampunk is returning next year. We’re all working together to ensure residents, locals and those from further afield will have a great event. Lincoln Castle, as always, will be an excellent venue for this and will provide a spectacular backdrop for Steampunk makers and traders. There will be a lot to look forward to!”

Sarah Loftus, chief executive of Lincoln Business Improvement Group said: “I am delighted that we have a 5 year deal with Steampunk, local businesses will be pleased to welcome back this event for the City. We are hoping that this five-year pledge will allow us to build on the event each year and it will become even more spectacular.”