Goth is alive..or undead…in New Jersey thanks to promoter Jet of Vampire Freaks! He’s been bringing the huge, creative and awesome Dark Side of the Con event to us recently and the next one is coming up in March 29th-31st in Parsippany, NJ. These are such elaborate, fun fests with cosplayers, bands, artists, guest speakers, authors, performers and more so I’ve invited Jet to be my latest guest blogger so he can tell us how he’s been inspired to create these events, what you can expect & how you can attend….take it away Jet….
Greetings, my name is Jet and I’m happy to be doing a guest blog for the lovely Steampunk Landing(Lauren’s Steampunk Facebook Group) & Lauren Curtis Art Blog!
A little about me: I’m the owner of vampirefreaks.com , which is the #1 gothic themed website in the world, which is a social networking site that also has an online clothing store. I’m also a professional website programmer and have over 15 years of experience promoting events.
I’m here to tell you about, Dark Side of the Con which is the largest gothic / dark-alternative event in North America, and the only convention of its kind, taking place on March 29th-31st in Parsippany, NJ.
This year is our 3rd year doing this event, and it has grown in leaps and bounds each year. Focusing on gothic, industrial, metal and rock genres, Dark Side of the Con is broken up into a few different parts.
Live Bands: We have over 20 live bands, our headliners are ‘Stabbing Westward’, ‘Aesthetic Perfection’, and ‘Assemblage 23’. ‘Stabbing Westward’ actually holds a special place in my heart because I was a huge fan of them as a teenager, and I’d listen to their albums over and over again. I’ve had the pleasure of booking them a couple times in the past few years and these guys are the most friendly and down to earth rockstars I’ve ever met. And believe me, I’ve met tons of bands over the years, lets just say there’s some big egos going around the music scene and it’s not always the most pleasant experience. So when I work with somebody as huge as ‘Stabbing Westward’, who’s been all over the radio and MTV and had huge commercial success, when they’re so humble and friendly it just blows my mind and makes me have that much more respect for them.
One other awesome thing about booking bands for ‘Dark Side of the Con’, is since the event has been such a success so far, we get flooded with applications looking to perform! So it can be hard narrowing it down to band we accept, but it’s very exciting for us.
Our special guest this year is Youtube sensation ‘Black Friday’, who has over 600,000 followers will be hosting a meet & greet as well as teaching us how to be a successful youtube star. She is currently living in New Zealand and she’ll be coming to the US just for our event.
Burlesque: Possibly our most popular event is our burlesque show each night, because lets face it, people love boobs. We have a variety of burlesque acts each night from professional burlesque dancers, and they really do impress us every year!
DJ Club events: We have 2 different club events each night featuring our rockstar djs so that you can pick from different types of music. This year our club music genres include ‘industrial’, ‘goth’, ’emo’, ’90s’, ‘alternative’, ‘synthpop’, ‘new wave’, as well as some surprises thrown in!
Panels / Presentations / Activities : We have over 50 various panels / activities ranging in a variety of dark-themed topics, from gothic fashion and horror to oddities and witchcraft. This year we’ve added some more kid-friendly activities such as ‘paint a ceramic skull’ and ‘Halloween coloring books’. In addition this year we will have some live bats on display.
Vendors: We have carefully selected over 70 independent vendors who have all kinds of unique wares! Including cosmetics, clothing, accessories, taxidermy and more.
I could go on about how fun this event is but really it’s something you have to experience with your own eyes! We have some videos for you to check out tho:
Some of you may remember the Gothic sub-cultural movement of the 80’s….to me it was a heyday for music, fashion, art, literature and more…with roots stretching as far back as Victorian England, to 70’s punk & a romantic way to rebel against the mainstream, Goth became a major genre & continues on today…it waned for a while but has been making a huge comeback & Steampunk Conventionguru, Jeff Mach has joined forces with Gothic networking powerhouse VampireFreaks to create a brand new event….
Dark Side of the Conasks the simplest question: Why aren’t there any weekend-long Goth/Dark Alternative events in the US anymore?
Answer: Dark Side of the Con…an Underground Event for meeting alternative-minded people; A Three Day Gothic, Dark Alternative Festival and Convention in New Jersey!
Jeff Mach says: I’ve had the good fortune to run into Jet from VampireFreaks a few times as I’ve run around doing The Steampunk World’s Fair and Glimmerdarkand Wicked Faire and our other events. He’s such a great guy, and his team is pretty marvelous to work with. And VampireFreaks has helped us put together such an incredible weekend.
I mean, we’ve got Voltaire, we’ve got Xentrifgue, The Amatory Murder, Nigel from Platform One, and a whole slew of panels. We’ve a hundred vendors, and marvelous drink specials. And, of course, we’ve got dance parties to suit every taste, running until the wee hours.
We’re working with our favorite hotel, the Radisson of Piscataway. I look forward to seeing everyone there!
Here’s a bit more info from the event site:
St Patrick’s Weekend – for 3 Days we take over the beautiful Radisson Hotel in Piscataway, NJ and provide you with an escape to socialize, make new friends and create new experiences.
To show our support for independent businesses and alternative culture, we will have a wide variety of unique and unusual vendors, catering to all your dark needs.