Costume Contests
Rules & FAQ

GALAXYCON RICHMOND RUNWAY COSTUME CONTEST
FRIDAY MARCH 15, 2024

GalaxyCon’s Runway Costume Contest is a fun, lighthearted catwalk-style event for cosplayers of all ages and skill levels to showcase their costumes!

Pre-registration is required. Contestants can sign up in advance online or in person during the convention at the Cosplay Information Booth (located in the Cosplay Lounge). There is no prejudging for this contest. Contestants can compete in store-bought or homemade costumes as there is no craftsmanship requirement.

PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED AS FOLLOWS:
 ● Best in Show: $100 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
 ● Best Individual: $50 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
 ● Best Group: $50 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
 ● Best Junior / Youth: $25 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
 ● Judges’ Awards (3): Custom Medals

COMPETITION RULES:
 ● This contest is open to all attendees of GalaxyCon with an event badge or bracelet.
 ● One entry per person or group.
 ● No separate entries from the same person.
 ● There is a limit of 50 entries. 25 entries will be accepted online. The rest will be held for in-person registration at the convention.
 ● Individual entries are limited to one person. Group entries can include 2-10 people.
 ● All contestants must fill out the entry form.
 ● All costumes must come from an established cartoon, comic book, anime, video game, tabletop game, television show, manga, novel, movie, etc.
 ● All costumes must be PG-13 or less. Nudity and risqué costumes are not allowed.
 ● Bad behavior of any kind is not allowed. This includes but is not limited to: trash talking, sabotage, poor sportsmanship, and bullying (in person or online). Improper behavior will get you removed from the competition and possibly the convention.
 ● No harmful or potentially harmful materials are allowed. This includes but is not limited to: water, cigarettes, flames, fireworks or sparklers, smoke, silly string, confetti, and any other substance that can be fired, launched, or dropped.
 ● All props and costumes used in the competition must adhere to GalaxyCon’s Prop and Costume Rules. Props must be tagged by Prop Check.
 ● Cosplay is NOT consent! Taking photos of other contestants while in line and/or backstage without consent is not allowed. Inappropriately touching or speaking to other contestants is not allowed and will result in disqualification and possible expulsion from the convention.

WHAT TO EXPECT:
Contestants who register online will receive a confirmation email once their entry has been processed, which can take up to 48 hours. Once at the convention, contestants should check-in at the Cosplay Information Booth. This can be done at any time before the contest while the booth is open. Line-up instructions will be given at check-in, as well as any time or location updates.

In-person registration can be done at the Cosplay Info Booth once the convention begins. A GalaxyCon volunteer or staff member will provide assistance. Check-in will be done simultaneously, so line-up instructions and other updates will be provided once registered.

All contestants must be at the designated stage at least 30 minutes prior to the contest’s start time as listed on the official GalaxyCon schedule (or the provided updated time if applicable). If there are any extra spots, walk-in entries may be accepted.

Contestants will appear on stage in the order they lined up in. Once on stage, they will provide the Emcee with their name, their character’s name, and the series that character is from. After striking 3 poses, contestants will exit and find a seat in the audience to watch the rest of the contest. Anyone not present for the awards ceremony will be disqualified and will not receive the award if chosen. Photos taken by GalaxyCon Photographers will be uploaded onto GalaxyCon’s website a few weeks after the convention.

If you have any questions, please email us at cosplay@galaxycon.com. Please include the specific contest and city you are inquiring about.

Apply Here

GALAXYCON RICHMOND AFTER DARK COSTUME CONTEST
FRIDAY MARCH 15, 2024

The After Dark Costume Contest is where the sexy side of cosplay struts their stuff on the catwalk! This contest is open to GalaxyCon attendees 18 years and older. No contestants or audience members under the age of 18 are allowed.

Pre-registration is required. Contestants can sign up in advance online or in person during the convention at the Cosplay Information Booth (located in the Cosplay Lounge). There is no prejudging for this contest. Contestants can compete in store-bought or homemade costumes as there is no craftsmanship requirement.

PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED AS FOLLOWS:
 ● Best in Show: $250 Cash Prize & Award Medal
 ● Director’s Choice: $200 Cash Prize & Award Medal
 ● 2nd Place: $150 Cash Prize & Award Medal
 ● 3rd Place: $100 Cash Prize & Award Medal
 ● Best Group: $100 Cash Prize & Award Medal
 ● Judges’ Awards (3): Award Medals
(Additional awards may be created at the judges’ discretion)

COMPETITION RULES:
 ● This contest is open to all attendees of GalaxyCon 18 years old or older with an event badge or bracelet.
 ● One entry per person or group. No separate entries from the same person. There is a limit of 50 entries. 25 entries will be accepted online. The rest will be held for in-person registration at the convention.
Individual entries are limited to one person. Group entries can include 2-10 people.
 ● All contestants must fill out the entry form.
 ● All costumes must come from an established cartoon, comic book, anime, video game, tabletop game, television show, manga, novel, movie, etc.
 ● No nudity! While this is an 18+ event, full nudity is still not allowed.
 ● The lowest layer of clothing contestants can strip down to is swimsuit/underwear layer.
 ● Bad behavior of any kind is not allowed. This includes, but is not limited to: trash-talking, sabotage, poor sportsmanship, or bullying (in person or online). Improper behavior will get you removed from the competition and possibly the convention.
 ● No harmful or potentially harmful materials are allowed, including, but not limited to: water, cigarettes, flames, fireworks or sparklers, smoke, silly string, confetti, and any other substance that can be fired, launched, or dropped.
 ● All props and costumes used in the competition must adhere to GalaxyCon’s Prop and Costume Rules. Props must be tagged by Prop Check.
 ● Cosplay is NOT consent! Taking photos of other contestants while in line and/or backstage without consent is not allowed. Inappropriately touching or speaking to other contestants is not allowed and will result in disqualification and possible expulsion from the convention.

WHAT TO EXPECT:
Contestants who register online will receive a confirmation email once their entry has been processed, which can take up to 48 hours. Once at the convention, contestants should check-in at the Cosplay Information Booth. This can be done at any time before the contest while the booth is open. Line-up instructions will be given at check-in, as well as any time or location updates.

In-person registration can be done at the Cosplay Info Booth once the convention begins. A GalaxyCon volunteer or staff member will provide assistance. Check-in will be done simultaneously, so line-up instructions and other updates will be given once registered. Because this contest is part of GalaxyCon’s After Dark programming, anyone registering will need to verify that they are over 18.

All contestants must be at the designated stage at least 30 minutes prior to the contest’s start time as listed on the official GalaxyCon schedule (or the provided updated time if applicable). If there are any extra spots, walk-in entries may be accepted.

Contestants will appear on stage in the order they lined up in. Once on stage, they will provide the Emcee with their name, their character’s name, and the series that character is from. After striking 3 poses, contestants will exit and find a seat in the audience to watch the rest of the contest. Anyone not present for the awards ceremony will be disqualified and will not receive the award if chosen. Photos taken by GalaxyCon Photographers will be uploaded onto GalaxyCon’s website a few weeks after the convention.

If you have any questions, please email us at cosplay@galaxycon.com. Please include the specific contest and city you are inquiring about.

Apply Here

GALAXYCON RICHMOND COSTUME COMPETITION
SATURDAY MARCH 16, 2024

The GalaxyCon Craftsmanship Costume Competition is our biggest cosplay event of the weekend, featuring the best cosplayers at GalaxyCon and over $2,500 in cash and prizes!

Pre-registration and prejudging are required. Contestants can sign up in advance online or in-person during the convention at the Cosplay Information Booth (located in the Cosplay Lounge). Contestants will be judged on craftsmanship, so all costumes entered must be at least 70% handmade or made from scratch overall. Every contestant must attend prejudging before the contest to discuss their costume with the judges.

PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED AS FOLLOWS:
 ● Best In Show: $1,000 Cash Prize, Custom Medal, & Award Trophy
 ● Con Chair Spotlight: $400 Cash Prize & Award Trophy
 ● Masters Award: $300 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
 ● Craftsmanship Award: $100 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
 ● Best Individual, Journeyman: $100 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
 ● Best Individual, Novice: $75 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
 ● Best Individual, Junior/Youth: $75 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
 ● Best Group, Journeyman / Masters: $100 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
 ● Best Group, Novice: $75 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
 ● Best Original Character: $75 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
 ● Best Prop: $75 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
 ● Judges’ Awards (3): Custom Medals

SKILL DIVISION & CATEGORY GUIDELINES:
The GalaxyCon Costume Competition is open to cosplayers of all skill levels. In the interest of fairness, contestants will be separated into divisions based on skill and experience. Contestants are expected to register under the division they believe fits them best. However, if you are unsure, or if the judges believe your work/experience dictates that you should be higher, they reserve the right to move contestants. Deciding factors include hours invested in the costume’s construction, techniques utilized, and years of cosplay/crafting experience. The divisions are as follows:

Junior/Youth:
This division is for any contestant 13 years old or under wearing a costume mostly made by themselves. Parents/guardians are allowed to assist with construction (such as when using a power tool, etc) but the majority of the costume must be made by the child competing. (Costumes entirely built by an adult but modeled by a child should be entered under the adult’s appropriate skill division.)

