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What is TeslaCon?

TeslaCon is the only immersion-themed Steampunk convention in North America. The city of Madison, Wisconsin plays host every year to this event that has a long line of sister conventions preceding it. We may call TeslaCon a convention but, in fact, it is far more than that. To many people TeslaCon has become an experience - a true adventure into the world of neo-Victorian science fiction. With themes from the Wild Weird West and Diesel Punk to Dystopian futures where steam and contraptions inhabit the skies, TeslaCon fills a void where few conventions dare go. Immersion is the central idea behind the convention where we start with an old-fashioned traditional movie that includes credits to the crew who create the comfortable setting for all guests over the entire weekend. Panels and entertainment are handpicked to provide you with the feeling that you are actually in the 1880’s as a participant and not an observer. To add to the feeling of complete immersion we also run a full weekend mystery, complete with murders, espionage and, of course, the old bait and switch when it comes to who the villain truly is. From a formal Tea Room, complete with scones and period baked goods, to our Maker’s room, all aspects of the con are crafted and designed for maximum enjoyment.

How do you do a convention like this?

I wanted a convention that was unlike any other and, after attending close to 60 conventions over the years from New York to San Francisco, it was important that whatever I did stood out. I had run other conventions with FilmCon being the longest of them. For over 11 years we ran FilmCon – a media-based film/efx convention where industry artists would gather and show how films were made. From ILM to companies like Raven Software, Pixar and other Hollywood-based firms, their artists attended FilmCon and presented their craft to the members.

It was very different to sit in a room with the creator of Darth Maul while he looked at your portfolio. The fact is no one has ever done anything like it before and I wanted TeslaCon to be the same. I have nothing against the old model convention per se with dealers, panels, t-shirts and the like. But I wanted this convention to stand for something different and better within this new fandom. I wanted people to see that there was more out there than just the norm.

How much does it cost?

General Admission- $65

General Admission at the Door - $70 Starting Thursday Nov. 15th, 2018

All Grand Royale - $150 (40 available)

Balmoral- $300 (Only 10)

Victoria-$500 (Only 5)

Imperial-$1000 (Only 1)

TeslaCon has a very simple pricing system. Once you pay that’s it! You do not have to pay for extras. The ball is considered a general event so are all the main programs and panels. The only extra cost is the Tea Room and any special classes in the makers room that require supplies. Some private parties may charge but those are not directly affiliated with our convention.

*All parties and extra activities based at Teslacon, but not run directly by the convention, may have a donation fee or something to help offset costs. TeslaCon is not responsible for these activities or events.

I don’t have a lot of money but would still love to attend. How can I still participate?

We always need help. TeslaCon does not run on good intentions alone. The fact is we would be very helpless without volunteers. This year especially we will need many people helping out in various ways such as stamping passports and helping with small things around the convention. If you would be interested in helping us, and perhaps getting your entry fee reimbursed, please contact us. We will need more people on Friday and Saturday since they are the days most heavily attended. If you work 12 hours you can have your membership compted. However, you must work in the areas we need assistance in at the time. Please contact us here if you are interested: click here

How old do you have to be to attend TeslaCon?

TeslaCon is open to all ages from 5 to 95. Everyone is invited and the average age of a member is about 32 years old.

However, all attendees are asked to show proof of age when they register and, if you are under 13, you must have a parent or guardian attending the convention with you.

Because there will be parties and celebrations during the weekend we will enforce a strict 21 and over policy for all party goers. This is to ensure that everyone has a safe and fun time during the weekend.

What kind of atmosphere should I expect?

TeslaCon was started specifically to get away from the commercial feel and the huge con attitude. We wanted to provide a weekend-long refuge for Steam fans and alike who want to immerse themselves in a world of cogs, dreams and adventure.

Based on our history expect most participants to be cordial, soft spoken and very polite. Men hold doors open for women, everyone says “Please” and “Thank you.” When you have something to say, everyone takes the time to listen.

At least 98% of attendees come in period dress of some kind or another depending on their particular fandom. You will find the staff very courteous and helpful and, by just asking somebody a question, you will see that social graces are back in style.

There will be more adult programming at night but well over 95% of panels are for all ages. Think of being on a cruise ship where there are plenty of activities to do and a staff that is there to make your journey as pleasant and memorable as possible.

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