Thames attempting to smash Steampunk world record

For the purpose of the record,

A gathering of steampunks in Thames this month could become the largest in the world.

Steampunk the Thames is vying for a Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of steampunks after Aussie rivals snatched the previously New Zealand-held title by eight people.

Coordinator Diane Connors says the November 9 event intends to "smash" the current record of 236.

"We know that when we do the festival parade in Thames, numbers for that have increased exponentially year on year.

"Last year we estimated there was about 1200 people in the parade, so we think we should be able to get 400 on the bridge [in November]."

In 2016, the Steampunk New Zealand Festival in Oamaru set the world record with 228 participants. They held the title until word came out this year that New South Wales, in Australia, had beaten it - although, it has not been written into the record book as of yet.

"We'd like it to be a decent beating of the record so that it's a lot harder for anyone to do something else for a while."

For the purpose of the record, "steampunk" fashion has been defined as a sub-genre of science fiction, which involves Victorian period dress paired with modern gadgets which are worn, not carried.

The record attempt will take place at the Historic Kopu Bridge, near Thames, and participants will be screened as they enter.

Diane says Thames' enthusiasm for steampunk made the goal a more achievable feat.

"I don't think we would even try this if we didn't already have a great interest in it.

"It's very much about creativity, expression, people making things, upcycling and recycling - and that really fits with our philosophy in Thames.

"We've got a beautiful heritage background, and we're still embracing all of our history, but it's making it more alive, and if we can help people have a bit of fun for the weekend, that's our main purpose."

There are strict rules and evidence required to be awarded the record from Guinness, and participates are asked to not bring items of weaponry.

​The record attempt is just one of the 35 events planned over the four-day festival kicking off in Thames on Thursday, November 7.

The attempt will begin from 3pm on November 9. Further details will be updated online as they come to hand at

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