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Enthusiasts and organisers alike are feeling deflated the annual Steampunk Festival will not be going ahead this Queen’s Birthday Weekend, due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Festival founder Helen Jansen said a lot of work had gone into planning this year’s festival, with two-thirds of the tickets sold and having to be refunded. This would have been the festival’s 11th year running.

“It would seem there has been terrific interference with the temporal displacement mechanisms for those arriving for the 2020 Steampunk NZ Festival here in Oamaru this weekend,” Ms Jansen said.

“This is hugely distressing for all concerned, as a great deal of preparation in the present space/time frame had been put in to create a very successful event. This does mean that everything will be ready as planned when the current passengers arrive on June 3, 2021.”

Ms Jansen said the steampunk community in both New Zealand and overseas was disappointed with the cancellation, and all of Oamaru would be affected.

“The town will seem very quiet and less colourful. The festival has a very positive economic impact which will be sorely missed by the retail and hospitality industry this year. We are very much looking forward to a new normal next year.”

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for steampunkers this year though, with the popular Trustpower Oamaru Fire and Steam event still in the pipeline, as soon as alert Level 1 was announced, she said.