Novice:
Equivalent to Beginner. The Novice division is for any contestant who is new to cosplay and/or competing in major costume competitions. All contestants are eligible to compete in the Novice division unless they have competed and placed in the Novice/Beginner division or higher at a previous craftsmanship competition held by GalaxyCon or another major convention.

Journeyman:
Equivalent to Intermediate. The Journeyman division is for any contestant who has been cosplaying and/or crafting for a few years (about 3 to 5 years) and has made a number of intermediate-level costumes. Contestants who fit this description but have either never competed in a craftsmanship competition before, or have competed but never placed in the Novice or Journeyman divisions at a previous competition (GalaxyCon or otherwise) are eligible to compete at this level.

Masters:
Equivalent to Advanced or Professional. The Masters division is for any contestant who has been cosplaying for many years (5 years or more) and has made a number of advanced-level costumes. Previous competition experience or placement is not required for this division as long as the costume entered demonstrates advanced construction techniques.

Special Note for Groups:
Group members can belong to any skill division. When registering, groups should choose the skill division that best fits their group as a whole. Based on the information discussed during pre-judging, the judges will use their discretion to determine which skill division to judge the group as a whole.

COSTUME GUIDELINES:
  ● All costumes entered must be at least 70% handmade (made from scratch) by the competitor.
  ● Store-bought costumes, or costumes consisting mostly of store-bought garments, are not allowed. This includes costumes from stores like Amazon, Spirit Halloween, Walmart, MicCostumes, EZ Cosplays, thrift stores, etc.
  ● The following store-bought items are allowed: wigs, notions, trims, belts, shoes, jewelry, and most accessories. Other items will be allowed at the discretion of the judges.
  ● Props are allowed to be store-bought. However, this will make them ineligible for the Best Prop award.
  ● Contestants are highly encouraged to bring reference and progress photos of their costume to pre-judging. These images can be brought physically (as print-outs or assembled in a build book) or digitally (on the contestant’s personal phone or tablet device). Images shown digitally should be assembled in a designated folder/album on the device so that no time is wasted sorting through photos during prejudging. Competitors in Journeyman and Masters are expected to bring multiple progress and reference photos.
  ● Commissioned costumes may only be entered if the creator of the costume is able to attend prejudging.

COMPETITION RULES:
  ● This contest is open to all attendees of GalaxyCon with an event badge or bracelet.
  ● One entry per person or group.
  ● No separate entries from the same person.
  ● There is a limit of 100 entries. 50 entries will be accepted online. The rest will be held for in-person registration at the convention. If all slots are filled before Saturday, a waitlist will be created. People on the waitlist will only be called if enough registered contestants fail to attend pre-judging.
  ● Individual entries are limited to one person. Group entries can include 2-10 people.
  ● All contestants must fill out the entry form.
  ● All costumes must come from an established cartoon, comic book, anime, video game, tabletop game, television show, manga, novel, movie, etc.
  ● All costumes must be PG-13 or less. Nudity and risqué costumes are not allowed.
  ● Bad behavior of any kind is not allowed. This includes, but is not limited to: trash talking, sabotage, poor sportsmanship, and bullying (in person or online). Improper behavior will get you removed from the competition and possibly the convention.
  ● No harmful or potentially harmful materials are allowed. This includes, but is not limited to: water, cigarettes, flames, fireworks or sparklers, smoke, silly string, confetti, and any other substance that can be fired, launched, or dropped.
  ● All props and costumes used in the competition must adhere to GalaxyCon’s Prop and Costume Rules. Props must be tagged by Prop Check.
  ● Cosplay is NOT consent! Taking photos of other contestants while in line and/or backstage without consent is not allowed. Inappropriately touching or speaking to other contestants is not allowed and will result in disqualification and possible expulsion from the convention.
  ● Rerun Rule: If the costume being entered has already won an award at a GalaxyCon contest earlier that same weekend, it is ineligible to compete. If the costume has won an award at a previous GalaxyCon or other major convention before the current calendar year, it is ineligible to compete. If the costume won at another convention within the current calendar year, it can still be entered.

