Welcome to Cogs & Corsets

Cogs & Corsets is excited to present John Sprocket live on stage at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts!

TICKETS are now available!

Have we got a fun filled weekend for you!

If you like to dance – we’ve got you covered with the Contra Dance and the Time Traveler’s Light Show and Dance.

Is music your thing? You got to go see John Sprocket. Or spend the day at the Lawn stage.

Like to build things? We got the Maker Faire, the Costume Contest, the new Teapot Obstacle Challenge and the hands on workshops. And sign up to have a session with a medium!

Looking to expand your wardrobe? Or find delicious things to eat? We have the Vendors Market, the Tea Room and the Food Trucks.

So make your plans now – we can’t wait to see you in Bloomington!

For 2023, Cogs & Corsets festival will take place at the historic Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts building (BCPA) at the north end of Downtown Bloomington. This gorgeously restored 1921 building is a gorgeous backdrop to all our steampunk festivities, and just blocks from all the shops and restaurants of Downtown. The Downtown area is home to over 90 shops, galleries, and restaurants… many in historic buildings with ties to Abraham Lincoln. The galleries will be featuring local artists’ new work and pieces that exude that Steampunk vibe. See you in Bloomington June 2-4, 2023!

It’s been great to get some acknowledgement from our community. Here are a few articles from the 2022 event.

Events like this need lots of hands!

Are you interested in volunteering for a couple hours over the weekend to help keep Cogs & Corsets running smoothly? We could use your help!
Please sign up here to help with the tea room, the registration desk, the tea pot races and more!

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What is Steampunk?

Steampunk can be called “Victorian Science Fiction”.

It’s a re-imagining of history —Steampunkers are creative people who immerse themselves in the Victorian era, imagining what life would be like if the steam power of the  Industrial Revolution fueled modern technology. It’s also a celebration of invention, the art of science woven into creative gadgets and costumes that recalls the elegance and romance of the Wild West and the Gilded Age coupled with the wonder of new inventions and technology to expand the possibilities of human existence (such as time travel).

In 1987, the term “Cyberpunk” was the popular term depicting a subgenre of science fiction writers who imagined modern day technology set in a near-future setting. The name “Steampunk” was derived from this moniker, but the setting was changed to the Victorian era (particularly the late-1800s).

Steampunkers strive to celebrate the best aspects of the Gilded Age, the Industrial Revolution, and the great works of writers such as H. G. Wells, Jules Verne, and even Hannibal’s own Mark Twain, whose book A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court imagines what would happen if modern technology were taken “back in time” and introduced to the culture of those living in the past (in that case, King Arthur’s reign in the 6th century).

The Steampunk community has described their philosophy as such: “Steampunk is a creative social movement that draws inspiration from Victorian and pre-War history in an anachronistic mix of science fiction, modern values, and a sense of fun.”

Steampunkers are, by and large, creative people who immerse themselves in the Victorian era yet live in the modern-day world…but imagine that the steam power of the Industrial Revolution is what drives their modern technology instead of electricity.

It is the “Future Past That Never Was”, a re-imagining of history and its subsequent [fictional] consequence on today’s society. Steampunk is deeply rooted in the Victorian era’s perspectives on fashion, culture, architectural style and art, and its followers incorporate this style into their manner of dress, their living spaces, their transportation, etc. Steampunkers are highly creative people, DIY-ers who enjoy creating elaborate costumes and gadgets to celebrate their love of history, science, fantasy and fiction.