An International Steampunk Ball

Who Was Our Client?

This event was a bit different and very special. We essentially had 3 clients! The main client was Bouvet– a Norwegian tech company specialising in digital creation and IT solutions. They had commissioned Norwegian Events company KITE Kommunikasjon to plan a business trip to England with almost 500 employees. 

Their destination- Oxford where their weekend long event would cover three college campuses and tons of activities for the whole team. KITE have worked with Bouvet for over 15 years and decided for something of this nature it made sense to liaise with other companies already based in the UK. 

This is where we join in! They approached logistics planner extraordinaire Lucy Claire Events who hosted the three day “English Adventure” including arranging transport for 480 delegates from 4 airports to 11 hotels and back, a BBQ party in one location, twenty five activities on one day, accommodation for the full weekend, a conference event in Oxford Town hall and not forgetting the main event of the weekend- the Edwardian Ball at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Stage One: The Brief

The Edwardian Ball was the pinnacle of the weekend adventure and KITE wanted it to be perfect. So they asked us to help them create a Steampunk/sci fi entertainment package that would suit their Edwardian ball style but also nod to the future given the tech nature business of Bouvet. 

They wanted a combination of walkabout and stage performances and a host to guide guests through the evening. Their budget would allow for continuous entertainment and they wanted the guests to see entertainment everywhere they looked. We love a steampunk themed event and couldn’t wait to get started! 

Stage Two: The Venue

Oxford University’s Museum of Natural History is a dream venue for events. It boasts a long heritage- building started in 1855 and the museum was founded in 1860. It is of gothic revival architecture. As well as being a beautiful, historically listed building it operates as a museum and a lecture venue for chemistry, zoology and mathematics students at Oxford University. Throughout its lifetime this venue has been host to some important scientific breakthroughs and discoveries, not to mention it holds thousands of incredible artefacts from the natural world, palaeontological collections plus many more. It’s completely understandable why this incredible building was chosen for the ball. With a giant Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, Meteorites from space, the oldest human remains found in the UK and a unique exhibition on the extinct Dodo bird this museum is packed with treasures from our Earth and would be a fascinating and very interesting location for Bouvet’s team. 
This also meant we had lots red tape and rules to follow. Generally in listed buildings we are very careful to suggest acts we know will be of minimal risk but for this one we had to be extra careful. With fragile exhibitions all around the performance space plus mingling guests it was vital we got this one right. 

Stage Three: Costumes & Performers

The client wanted a fully immersive event utilising the stunning grounds outside, then entering into a futuristic, steampunk dystopian ball with entertainment around every corner. 

Due to the ceiling having multiple skeletal structures of large sizes- whales and dinosaurs we couldn’t support aerial performance from the ceiling as there simply wasn’t space for them and the risk of damage to fragile structures was too high. Fire performance was also off the menu as it wasn’t even allowed outside so would be impossible inside. Instead we suggested an exciting mix of interactive character performers and a few to offer stage sets during the speeches. 

The budget allowed for 10 performers so we ensured we opted for as many multi skilled specialists as possible to ensure the maximum entertainment options for the event and allowing us to book high impact performances for the stage sets. 

During the event there were a number of speeches and announcements to be made and KITE wanted a host who could introduce these, welcome the accompanying stage acts and keep the event flowing smoothly, for the rest of the time they could mix and mingle amongst the guests. We booked our gothic steampunk host who also offers walkabout magic so he could get to know the guests between his stage appearances.
The other stage performers were chosen by KITE they asked for a Steampunk Contortionist that included hand balancing in their act, a steampunk snake charmer and a male acro duo dressed as victorian strong men. They were to offer a short stage performance during the evening then swap to walkabout performance afterwards giving the chance for guests to meet them, and especially in regards to the snake charmer- to meet the snake.
The remaining entertainment was ambient walkabout based, making use of the more open spaces for pop up style shows and roaming the enormous venue in character to pose for photos and meet and greet guests. We opted for a duo of steampunk stilt walkers with mechanical wings, who also offered LED pop up performances and another pair of stilt walkers with an Edwardian steampunk style. These performers doubled up and joined our final cast member to become a victorian organ grinder and his two runaway circus chimps-this seemed particularly appropriate given the museum hosting so many animal based exhibitions.  

Stage Four: International Planning

Our correspondent at KITE had a really strong vision for what he wanted the ball to be like and it was great to work so closely with an international events agency to make their project come to life. We took our time ensuring the balance of modern technology found in the LED equipment worked with the Edwardian steampunk elements bringing the old and new together. 

We often plan events where we send performers to other countries or hire performers in other countries to represent us but this was one of only a few occasions where the entire guest list was arriving internationally. Luckily thanks to Lucy Claire their transport had been taken care of and it was almost time for the weekend to start. 

Stage Five: Bring In The Guests

As the beautiful British summer evening was still warm and sunny guests had a drink reception on the lawn outside the museum. At 7pm our host opened the grand doors and announced they could now enter. As almost 500 guests walked into the foyer their ears were filled with the tuneful melody from our victorian organ grinder and were greeted by his cheeky chimps. 
The venue was perfect and as guests began to journey into the main hall they were surrounded by historical exhibits and live entertainment. Our tall and unmissable stilt walkers were guiding guests around and our host surprised groups with his sleight of hand magic. 
When it was time for the stage show he bounded up and welcomed the guests with a special poem like speech then introduced the entertainment. The DJ was also steampunk style using gramophones to play the music for the event. Guests were amazed as the contortionist and acrobat duo took to the stage showcasing their incredible skills and there were audible gasps as the snake charmer made her entrance through the crowd with her 5ft python wrapped around her. 
After the speeches and shows were over the guests continued to enjoy pop up shows and ambient entertainment late into the night with LED performers spinning incredible light patterns, the acrobats offering impromptu poses in the open spaces and meeting Dita and Lilith the beautiful snakes. The event was a huge success and we hope to work with KITE again should they ever plan another trip to the UK. 

“You really delivered over every expectation. Great people to work with!”


KITE Kommunikasjon, Creative Producer

Creating custom entertainment options is exactly what our team enjoy doing most. With our vast selection of costumes and our ability to custom make something to suit your specific needs means our performer’s acts can be tailored to suit any event theme.  

To enquire about entertainment for your own event please use our Contact page, or if you have your own ideas in mind and would like to discuss a custom package created just for you – feel free to drop us a message.