Now it has been propelled into the limelight by Lincoln council moving it to the August bank holiday and making it an official event, the Lincoln Steampunk Festival, Weekend at the Asylum, the biggest Steampunk festival in Europe, has caught the attention of not only the steam-curious and passers-by, but also the local media. Repeatedly. This year, as last, reporters were on hand to document every little happening.

And happenings there indeed were. For three lucky (or not so, if one were a private individual as I am) women, they came back from their weekends as brides-to-be.

And whilst the three couples bask in the photos—and two feature in Lincoln's own paper—the popularity and pole-position in the alternative events section of the Lincolnite suggests that events like these are one-off, miraculous events that happened to occur under the rose-tinted goggles of the Steampunk Asylum event.

As one organiser pointed out on the Asylum Facebook page, post article, these three proposals are not the only, or even the first, to have happened at the Asylum.

As I dare to add, these other events are swept under the rug compared to this year's three. Why? Because they happened when the Lincoln counsel was not involved with the Asylum. I'm sure such a furore would've been made if a friend of mine, who got engaged publically at the 2014 Asylum--that's the one the year before the council took over—had decided to go ahead with her wedding at the Asylum.

Phew, it’s bad enough for the women who have nothing to do with Steampunk.

I got engaged at the Asylum this year. But not in public. Because that's scary and inappropriate for such a private event (I hasten to add that public proposals are a matter of opinion, and I happen to be acquainted with two of the men now engaged and wreck no judgement on them for doing so).

Except that I didn't. I came to the Asylum on the Thursday morning with a ring in my suitcase and still a little bitter towards my gentleman from a spat we'd had the previous day. I knew he was going to propose. Because he'd already tried to, twice. It's a long and complicated story of an OCD guy and a depressed girl both simultaneously trying to engineer an official proposal to a life together they'd already decided. And—as what is to inevitably happen when a planner like me meets and decides to wed a more lazy guy like him—nothing went right.

But that's irrelevant.

I was already engaged when I was proposed to. But, then again, you could argue that I was already engaged the moment I realised he was serious about staying with me. (And I can tell you exactly when that was: about eight months earlier, watching the episode of Once Upon a Time when Emma gets proposed to with a ring on the side of her dessert. He asked, and then promptly forgot, "Do I have to do something like that?" To which I replied, "Please don't.")

If you perform a public proposal, it's bound to get commented on in the media, particularly in such an event that's now backed by council events. However, as special as the Lincoln Asylum is in bringing people together, one must also remember that it's the people, not the event, that make these things happen. Some people are not into showing their love and making such a big decision about commitment under the prying eyes of the general public and friends that maybe they're not ready to tell. Because the Lincolnite suddenly made them a Topic of Interest, it by implication, has made other people less important, and other events, be they proposals or just general happenings of life, such as birthday or meeting one’s idols, less of a significance. But they’re not. Just because we don’t shout things from the rooftop—or from a stage with a microphone—doesn’t mean that we say them any less.

And the Asylum is not the miraculous place where dreams go to exist like the paper makes it. It’s just a usual, albeit large, gathering of Steampunks who are here to exist and relax. To take a holiday, as the normal man would.

Technically, I got engaged at the Asylum, but I don't go and write an article on it, do I?

(Okay, I kind of do! ;) ) 

Photo credit: John Gill

Published by Alexandrina Brant