CubaDupa – our Capital! programme

As we write this, CubaDupa 2018 is just a shade over one month away, so here’s what Capital! Steampunk is doing, and where to be (and when) so you can join in.

The festival runs from midday till late on Saturday 24 March and midday to 5pm on Sunday 25 March. Capital! Steampunk is involved in three different events.

Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon tells the story of the Baltimore Gun Club’s successful mission to build a gun powerful enough to send men into space. NZ Opera’s The Eagle Has Landed is a short musical piece in which Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin arrive on the Moon to find Verne’s characters still there. Did we say ‘send men into space’? Surprises await …

They’d like our help. Each performance will start with a promenade of steampunks from Ghuznee Street to the venue in the Hannah Courtyard in Leeds Street. Effectively, we are the Baltimore Gun Club, marching to see our heroes off, so bring your favourite ray gun!

You can take part in as many or as few promenades and performances as you wish. The promenades are at 1.15, 2.15 and 3.15pm both days. The performances last for about 20 minutes and steampunks can perform as extras in the crowd scenes. Meet outside 55 Ghuznee Street, a few doors along towards Glover Park from the intersection with Cuba Street, 10 minutes before we leave for each performance.

For those interested in taking part in the performance, there’s a dress rehearsal at 10.30am, Saturday 24th March, in the Hannah Courtyard. This will be filmed for archival purposes. Don’t worry if you can’t make the rehearsal; many of us will be doing more than one promenade so there should always be somebody who can tell you what to expect.

Teapot Racing

It wouldn’t be CubaDupa without teapot racing – register your teapot here. This year we’re out on Dixon Street again, near the Dixon Street Deli.

Racing will be from 3.30 to 5.30pm on Saturday 24 March and we’ll be setting up the course and welcoming racing teapots from 3pm. When you arrive with your teapot you’ll be given a number in the running order so you’ll have an idea when you’ll need to be ready to race. As you’ll see from the above, there’s a slight clash with the last performance of The Eagle Has Landed; you’ll be able to join Saturday’s final promenade but if you want to watch or take part in the show it’s probably best if you pick one of the other five performances over the weekend.

A new feature of this year’s teapot racing will be the availability of a couple of ‘have a go’ racing teapots for the public to try. They’re basic, but they work. We’ll have to strictly limit the numbers who can try them out (the batteries will only last so long), but if you haven’t yet taken the plunge into making your own racing teapot, this might give you a feel for what it’s all about.

Tea Duelling

Once again we’ll be on the small stage in the middle of Cuba Mall, ready to help settle any dispute that comes along. The Colonel and Mrs. Hudson (the younger) will be officiating, starting at 3.30pm on Sunday 25 March and continuing until we run out of duellists, biscuits or hot water. Or until 4pm; whichever comes first.

Come along to cheer the duellists (or be one yourself) and provide more splendid spectacle for the CubaDupa crowds.

In a nutshell …

The Eagle Has Landed promenades and performances – Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th, 1.15, 2.15 and 3.15pm. Meet outside 55 Ghuznee Street 10 minutes before each promenade starts.

Teapot Racing – Saturday 24th 3.30 – 5.30pm. Deliver your racing teapot to the pits outside Dixon Street Deli from 3pm.

Tea duelling – Sunday 25th, 3.30 – 4pm on the Cuba Mall small stage.

Teapot Racing at CubaDupa – register now

CubaDupa is coming again and Capital! Steampunk will be there in splendidness, parading, tea duelling and – most important – racing teapots.

The festival dates are 24-25 March – check the CubaDupa site for the full programme.  The teapot racing is currently scheduled for 3.30pm on Saturday 24th (we’ll let all the registered teapot owners know if that changes, but it should be pretty firm).  As with last year, the venue is expected to be Dixon Street, outside the Dixon St. Deli.

If you’ve raced a teapot before, you know how it all works.  Fill in the registration form with details of you and your teapot and we’ll confirm time and place nearer the day.  We plan to give you a race number before the day so you’ll know roughly when you’ll be performing, but we’d like all teapots at the course by 3.15 on the day so they can be on display in our pits area.

If you haven’t raced before – how about making this the year that all changes?  The rules are simple (and very flexible, if the judges are suitably bribed).  The only rule that really matters is about the size of the racing teapot, so you can be confident it will fit through the obstacles.  We can also offer some construction tips if you need them.

Along with ‘normal’ teapot racing through the obstacle course, we’ll try to fit in some Teapot Sheepdog Trials.  A new feature this year will be the availability of a couple of ‘have a go’ racing teapots.  They’re basic, but they’ll get round the course without too much trouble and give you an idea of what can be achieved with a simple, relatively cheap base vehicle and a minimal amount of decoration.  We’ll set aside some time during the racing for a (limited) number of people to try out our splendid sport.

