WHAT: Brisbane Alternative Expo
WHERE: RNA Showgrounds
WHEN: 20 June 2014
I don’t remember how the Brisbane Alternative Expo happened to pop up on my Facebook feed a few months ago, but I immediately put it on my list of not to miss Brisbane events for June.
A quick trawl through the list of exhibitors on their website confirmed this decision. From rockabilly to steampunk through to full-blown cosplay, the expo was a counter-culture smorgasboard. I was sold.
There’s something about the dedication and passion that goes into every piece of the art, every accessory and every costume that fascinates me. What can I say… I guess I never really got past playing dress-ups!
So I rounded up the fam and off we went. The first thing we saw was that sacred icon of any 80’s childhood… the deLorean from Back to the Future.
We spent the next 3 hours happily engrossed in the Bazaar, talking to stallholders and pointing out cool stuff to each other. We also watched the cosplay competition which was amazing – I don’t know how they picked a winner as here were so many stand-out costumes.
For those who’ve never been to an event live this here are my Brisbane Alternative Expo Hacks for first-timers
Tip #1 – Talk to anyone!
Wanna know what someones costume is made of? Ask them! Think someones amazingly detailed costume looks awesome? Tell them!
The cosplayers we met were seriously the nicest, friendliest bunch of people you could hope to meet. They were happy to chat, pose for photos and answer all the questions my curious 6 year old could ask.
Tip #2 – Be prepared to want ALL the things
If you, like me, are obsessed with beautifully crafted, slightly usual and absolutely unique pieces then be prepared to tempted at every turn. From custom corsets to intricate steam-punk sculptures, many of the items are hand-crafted with each individual piece representing up to a fulls days work for the artist.
Tip #3. Well… maybe not all the things. Be open-minded.
Tip #4. Take the family
If your kids are into marvel comics, superheroes, Hello Kitty, Adventure Time, Yu Gi Oh, Star Wars… basically any cartoon or comic from the the last 50 years it will be represented here. There were kids everywhere having just as much fun as the adults – maybe that’s what makes the whole scene so cool?
Tip #5 – Steampunk is AWESOME.
I’ve known vaguely about steampunk for a while but it’s not until you acutally SEE a steampunk outfit close up that you realise the incredible amount of details that goes into making it both authentic and original. Plus they have the coolest accessories – aviator goggles, and makeshift weapons combined with razor-sharp 19th Century tailoring. Wicked.
The event was a raving success – so much so that they are planning a second expo on 20th December. This time around they’ll be moving to a bigger venue at the Royal International Convention Centre at the RNA SHowgrounds.
That means more exhibitors which can only be a good thing as far as I’m concerned! They are also adding an adults only AFTER DARK party from 4pm onwards. Featuring local bands and a bar this sounds like it has the makings of a ghoulish good time indeed!
Finally here is a list of the top 3 exhibitors I want to see more of at the December expo…
- Wolf Leather Craft
- Blackbird Emporium