MINEHEAD is set to be whisked into a world of Victorian science fiction and fantasy as it will host its first ever Steampunk Festival over the early May Bank Holiday.

According to organiser David Smith, Steampunk is a growing genre inspired by the works of HG Wells, Jules Verne and Arthur Conan Doyle with retro influence of magic, time travel, aliens, airships and submarines, dinosaurs and exploration.

The event is being financed by the Minehead BID initiative, and it is hoped it will become an annual event in the town.

Mr Smith said: “Our plans for Minehead in year one include live daytime entertainment on the streets, in Blenheim Gardens, and on the forecourt of the Old Hospital, all of it free, and some specialist traders in a steampunk market in the Old Hospital.

“It is very welcoming and inclusive, and it is easy to get dressed up and join in.”

Acts and performers coming to Minehead for the inaugural event include Ichabod Steam and his Animatronic Backing Band in the steam-powered submarine, multi-talented juggler, escapologist, magician, and unicyclist Greg Chapman with his Tricycle Stage, steampunk rock balladeers Kiss Like Ether, top French Steampunk band Victor Sierra, Doctor Gray and His Orchestra of One, and mysterious band The Wattingers.

Tickets for the Saturday and Sunday night shows are available from The Regal Theatre.

Graham Sizer of Minehead BID said: “ Steampunk seemed to tick many boxes for Minehead. Our link to historical engineering at the railway, the availability of the Regal for two of their performances and the masses of space that has been offered in The Old Hospital by Minehead Connect for their stalls, will make it a great town centre event.

“It is something different for Minehead but we’re looking forward to giving it a go.”