Contact us if you have any questions.  And may the best teapot win.

Racing teapot


Pre-CubaDupa excitements – part 2

There’s not much that can keep a steampunk away from an op shop, so here’s your chance for a fix.

On Friday 24 March (the day before CubaDupa) we’re exploring what Petone has to offer (hint: quite a lot).  To allow our out-of-town visitors time to get off their planes and maybe even find some coffee, the tour will start at 1pm at the Te Omanga Hospice Shop at 41 Fitzherbert Street.  After that, it’s up to you.  All the shops below are within about a 20 minute stroll – we’ve put a couple of food/coffee possibilities in there, but Petone has no shortage of cafes.

Offers of and requests for rides to/from Petone are welcome.  Let us know if you need or can offer one.

Te Omanga Hospice Shop
41 Fitzherbert Street
Open until 4:00 PM

Hills Hats
30 Fitzherbert Street

Ontrays (gourmet food ingredients)
38 Fitzherbert Street

Village Beads (heaps of jewellery supplies)
129 Jackson Street

My French Larder (lovely savoury pancakes and very steampunk-friendly)
190 Jackson Street – there’s also a good second-hand shop a couple of doors back towards Wellington

Particles of Time (vintage clothing)
3/44 Nelson Street (off Jackson Street)

SPCA Op Shop
211 Jackson Street
Open until 4:30 PM

Red Cross Shop
239 Jackson Street
Open until 5:00 PM

Salvation Army Family Store
288 Jackson Street
Open until 5:00 PM

The Sewing Depot
47A Buick Street

St Vincent De Paul Op Shop
318 Jackson Street
Open until 4:20 PM

A couple of notes:

  • Hills Hats now has a retail shop attached to the factory, and that’s what we’re visiting.  This is NOT a factory tour, so please don’t try to head off behind the scenes
  • Keep an eye on the time (and your ride, if applicable).  We’ll need to be back in Welly by 5.30 for the open evening at Clockwork, and some of us will need to see about dinner before heading to The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Gryphon Theatre in Ghuznee Street
  • We haven’t organised a dinner for Friday night.  Wellington has a huge variety of cafes, restaurants and bars to suit every taste and dietary requirement.  However, it’s likely you’ll find a steampunk or two enjoying cocktails at the Hawthorn Lounge, upstairs at 82 Tory Street.

CubaDupa activity programme

CubaDupaWe can now confirm the timings for what we’re doing at CubaDupa 2017.

Our main festival event will be Splendid Teapot Racing, and thanks to our Steampunk Taranaki friends who are bringing some of their obstacles down to combine with ours, we’ll have the biggest obstacle course ever.  Yes, Teapot Sheepdog Trials are also planned.

We’ll be setting up the course in Dixon Street (outside the Dixon Street Deli) from 12.15 on Saturday 25 March.  Bring your teapot along any time between 12.15 and 1.15 and set it up in our pits area (you have registered your teapot, haven’t you?).  It will be well-guarded while you then head up to Marion Street for the beginning of our steampunk parade.  Assemble on the intersection of Marion and Ghuznee Streets, and well head off at about 1.40.  The route will be Marion Street > Ghuznee Street > Cuba Mall > Dixon Street, and we encourage you to bring along anything noisy – drums, bells, kazoos, you name it.  We want people to know we’re coming!  The teapot racing will start when we arrive, about 2pm, and will continue until 4pm.  After which, perhaps a drink?

On Sunday 26 March we have a session of tea duelling booked on the small stage in Cuba Mall (the same place as last year, for those who were here then).  The duelling will commence at 1pm, and we welcome moral support from our steampunk friends – rounding up new victims duellists for us will be much appreciated.

When we’re not engaged in the above activities, we’re looking forward to taking in more of CubaDupa itself.  Promenading will be very much the thing; be prepared for lots of photo opportunities with our adoring public.

Pre-CubaDupa excitements

Clockwork_logoOur friends at Clockwork Steampunk Emporium have organised a special treat for those who are in Wellington on Friday 24 March, the day before CubaDupa.

The shop will be open late, with drinks and nibbles from 5.30 until 8pm and lots of specials to round out your CubaDupa wardrobe.

Clockwork is in the Old Bank Arcade on the corner of Lambton Quay, Hunter Street and Customhouse Quay.  Enter up the steps from Hunter Street or, if you come in through the (step-free) Lambton Quay entrance, turn left just past Starbucks.  Options will be available for those who fancy dinner and/or a cocktail afterwards.