WHAT TO EXPECT:
Contestants who register online will receive a confirmation email with their contestant number and prejudging information once their entry has been processed, which can take up to 48 hours. Once at the convention, contestants should check in at the Cosplay Information Booth. This can be done at any time before the contest while the booth is open. Directions to the prejudging room will be given at check-in, as well as any time or location updates.

In-person registration can be done at the Cosplay Info Booth once the convention begins. A GalaxyCon volunteer or staff member will provide assistance. Check-in will be done simultaneously, so contestant numbers, prejudging information, and other updates will be given once registered.

Please arrive at the Prejudging Room at any time within your 30-minute prejudging window. Contestants will be seen in order of arrival. The judges will speak to individual contestants for about 3 minutes and to groups for about 5 minutes. Please have any reference/progress photos ready to show. Every contestant will be photographed by a GalaxyCon photographer before meeting with the judges. Once done with prejudging, you are free until it’s line-up time.

All contestants must be at the Main Stage for line-up at least 45 minutes prior to the start time as listed on the official GalaxyCon schedule (or the provided updated time if applicable). Arrivals any time later than this may not be accommodated and may result in disqualification.

Contestants will line up and appear on stage according to their skill division line-up number (provided during prejudging). Once on stage, the Emcees will announce the contestant’s name and character. They will strike 3 poses and then exit. Contestants should find a seat in the audience to watch the rest of the contest. Anyone not present for the awards ceremony will be disqualified and will not receive the award if chosen. Photos taken by GalaxyCon photographers will be uploaded to GalaxyCon’s website a few weeks after the convention.

If you have any questions, please email us at cosplay@galaxycon.com. Please include the specific contest and city you are inquiring about.

Apply Here

ANIMATE! KID’S COSTUME CONTEST
SUNDAY MARCH 17, 2024

The GalaxyCon Kids Costume Contest is a fun catwalk-style event for kids 13 and under to showcase their costumes!

Registration will be done at the contest’s designated location before the start of the event. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before to sign up.

This contest is for children ages 13 and under. Individual and group entries are allowed. Costumes entered can be store-bought, handmade, or a combination of both. There is no prejudging or craftsmanship requirement for this contest. Children older than 13 are allowed to compete with their siblings under 13. Parents/guardians are welcome to stay with their children during line-up and while on stage if preferred (being in costume is not necessary).

If you have any questions, please email us at cosplay@galaxycon.com. Please include the specific contest and city you are inquiring about.

MASQUERADE COSTUME & PERFORMANCE COMPETITION
SUNDAY MARCH 17, 2024

The GalaxyCon Masquerade Costume & Performance Competition is where cosplayers bring their characters to life through performances of all kinds! Contestants will be judged based on their costumes and performances. Some type of stage performance (dance routine, skit, lip-sync, singing, martial arts demonstration, etc) alongside your costume is required.

Pre-registration is required. Contestants can sign up in advance online or in person during the convention at the Cosplay Information Booth (located in the Cosplay Lounge). There is no prejudging or rehearsal for this competition. Contestants can compete in store-bought or homemade costumes as there is no craftsmanship requirement.

PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED AS FOLLOWS:
 ● Best in Show: $500 Cash Prize & Award Trophy
 ● Director’s Award: $250 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
 ● Best Individual: $150 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
 ● Best Group: $150 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
 ● Best Junior / Youth: $50 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
 ● Judges’ Awards (3): Custom Medals

PERFORMANCE & AUDIO RULES:
 ● For Individual entries, performance/audio length must be 90 seconds or under.
 ● For Group entries, performance/audio length must be 3 minutes (180 seconds) or under.
 ● Contestants can submit their audio as an .MP3 or .MP4 file to cosplay@galaxycon.com. Please include your contestant number if you have already received it.
 ● Audio can also be dropped off on a USB/flash drive in person at the convention. Please make sure your audio is trimmed to your time limit and in an .MP3 or .MP4 format.
 ● Since this is a family-friendly event, performances and lyrics must be PG-13 or under.
 ● Microphones will be available to use on a case-by-case basis. They will only be provided to performers who require them due to their performance type (such as a singing performance or a skit). Microphones will not be provided if they are solely going to be used as props.
 ● All performances must be confined to the stage and the area immediately adjacent to the stage (stage right or left).
 ● Jumps, including flips of any kind, are not allowed.
 ● Throwing or tossing anything off stage and into the audience is not allowed.
 ● Including any person not listed in your entry form in your performance is not allowed. This includes, but is not limited to: members of the audience, the judges, other contestants, GalaxyCon staff/volunteers, and the stage crew.

