GEAR Con 2015: "Secrets & Lies"

Pre-register for July 3-5, 2015 when GEAR Con explores the sinister side of steampunk!

Register Now For 2015

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Fine Art Salon Application | Online Hotel Discount | Email the Con Director

GEAR Con 2015 will take place next July 3-5 at DoubleTree by Hilton Portland with opening day events at offsite locations around Portland, OR. Passes may be purchased below; to reserve your hotel room at a discount, follow this link or call the DoubleTree at 503-281-6111 and ask for the GEAR Con 2015 group rate.

GEAR Con’s 2015 theme is “Secrets & Lies”, exploring Victorian esotericism, secret society skullduggery, and paranormal steampunk; our musical headliner is the delightfully dastardly Aurelio Voltaire! If you’d like to present workshops or other programming, pitch us your ideas using this handy web form. Marketplace applications have closed, but artists working in 2D, 3D, functional, and wearable media should apply to our Fine Art Salon here. All other inquiries: as always, please email me directly. -S.

Use discount code “advancereg” for $45 weekend registration!

Ticket Type Ticket Price Quantity Total Price
Weekend Pass USD 50 USD 50.00

GEAR Con is using the Tickera registration & ticketing system in 2015. The purchaser will use their Tickera ticket (what you download after paying the above widget) to claim badges for their entire party upon arrival at GEAR Con. If members of your party are absent, you may receive and allocate those badges yourself or leave them for your friends to claim at will call.

Team GEAR Con extends our gratitude to these partners and supporters:

Academia Duellatoria | Catalyst Gallery | Columbia River Brewing Co. | Geahk Burchill Designs | Guardian Games

Sock DreamsTaken by the Sky Costumes & Corsets | Wells & Verne NeoVictorian Shoppe


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Aurelio Voltaire

Aurelio Voltaire is often described as a modern day renaissance man. He is a singer/performer, creator of comic books, animation and toys.

An internationally touring musician, he is at the forefront of the Gothic, Steampunk and Dark Cabaret genres headlining some of the biggest horror, sci-fi and comic book conventions as well as Gothic and Steampunk festivals for nearly two decades. His music can best be described as a collection of murder ballads, tongue-in-cheek exercises in the macabre, with just enough bawdy songs about Star Trek and Star Wars to keep a convention audience rolling in the aisles. Many know him for his songs “Brains!” and “Land of the Dead” from the Cartoon Network show “The Grim Adventures of Billy And Mandy”.

Voltaire’s live shows, whether solo or with his skeletal orchestra, are full of stories and games. Many describe his shows as sitting around a fire while an old friend regales you with tales, presuming that old friend drinks a liter of rum a night, dates zombie prostitutes and wrestles Krakens.

Voltaire has been recording and touring for over 15 years.  He’s released 11 full length CDs.

The Nathaniel Johnstone Band

The Nathaniel Johnstone Band hails from Seattle, WA, lead by multi-instrumentalist Nathaniel Johnstone. Their vibrant sound crosses boundaries and borders, resulting in a blend of European, Middle Eastern, and South American music with Jazz, Rock, Surf, Folk, Gothic, and Steampunk influences.

Nathaniel Johnstone loves music of all shapes and sizes. He is perpetually tinkering with tunes on a multitude of instruments: guitar, violin, viola, mandolin, and banjo. Surrounding himself with an ever-changing roster of like-minded souls, he creates music for his many friends in the dancing world. Every song in the band’s repertoire was inspired by and created with a particular dancer/troupe in mind. From 2006-2011, Johnstone recorded and toured with the steampunk band Abney Park, but has moved on to focusing on his solo work and other projects. He has also sat in with a number of other ensembles: The Ghosts Project, Jill Tracy’s Malcontent Orchestra, Ego Likeness, The Last Dance, Hellblinki, and others. To hear more of his work, check out his website at


Faeraballa is a Salem, Oregon based Dark Cabaret/Jazz ensemble founded in 2010 that takes musical influence from free form jazz and blues of the WWII era as well as modern gothic, steampunk, and dark cabaret music. Comprised of Dana McCarty and Julie McGowan on vocals and harmonies, Mac McGowan on horns, Tom Shipley on upright bass, and Andrew Teem on drums, and performing primarily original music, Faerabella’s songs are about mystery, sinister characters, crime, vices and romance… or romances gone sour.
Faerabella regularly appears in the event and festival circuit between Portland and Eugene, and is currently working on recording their latest album. Visit or check out their facebook page for regular updates!


