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INTERVIEW: Morecambe couple brings back steampunk festival after five years by popular demand

Ian and Rose Roberts from A Splendid Day Out

A couple of steampunk enthusiasts from Morecambe say they brought back their festival after five years because the public demanded it.

Rose and Ian Roberts are the organisers of 'A Splendid Day Out' which returns to the town this weekend after a five-year absence.

The three-day festival (June 7-9) is centred around the world of steampunk, a fantasy genre based on Victorian times with a modern twist.

Rose explained that they had no intention of bringing back 'A Splendid Day Out' after the Covid pandemic, but changed their minds because of the event's popularity with visitors and residents alike.

LISTEN to Rose and Ian talking about 'A Splendid Day Out

"The festival outgrew us," said Rose, speaking during a visit to the Beyond Radio studio.

"It got so big in 2019, we attracted about 15,000 visitors from all over the world, and there was only three of us running it at that time. The capacity of the venues couldn't hold any more people and it became too hard for three people to run.

"In 2020 we were going to move to Lancaster to do it, because they had some bigger venues, but Covid came along and scuppered that for us.

"We decided we were going to stop doing the festival. We all have full-time jobs. We got rid of everything associated with A Splendid Day Out. We had no intention of coming back. But the demand kept coming.

"Every time I wernt to steampunk events around the UK, people were saying, when are you bringing it back? It's one of the best. Local people were saying to me, we miss A Splendid Day Out.

"This past year, Ian was on at me, shall we bring it back? And I relented!"

Ian said: "Steampunk is Victorian-based fantasy. If the Victorians carried on, how would it project itself in modern times. You have the grandness and pomp of the Victorian, how would that fit in a modern time? It's up to people's imaginations to take that where they feel."

A Splendid Day Out is mainly centred around the Platform in Morecambe, with free family events on Saturday June 8 and Sunday June 9.

This year's theme is 'ASDO's Great Steamfae Gathering', the joining of worlds between steampunks and mythical creatures,

There will also be a parade on Saturday at 4.30pm from the Midland, as steampunks march in their finery to the Eric Morecambe statue. All are welcome to join in.

Here is the line-up for Saturday.

And for Sunday.

The event kicks off with A Krack'n Night Out, featuring music with French & the Punk, Madam Zuri Arose & Blozone, at the King's Arms in Morecambe this Friday (June 7). Get your tickets here.  

A further ticketed event, A Steamfae Gathering with live music with Alice Strange, Lazlo Baby, Brass Brothers and Moons of Jupiter, takes place on Saturday night, and you can get your tickets here. 

The ticketed events are for 18s and over only.

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