Full steam ahead for Gothic fund-raising fair

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A new Steampunk and Gothic Fair is being launched in Bradford to raise funds for two deserving charities.

The events will take place at the award-winning Brew Haus bar, in Bradford City Centre, in aid of Martin House Children’s Hospice, near Wetherby, and the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, which raises awareness of hate crime against people from alternative sub-cultures.

The first fair is on Saturday, September 24, from noon to 5pm at the Great Horton Road venue, alongside Bradford’s Alhambra Theatre.

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It was initially planned as a one-off event, but demand for stalls was so high that a second date was added in December, then organisers decided to continue with an ongoing series of charity fundraisers.

With 24 stalls, spread over three floors, there will be a wide selection of both Steampunk and Gothic traders. Stalls will range from alternative arts, crafts and gifts to clothing, accessories and jewellery, soaps, candles and photographic prints.

There will be chance to indulge in a popular Steampunk pastime – known as Tea Duelling -which requires some creative sleight of hand involving a mug of tea and dunking biscuits.

There will be Gothic-style poetry readings by well-known local performance artists, with open mic opportunities for any poets and musicians who’d like to take the stage. Guest poets confirmed for the September event are Tasha Webster and Saul Cameron.

Tasha will perform her “fright night” poems, such as “Alice in Cyberland” and “Mr Wolf the Ladykiller” which she describes as “sort of Dr Seuss for Adults”.  As well as his poetry reading, Saul Cameron will sign copies of his book “David Dracula”

Renowned Bradford artist and author Razwan Al Haq will be on hand to sign copies of his latest book “Sultan Vs Dracula”, which features a magic realism that Razwan describes as “Islamic Science-Fiction.”

A special spooky beer is being brewed to help real ale fans get into the spirit of the event – a 5% blood orange dark ale, created, appropriately, by Ghost Brewing of Leeds and aptly named Vamp.

The Fairs are organised by Catherine Gilford of Purple Butterfly Jewellery (Goth name Lucrezia Raven) a regular stallholder at the BrewHaus Friday Night Markets. She said: “I’d been wanting for some time to put on a Steampunk and Gothic event to support these amazing charities which are very close to my heart. When I got involved with the markets at Brew Haus I could see that the industrial-style décor there, with all its exposed pipes and brickwork was just what I’d been looking for and could offer the perfect setting.

“We’d love everyone to come along, find out a bit more about alternative cultures and browse through some really unusual creative work.”

Brew Haus General Manager Charlotte Felton said:  “We have a brilliant community of creative businesses at our Night Markets and when Catherine came forward with this idea for a really exciting charity event, we were thrilled to be able to help.

“As soon as the word went out across creative circles there was an absolute rush of traders wanting stalls, so it was decided to add an extra date. Then the same thing happened again, so we could see it would be popular as a regular thing.  Customers can just enjoy a drink and a bite to eat, while supporting some very different local businesses and some really deserving causes at the same time. We can’t wait for the first one – it’ shaping up to be one of our best events yet.”

The second Steampunk fair is on Saturday, December 10, from noon to 5pm with stalls already filling up fast.

Entry is free but with donations to Martin House Hospice and Sophie Lancaster Foundation gratefully accepted. Stalls cost £20 with the fee donated directly to the charities.

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For further information visit the Steampunk and Gothic Fair Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1781202568776281/

To apply for a stall email cath.gilford@gmail.com

You can also find out more about alternative cultures, the local arts and crafts network, and the Brew Haus events on Catherine’s forthcoming BcB Radio slot.

  Sophie Lancaster Foundation was set up after the teenager’s tragic death to raise awareness of, and challenge, prejudice and intolerance towards people from alternative subcultures. Sophie died in 2007 after she and her boyfriend were attacked as they walked home through a park in Bacup, Lancashire. The judge recognised Sophie’s murder as a hate crime because she was targeted for being a Goth.

  Martin House Hospice provides support for children with life-shortening conditions and their families.

Photography courtesy of Jason Feather

For media inquiries please contact:  Crux Communications on 0792 126 3298 or Email: cruxcomms@hotmail.co.uk

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