ABOUT US

Welcome to Leeds Steampunk Market which is run by Jo & Si and is now Leeds, Bradford and Halifax Steampunk Markets. We also have "LSM on tour" with all the new museums we keep finding in West Yorkshire to share the steampunk love...

Q&A

How long has Leeds Steampunk Market been going?
LSM has been going since October 2011 and is one of longest running steampunk gatherings in the world. (1st is Steam Powered: The California Steampunk Convention which was on 31st October to 2nd November 2008 and is now known as Gaslight Expo, 2nd is Lincoln Asylum which ran 11th to 13th September 2009 (although they keep claiming they are the world's longest running but this is clearly not the case), 3rd Steampunk NZ June 2010 although this was kickstarted by a steampunk exhibition piece at a party in 2008. 
Steampunk World's Fair ran from May 2010 up until 2017 and Steamcon ran from 2009 to 2013). 

How many steampunk markets have there been?
Our next event (September 2018) will be our 32nd steampunk market in Yorkshire. (This is not including the two events I was persuaded to co-ordinate as the first London Steampunk Market in 2012 nor the two I did as “Victorian” by mixing LSM with traders from my craft fairs. Let's not add in the steampunk gigs with Professor Elemental and Montague Jacques Fromage!)

Why is it called a steampunk market when half the stalls are clearly not steampunk?
I want this to be a place where steampunks like to shop. There will always be a decent number of steampunk traders there for new attendees and members of the public to get started gently into steampunk and for existing steampunks to top up their top hats, see their way to buying more goggles... I'll quit while I'm ahead but you know what I mean.
Most steampunks do have a life outside of steampunk and seem to be into other things such as sci-fi (Dr Who, Star Trek etc), fantasy (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings etc), geeky (superheroes and comics etc), have goth influences and preferences in their choice of fashions/styles (past and present) - larping and historical re-enactment seems to cross over into steampunk as well as quite a few of us having hobbies involving model railways and dolls houses.
To me, if this is what steampunks like, then they should be able to buy these things at a market dedicated to them. 

Is it just in Leeds?
We predominantly use various Leeds and Bradford museums but have also done ones in London and Batley. We mainly focus on West Yorkshire and have a new venue in Halifax added to our list for 2018.
There have been ten different locations used for markets so far.

Do the events raise money for charity?
At each event we give a free pitch to a relevant or local charity/good cause, with all the traders donating something to the tombola to raise money. So far, we have facilitated £3682.01 being raised and helped seventeen different charities and causes.

How big are the markets?
We are a more intimate, personal event and run day time markets only, for both days of the weekend, generally not exceeding fifty traders. We have and intend to stay within the realms of our capabilities as we do not manage by committee nor engage huge teams of volunteers to assist. We receive no funding from anywhere to run these markets - each market helps to finance the one that follows. We like to do things at a personal level – biggest is not always best! 

Who can go to these events?
Absolutely anyone and everyone! They’re not just for steampunks – we get goths, cosplayers, larpers, sci-fi fans and more besides. In particular, we encourage members of the public who are curious to see what it’s all about. We repeat, everyone is welcome!

Do I have to pay admission to attend?
There are NO admission fees payable to LSM. Any admissions charged are those of the venue (museums) itself and where possible we always seek for these to be lower on the days of our markets. This is in the interests of the visitors as they have more left to spend and our traders who thus have more available to be spent with them. 
Unlike some events, we also do NOT expect our traders to pay admission to trade!

Is it indoors or outdoors?
The trading area is always located indoors (we know the weather!) and either under one roof or at worst, adjacent ones. We try to ensure that all venues are equality act compliant in terms of access. Any traders with a gazebo that wish to trade outdoors are welcome to do so if space permits. The only outdoor activity is the day time entertainment which will be under shelter if the weather turns wet.

Is it a curated market? 
No, but we do invite traders, artists and authors that are the best in their respective fields and try to avoid duplication where possible. We invite traders we believe have a unique offer for our customers and would like to keep it that way – we don’t want everyone selling the same thing. We welcome applications from new traders selling something new and diverse.

What entertainment is on during the day?
In addition to the market and the venue itself, we do provide entertainment in various shapes and forms during the course of the day. This is enough to keep the customers around and entertained but not too much to take them away from the traders who have, after all, paid for pitches to make money!
The entertainment is conducted outside in the museum grounds as in the past, indoor entertainment has been too loud for the traders to be able to conduct their business effectively. Our only exception to this is a wandering performer which is something quieter and not so distracting.
We do not do talks, panels or ask traders to do workshops or demonstrations teaching people skills. To be honest we are baffled by the idea of a workshop as why would you teach someone how to do what you have spent time thinking up and creating? This will only mean they won't be buying from you if they can make it themselves and could actually end up as your competitor taking your customers from you!

Is there anything on in the evening?
We do not, as a rule, provide evening entertainment ourselves as running the market itself properly takes up so much time. To add evening entertainment would simply be a step too far, potentially detract from the performance of the core activity and lessen the amount available to be spent by our customers the following day. 
We may, on occasion, have entertainment of some sort (such as a ghost hunt) run by friends who have a paranormal company which would be on the same weekend in the same area which we cross-promote. If a particular steampunk performer is available to be with us at the market as a guest we are happy to set up a gig for them that same evening if someone else can run the door for them. 
We have organised other entertainment/social days separate to the markets in the past such as Professor Elemental, Montague Jacques Fromage, a steampunk film event and a day trip to Sunbridge Wells. There just aren’t enough days in a week to fit in everything we’d like to do!