Hailing from the hedge and loam of Seattle’s undergrowth, this chimerical songbird aims to weave historical and waxhysterical in the old-new traditions of mountain men, shantymen, and her fellow men as she tromps and twirls acro’st both ancient myth and accidental malady. This little troubadour delights in bringing life to the voices of the past, so come and share a pomegranate seed or two!

Cascadian Airship

Formed like clouds in the sky converging into one, Cascadian Airship’s formation was just a matter of time before enough key elements were present to make the group known to all.

Founded in 2014 by lead singer, songwriter, guitarist, mandolinist, & percussionist Everett Bone with a mission to bring something fun and lively, vintage and yet at the same time new to ears and eyes of the world as well as his own. Bone was soon joined by Fulton Gale on vocals, mandolin and guitar and songwriting duties and Katie Kat Lubiens providing charismatic energy and lush melodies with her skills on the violin. Joining the crew in the late winter of 2015, was the much needed bottom end of Grace Warren on bass clarinet and B-flat clarinet rounding out the group. At times one may catch the band performing with others adding texture and blending in deliciously.

The Cascadian Airship sound is influenced from their travels around the world and beyond, in both mind and the physical. Inspired by folk music from eastern Europe, the middle east, Mediterranean and Ireland, as well as jazz and modern sounds, they form and mold all of these influences into their own catchy tunes and add a unique spin to familiar songs as well.


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All Weekend
The Salon of the Arts

GEAR Con’s fine art gallery is also a salon of the humanities. Enjoy (and acquire!) the exquisite works on display, and linger for the occasional author reading, musical recital, model-drawing session, or other enriching “happening”.

The Great Game

In keeping with our theme, this year there is no escaping the machinations of sinister secret societies overtaking GEAR Con! Discover which of three cutthroat factions has targeted you for membership and join your new brethren in competing to solve mysteries, riddles, and other challenges.

Victorian Martial Arts Symposium III

Academia Duellatoria and GEAR Con present Portland’s third annual Victorian combatives intensive. Guest instructors from near & far join the Duellatoria crew for classes in bartitsu, pugilism, sword & stick, suffragists’ self-defense, steampunk fantasy combat, and more. Attend this event-within-the-event with your GEAR Con pass.

Friday 7/3
The GEAR Con 2015 “Initiatory Pageant”

Friday night’s opening ceremony segues into our first music & variety showcase. Gather in our inner sanctum for induction into The Mysteries under the enlightened tutelage of the Nathaniel Johnstone Band, plus cohorts TBA.

Offsite Events Throughout Portland

The morning and afternoon of our opening day, come pick up your badge at the DoubleTree and then make the rounds of special events all over town! Drop in at open-houses, performances, workshops, and other activities at Wells & Verne Neo-Victorian Shoppe, Guardian Games, Wolf + Rabbit Emporium, and other GEAR Con-friendly and steampunk-relevant locales.

Saturday 7/4
The Power Station

Our resident mad scientist, Dr. Professor Anderson, educates and delights with the assistance of his 500,000 volt Tesla coil, Wimshurst machine, Van de Graaf generator, Jacobs ladder, and Edison only knows what other early high-voltage devices.

The Crafters’ Lab

Steampunk creativity draws technique and inspiration from across the spectrum of artistry, craftsmanship, and the maker culture. Drop into the Crafters’ Lab for workshops and projects from leatherworking to mixed media, illustration to electroplating. Includes our annual Steampunk Scrapheap Challenge blind-bag artwork competition!

The Cabaret of Curiosities

The climax of our event is Saturday night’s concert and ball with headliner Aurelio Voltaire, local dark cabaret favorites Faerabella, and myriad musicians representing the thematic breadth of steampunk music.

Sunday 7/5
The Crafters’ Lab

Steampunk creativity draws technique and inspiration from across the spectrum of artistry, craftsmanship, and the maker culture. Drop into the Crafters’ Lab for workshops and projects from leatherworking to mixed media, illustration to electroplating. Includes our annual Steampunk Scrapheap Challenge blind-bag artwork competition!

Vanity’s Vaudeville Vixens

By popular demand, GEAR Con presents the return of our Sunday night burlesque revue featuring Vanity Thorn’s hand-picked bevy of talented beauties. Attend on your GEAR Con pass, or come just for the Vixens and pay at the door.


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GEAR Con 2015’s venue is

1000 NE Multnomah Street
Portland, OR
(503) 281-6111

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Discounted Stay

The DoubleTree is extending a generous discount to GEAR Con attendees & guests. Please click here to reserve lodging at our special rate.