San Diego-Based “Musical Automatons” Set to Play Acoustically Renowned Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy NY
Fast Growing Festival “The Enchanted City” Aims to Fill Void From Cancellation of World’s Largest Steampunk Fair

Press Release [Editor’s Note: I can’t get the links to paste as provided.]

TROY, N.Y. (4/11/18) — San Diego-based musical performance act Steam Powered Giraffe will headline a fast growing steampunk festival in upstate New York that aims to fill the void left by the cancellation of world’s largest Steampunk fair.

“We’re sad to hear The Steampunk World’s Fair will not be happening this year in New Jersey,” said Sue Dunckel, creator of The Enchanted City annual steampunk street festival in Troy, N.Y. “But based on the interest we’ve had as result of that cancellation, we’re hoping to fill that void and satisfy the need for a spectacularly large steampunk event in the Northeast. And we’re ready for it, with one of the top steampunk acts in the country headlining our festival in one of the most amazing Victorian music halls in one of the most intact 19th century industrial downtowns in the U.S.”

Steam Powered Giraffe will play the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Saturday Sept. 15 at 7 p.m., doors open 6:30 p.m.

Steam Powered Giraffe is a musical project from San Diego, Calif. that blends steampunk-styled pantomime, vaudeville and barbershop harmonies. The act formed in 2008 by twin siblings David Michael Bennett and Isabella “Bunny” Bennett. Together, along with a cast and crew filled with music and theatrical backgrounds, the group takes on the guise of singing antique automatons, more than a century old, and the fictional robotics company that made them.

The quirky act combines comedic sketches, improvised android banter, and original music fused with billowing steam effects and robot pantomime. As with any antique mechanisms, sometimes the performing “robots” experience mechanical issues during shows that require live on-stage upkeep –  even a full system reboot — by human MC Steve Negrete and his blue matter engineers.

Steam Powered Giraffe’s unique songs have been described as “funky cabaret rock” and “heartwarming nostalgic melodies.”

“We’re thrilled that Steam Powered Giraffe is making one of their rare East Coast appearances on the stage of our historic music hall as headliners to The Enchanted City,” said Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Executive Director Jon Elbaum. “We think this act will draw many out-of-town visitors for the concert and festival which really showcase the creative vibe that is so much a part of Troy now. Troy is a fun cultural tourist destination.”


A National Historic Landmark, the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall opened its doors in 1875. Its legendary near perfect acoustics have earned the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall a reputation for being one of the world’s great concert halls. The Hall has hosted performances by legions of first class artists, from legends like Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Isaac Stern, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Vladimir Horowitz, to the best on today’s contemporary music scene, including Joshua Bell, Andrew Bird, Steve Martin, Lyle Lovett, John Prine, and many others.

Designed by architect George Post, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall is a pristine “Gilded Age” artifact from Americas 19th century industrial wealth.

The Hall was used as a setting for 1984 British film The Bostonians, based on the Henry James novel, starring  Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Reeve, Madeleine Potter and Jessica Tandy.

“Even if you’re lucky enough to have seen Steam Powered Giraffe in concert, you have never seen them in a Victorian space as magical as the legendary Troy Savings Bank Music Hall,” said Dunckel. “Experiencing this act in this musical hall in our perfectly preserved Victorian downtown will be the actualization of a dream. It does not get any better than this in steampunk.”


Reserved seating admission tickets to Steam Powered Giraffe cost $25

Tickets are available to music hall members today and will go on sale to the general public on Thursday, April 12, at 10 a.m.

Tickets are available via phone, (518) 273-0038, in person, or online at  (direct link: ).

Tickets are available at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Box Office, 30 Second Street, Troy, through Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

For Box Office Hours and special needs, see:

VIP concert tickets and festival packages (including the concert, tastings, brunch and a private inventors party) are available through The Enchanted City website at:


Saturday Sept. 15, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Celebrating its fifth year this Saturday Sept. 15, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., The Enchanted City is an urban street fair and spectacle of steampunk fashion, fantasy and fabrications that magically transforms the historic blocks of downtown Troy, N.Y. into a “cosplay” alternative reality where Victorian fancy meets modern technology. The free festival has drawn more than 8,000 participants in previous years and expects to top that number this year.

The free festival offers a family-friendly inspired day of music, magic, games, performance, food and fantasy. Special events include a fashion show, historic tours, street performers and peddlers, storytelling, dancing, puppet shows, magic acts and more.

Adults and children are encouraged to come dressed in steampunk-themed costumes or as fairies.

New additions this year include a Mad Steampunk Art Show Gala with absinthe tasting, on the eve of the festival. (Note: The festival is back in the streets of downtown Troy, after one year in Riverfront Park.)

“What sets The Enchanted City apart from all other steampunk festivals is our authentic 19th century urban setting: Troy, New York,” said Dunckel. “Like Brigadoon, an entire population of steampunk characters materialize once a year in our city streets and transform the place into living fantasy. It looks and feels like you’re in a movie, and in fact, several Hollywood productions have used these city blocks as a filming location and backdrop — including the 2002 remake of H.G. Wells The Time Machine, which is classic steampunk.”


An opening parade of Mad Machinery, showcases ingeniously devised “mechanical conveyances” (vehicles),  the finest of which transports the festival’s figurehead, “Queen Mab.”

The “Inventors Challenge” is the Queen’s Tourney of Mad Machinery that pits these wonderful machines against each other in races against time, space and gravity, starting at 11:30 a.m. Inventor contestants work on their machines all year long to be able to show them off during the festival.


(“Troy, N.Y. is Steampunk”)

Although definitions vary slightly, Steampunk is a genre of science fiction/fantasy that takes place in an alternative 1800s setting in which modern technology like robotics and air travel are powered by Victorian style and sensibilities. It is an alternative “futuristic past.”

The word steampunk was coined by novelist K. W. Jeter, author of “Morlock Night,” a 1979 spinoff to “The Time Machine,” by H.G. Wells.

Steampunk owes a lot of its aesthetic to “The Time Machine,” Dunckel said noting that the Victorian era scenes from the 2002 Hollywood movie “The Time Machine,” were filmed in downtown Troy, N.Y. under the direction of Simon Wells, great-grandson of the original author.

“This neighborhood where The Enchanted City takes place is literally the set for ‘The Time Machine,'” Dunckel said. “It doesn’t get much more steampunk than that. Troy, New York is steampunk.”

Dunckel notes that several major Hollywood movies have used downtown Troy as a filming location, including: “The Age of Innocence” ; “The Bostonians” ; and “Ironweed,” staring steampunk icon Tom Waits.


The Troy Local Development Corporation (LDC) has awarded a $5,000 grant to be listed as the festival’s top sponsor, with additional support from Pioneer Savings Bank and the YWCA of the Greater Capital Region. Troy Savings Bank Music Hall is a presenting partner sponsor.


For information about The Enchanted City, visit: or email:

Search for “The Enchanted City” on Facebook.

For embeddable videos featuring footage from previous festival years, see:

“Troy Is Steampunk,” by Troy Cultural Alliance:

AHA! | Steampunk by WMHT

For information about Steam Powered Giraffe, visit:

For information about the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and its legendary acoustics, visit:

For a scene from The Bostonians featuring the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, see:

Subscribe to my newsletter

Avoid those algorithms! Get news delivered to your inbox. You'll also receive a free short story when you subscribe!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.