TRADERS

What's in it for me?
You can use your pitch to sell your ready made designs, if you do commission orders only you can showcase your work and obtain more orders or just use your space as a networking platform. On the day you are supplied with a trader pass to wear which will gain you discounted prices with our hot food traders, our pub vendors and in the cafe. You'll also have one or two free cuppa vouchers to use in the cafe on the day. We used to do free cuppas for traders on production of the trader pass but we have found this generous offer being abused.
We also offer exisiting traders the chance to be on the priority list to rebook for the following event/s.

Is there anything you don't allow at LSM?
We don't allow burlesque by personal choice. 
We do allow the sale of weapons, just ensure you pack them into a bag for the customer and advise them that they cannot be worn at LSM.
We do allow the sale of taxidermy or things like skulls and wings to be used as fascinators etc and the sale of vintage stoles and fur trimmed garments. 
We do not allow other events (not run by us) to have a promotional stand nor to have their merchandise sold through our traders at our events. 
Traders are NOT to solicit LSM's traders or customers for a rival event by handing out booking forms, nor to disrespect LSM verbally, on social media or by any other means. Traders are only allowed to have flyers on their own stall for other events if they are trading there and hand them their customers with their purchases. This forms part of our terms and conditions of trading and any traders found in breach of this runs the risk of being told to pack up and leave on the spot and will not be invited to return.

Am I expected to do every event?
Of course not – we all need a life outside of steampunk! We know our regular traders are not always available to be with us at every single event. 

You’ve invited me to an event but I can’t attend…
If you are unavailable for an event you have been invited to, please reply to it anyway to let us know. Please do ensure you have our email address in your white list/contacts so that future emails don’t end up in your spam/trash/bin by mistake.

I wanted to trade but I’ve not been invited…
Again, ensure you have our email address in your white list/contacts so that emails don’t end up in your spam/trash/bin by mistake. If you still can’t see an invitation, just drop us an email as our database is so big, it takes a while to get to everyone so it really is nothing personal! Also keep us informed if you have changed your email in case we are sending invitations to a now defunct email address, especially if you had a website which no longer exists due to rebranding for example. Ideally, plan your diary well in advance, let us know which dates take your fancy and it will be noted. That way, you’ll be in the first batch sent out. An announcement will appear on the Facebook group and page when emails have been sent so you will know to look in your inbox.

I’m not interested/no longer doing events but you’re still emailing me…
If you would prefer not to be sent invitations to trade, please drop an email across with just “unsubscribe” in the body of the email. A brief note explaining your reasons is considered courteous (moved away, no longer doing steampunk, etc). Your details will then be moved across to the “dormant” section of our database so you will no longer be emailed. If, however, you do find yourself in a position where you would like to join us sometime, just email us.


Please have a read of the different sections of the website (particularly Everything For Traders tab) as all information is covered such as:

My stuff isn’t really steampunk, can I still trade? (Yes is the answer!)

What sort of thing are you looking for in traders?

Do I have to apply to be even considered as a trader?

How do I get in touch about trading?

What sort of footfall can I expect?

How widely is the event advertised?


HISTORY
This event was started in October 2011 which was set up by Doctor Geof and held at Leftbank on Cardigan Road. 
I got asked to help co-ordinate a second one for March 2012 and dealt with everything myself, including setting up a London Steampunk Market (from Leeds!) which was scheduled for only five weeks later.
In August 2012, I was contacted by Leeds Central Library to organise a literary event as there were a lot of steampunk fantasy/horror authors coming to light. This had a small bespoke selection of traders along with five authors doing talks, readings and Q&A sessions.
Then in October 2012 I made LSM a two-day event due to the volume of traders forming an orderly queue keen to be a part of it. 
I continued doing the posters from March 2013 using Geof's artwork as a template as he was too busy with his comic deadlines and the like to be able to do them anymore. This was the last time it was at Leftbank as I wanted to do more with it rather than it being just a market in a building and give something more back to the community. Therefore it is now held in museums and places of interest that need our support.
The logo you see on all Leeds Steampunk Market publicity is a design that Si and I started working on before the Summer Market at Thwaite at the end of June 2015. It came about through a variety of reasons; it combines the spread wings of the Captain Cumberpatch brand, the steampunk gearwheel of LSM and my love of owls which is why my HooDoo brand is an owl. Plus, we now have a real-life owl as a mascot in the form of our steampunk bird of prey display champions flown at most of our events by Amy Jo Lawrence's "Flying Squadron". 
Geof designed the original artwork for LSM but he agreed that LSM has grown and evolved and is now different. The change of logo allows Geof to reuse the artwork he created for his own commercial activities.
It has been me doing all the work in the background on everything since the second LSM and my husband helps with social networking and running the event itself. Geof is not part of the running of LSM anymore but he is always welcome at our LSM whenever his diary and deadlines allow him to.


free templates