We’re excited to announce the return of the Freaky Mutant Weirdo Variety Show! This year’s show, now christened “The Steampunk Variant, is back in an expanded, outdoor form, after a two-year hiatus imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The family-friendly geek culture festival, hosted and organized by A Halo Called Fred, will also feature lablemates Trio of Madness plus special guests Frenchy and the Punk and This Way to the Egress. The entertainment lineup also includes The Munchausen Society and the Karnevil sideshow, billed as “New Jersey’s premiere carnival sideshow experience.” Attendees can also look forward to cosplay, artisan vendors, educational presentations, and the unique steampunk competition known as teapot racing.

Steampunk? What’s That?
Steampunk originated as a science fiction subgenre, where the stories are set largely in the 19th century. It has since spawned a geeky subculture with events, cosplay, music, art, gaming, and lots more. Think of it as a whimsical mashup of old-time style and contemporary sensibilities. “Steampunk is…the love child of Hot Topic and a BBC costume drama.”

Freaky Mutant Weirdo Variety Show: The Steampunk Variant
Saturday, June 4, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Vasa Park (under the pavilion), 1 Vasa Drive, Hackettstown, NJ
Tickets: $25 (Adults), $15 (Kids 14-18). Free admission for kids under 14.
Tickets are available from the festival website: freakymutantweirdo.com

The Bands (check out the Freaky Mutant Weirdo Variety Show Spotify playlist!)

A Halo Called Fred describes itself as “the greatest guitar, bass, violin, and Tupperware band in the history of all time and space.” Their 2020 release Go Home Drama You’re Drunk and Other Tales of Going through Hell to Escape the Evil Monkeys was named by New Jersey Stage music columnist Bob Makin as that year’s best independent album from a band in the Garden State.

Frenchy and the Punk consists of singer/percussionist Samantha Stephenson (“Frenchy”) and guitar maestro Scott Helland (“The Punk”). They describe their sound as follows: “Imagine Siouxsie Sioux and Dee Dee Ramone had a duo that was inspired by Django Reinhardt, Edith Piaf, Toulouse Lautrec and Deepak Chopra.” Their seventh album, Zen Ghost, is slated for release this summer. 

This Way to the Egress, an “art-punk” band from Bethlehem, Pa., describes their music as “equal parts unruly vaudeville, ebullient world-beat, and three-ring circus.”

Trio of Madness has been enlightening, sometimes confusing the minds of music lovers everywhere with their strange blend of psychedelic/surf/progressive/space rock.