Museu Nacional Ferroviário, Portugal: Festival Vapor – a Steampunk Circus

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The 3rd edition of Festival Vapor took place between 16 and 18 September and attracted 5,166 visitors, spread over the three days, most of them national and foreign families. The festival is already a regional cultural event, to be held annually in September at the National Railway Museum. Targeting mainly families and young people, the project sought to create a celebration around the national railway heritage and the National Railway Museum.

The “steampunk atmosphere” matches perfectly with the National Railway Museum and its collection, which includes iconic pieces such as the first steam locomotives ever to circulate in Portugal, the Portuguese Royal Train and the Presidential Train – a world of iron and steel, of technological innovations from the Industrial Revolution to the dystopian, fantasy world of steampunk: “If there was a steampunk-themed festival in Portugal, it would have to be at the National Railway Museum!”

In 2022, the three days of the Festival offered diversity and quality and guaranteed entertainment for everyone. Between Crafts Fair and book stalls, a Victorian Carousel and minicamp rides, board games and model railways, everything happened. The food of the festivalgoers was guaranteed by regional products provided by the Associations and Collectivities of Entroncamento.

Festival Vapor: A Steampunk Circus is an unprecedented event in Portugal, but one that is already attracting huge crowds internationally. From the most purist tribes to casual fans, from eco-driven movements to the avant-garde, from alternative artistic productions to simple family entertainment, everyone had their place marked on this journey to the early days of the Industrial Revolution.

The setting couldn’t be more perfect: great machines, many from the age of steam technology, and fully preserved industrial buildings have already hosted three editions of Festival Vapor, with a diverse programme of music, theatre, performing arts, cinema, games, talks, workshops, exhibitions and parades, always inspired by the retro style in which modern technology advances from steam-powered machinery.

Dilma Miguel

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