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@ Los Angeles Convention Center
July 1st-4th, 2016
Register early & Save!

The Masquerade is a cosplay and performance competition, where contestants showcase their costumes, as well as perform a short skit or dance.

If you are interested in participating in the Masquerade, please check the rules and other information for more information. However, please note that the application period for the Masquerade is not open yet. Please check back for updates.

Due to popular demand, the Masquerade is a ticketed event and requires a ticket to attend in addition to a badge. For more information, please check out the Ticketing FAQ.


General Information & Requirements

  1. Each participant must have valid an Anime Expo badge.
  2. Each entry must submit the following prior to the June 11th deadline:
    • Audio  (Microphones will not be available onstage for contestants to use. More details can be found in Performance Rules & Guidelines)
    • Video Introduction (Details can be found in Performance Rules & Guidelines)
    • Photos
      • We require at least 2 photos per costume from any angle of any size and at any stage of construction. This does not count as your construction portfolio during your construction judging. These photos are simply to prove that the cosplay exists or that work on it has begun.
    • Completed General Release & Waiver Form(s) for each participant.
  3. Masquerade Department has three different entry lists:
    1. Primary Roster: Anyone who has shown interest and has provided information.
    2. Master Roster: Contestants who have turned in all of their necessary information and agreed to a costume judging time.
    3. ULTRA SUPER MASTER ROSTER! (USMR): Completed at-con by the Masquerade manager on the morning of Day 3 (July 4th). After the mandatory meeting, contestants on the USMR roster are then guaranteed a slot in the Masquerade.
  4. At least one representative from each group must attend a mandatory at-con meeting at c the morning of Day 3 (July 4th). Roll-call will be conducted at the beginning and end of the meeting. If there is not a representative from the group present, the group will not be eligible to compete. If there is a reason you cannot attend or will be late to the meeting, please contact the Masquerade Department as soon as possible.
  5. Each entry may only appear on stage one time. Each person may only participate in one entry.
  6. On stage rehearsals are not guaranteed. Please be prepared to adapt and perform without previous rehearsal time. If rehearsal time is granted please be on time or else you will forfeit your rehearsal time.
  7. Each entry is limited to a maximum of 10 cosplayers per group. Aids, escorts, and stage ninjas do not count towards the group maximum but should not outnumber the group entry. For special circumstances, please contact the Masquerade Office or email us at masquerade@anime-expo.org.
  8. All group leaders of each entry must check-in at the Cosplay Office in person on Day 1 (July 2) to schedule judging appointments. Contestants who have pre-registered will have preassigned judging appointments for costuming on Day 1. Upon check-in, contestants will receive additional updates, or, updated submissions of late paperwork and media files.. You may only check-in on the first day of the convention. Spots are reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis. We reserve the right to terminate entrees that check-in late. If you must check in on Day 2, please notify the masquerade department ahead of time.
  9. Limited At-Con/Late registration will be available at the Masquerade Office if space permits on Day 1. We reserve the right to refuse additional entrees.
  10. A total of 35 entries will be allowed to compete. In case of dropouts, the waiting list will be limited to 10 entries.
  11. Staff Volunteers of Anime Expo 2016 and employees of the SPJA are NOT eligible to compete in the masquerade. This does not include Attendee Volunteers.


Costume Rules & Guidelines

  1. Costumes must and can be from any anime, manga, comic, graphic novel or video game. (Cross-overs and mixed genres are also permissible)
  2. Costumes based on fan-art, custom creations, or a design that deviates greatly from the original source should personally check in with the Masquerade Office during prior to day zero to consider eligibility for the competition. These will be handled on a case by case basis. The Masquerade department reserves the right to deny eligibility.
  3. All costumes and props must be made by at least one member of the group to qualify for craftsmanship judging. Commercially acquired costume sets are still eligible for performance awards, but are not eligible for craftsmanship awards. Found, salvaged, or altered costumes and props are still be eligible for craftsmanship judging.
  4. All props must conform to  Anime Expo®’s Weapons Policy & Code of Conduct. Limited exceptions can be provided in extreme cases such as large mechas, multi-person costumes, or excessively large props.
  5. Costumes should be self-contained and self-sufficient. Connections to electrical sockets will not be available. Please secure your own escort if you have a bulky costumes that might require an aid to move or see. We will do our best to make sure every contestant appears on stage. If the costume is bulky, please be aware that we may not be able to get the contestant on the stage, but we may still let them perform. Please be prepared to walk up 4-6 stairs in the event that a lift or ramp is not available.
  6. Costumes that have previously won awards from a major convention (50,000 attendees or more) or costume contest are discouraged from entering. Please contact the masquerade Department at masquerade@anime-expo.org for inquiries.

Performance Rules & Guidelines

Masquerade participants can choose to enter a short performance (dance, skit, etc…) or simply do a walk-on to display a costume or costume(s). Please be aware that tech rehearsals will not be guaranteed. As such, please be sure to check through our technical requirements and guidelines to make sure that your audio and video files will play properly.

  • Adhere to the 2 minute time limit.
    • MC and video introductions will not count towards the performance time.
  • Audio: Any sound necessary to express your performance (i.e. music, pre-recorded dialogue, sound effects).
    • Must be comparable to a PG rating– no profanity or offensive language. Bleeps or other forms of censoring are acceptable.
    • Should not exceed 2 minutes.
    • Must be MP3 format.
    • Must have minimum 192 bitrate.
    • Try to avoid audio quality defects (audible distortion, overdriven levels, low sample-rate/bitrate).
  • Video:  An introductory video to explain or prepare the audience for your performance.
    • Must be between 5 ~ 30 seconds long.
    • Must be comparable to a PG rating.
    • Must be one of following accepted file formats: MP4, MKV, AVI, MOV, MPG, or M2TS. (MP4 is suggested)
    • Must have a resolution of at least 480p.
    • Can contain live-action footage, slides, anime, or still images with words to explain or prepare the audience to receive your performance.
    • If you cannot complete an introductory video prior to Anime Expo 2015, contestants must schedule a time on day one with our team of videographers to film a short introductory clip on either July 3rd or 4th during masquerade room hours.
  1. All Masquerade contestants must follow the guidance and instruction of all AX staff.
  2. All Masquerade contestants must comply with the Anime Expo Code of Conduct, LA City ordinances, and comply with a PG rating.
  3. Any presentations with stunts, extreme or shocking performances must be approved by the department manager and assistant manager before the event. Failure to do so may result in disqualification and /or expulsion.
  4. The use of flash powder, fireworks, lasers, electrical flashes or smoke machines are STRICTLY prohibited unless cleared by the department manager and assistant manager.
  5. Any debris left on stage must be quickly cleaned by stage hands in less than 10 seconds. Interaction with the MC, judges, or the audience is prohibited while on stage.

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