COMPETITION RULES:
 ● This contest is open to all attendees of GalaxyCon with an event badge or bracelet.
 ● One entry per person or group.
 ● No separate entries from the same person.
 ● There is a limit of 50 entries. 30 entries will be accepted online. The rest will be held for in-person registration at the convention. Last-minute entries will not be accepted.
Individual entries are limited to one person. Group entries can include 2-10 people.
 ● All contestants must fill out the entry form.
 ● All costumes must come from an established cartoon, comic book, anime, video game, tabletop game, television show, manga, novel, movie, etc.
 ● All costumes and performances must be PG-13 or less. Nudity and risqué costumes are not allowed.
 ● Bad behavior of any kind is not allowed. This includes, but is not limited to: trash talking, sabotage, poor sportsmanship, and bullying (in person or online). Improper behavior will get you removed from the competition and possibly the convention.
 ● No harmful or potentially harmful materials are allowed. This includes, but is not limited to: water, cigarettes, flames, fireworks or sparklers, smoke, silly string, confetti, and any other substance that can be fired, launched, or dropped.
 ● All props and costumes used in the competition must adhere to GalaxyCon’s Prop and Costume Rules. Props must be tagged by Prop Check.
 ● Cosplay is NOT consent! Taking photos of other contestants while in line and/or backstage without consent is not allowed. Inappropriately touching or speaking to other contestants is not allowed and will result in disqualification and possible expulsion from the convention.
 ● Costumes and/or performances that were entered in and won a major award at a previous GalaxyCon Masquerade or other major convention before the current calendar year are ineligible to compete. If the costume and/or performance was entered in a major competition (GalaxyCon or otherwise) within the current calendar year, they are still able to compete, regardless of whether or not an award was won.
 ● If necessary, handlers and “stagehands” are allowed to join contestants backstage during line-up. However, if they are not part of your performance, they are not considered a contestant and will not count toward a group entry. Up to 2 handlers or stagehands are allowed per entry.

WHAT TO EXPECT:
Contestants who register online will receive a confirmation email once their entry has been processed, which can take up to 48 hours. Once at the convention, contestants should check-in at the Cosplay Information Booth. This can be done at any time before the contest while the booth is open. Line-up instructions will be given at check-in, as well as any time or location updates.

In-person registration can be done at the Cosplay Info Booth once the convention begins. A GalaxyCon volunteer or staff member will provide assistance. Check-in will be done simultaneously, so line-up instructions and other updates will be given once registered.

All contestants must be at the designated stage at least 45 minutes prior to the contest’s start time as listed on the official GalaxyCon schedule (or the provided updated time if applicable).

Contestants will line up and appear on stage according to their contestant number. After the emcee announces them, contestants will enter the stage and start their performance. Once finished, contestants will exit and find a seat in the audience to watch the rest of the contest. Anyone not present for the awards ceremony will be disqualified and will not receive the award if chosen. Photos taken by GalaxyCon Photographers will be uploaded onto GalaxyCon’s website a few weeks after the convention.

If you have any questions, please email us at cosplay@galaxycon.com. Please include the specific contest and city you are inquiring about.

Apply Here

ANIMATE! RUNWAY COSTUME CONTEST
FRIDAY JANUARY 5, 2024

The Runway Costume Contest is a catwalk event for cosplayers of all skill levels and ages to showcase a costume. This is a lighthearted and fun contest for contestants and spectators. Pre-registration required in advance online or at the Cosplay Lounge the day of the event.

The ANIMATE! Runway Costume Contest will be “Runway” style. There will be no pre-judging. Contestants can enter in store-bought or homemade costumes.

PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED AS FOLLOWS:
Best in Show: $100 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
Best Individual: $50 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
Best Group: $50 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
Best Junior / Youth: $25 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
Judges’ Awards (3): Custom Medals

COMPETITION RULES
One entry per person.
No separate entries from the same person.
There is a limit of 50 entries.
All costumes must come from an established cartoon, comic book, anime, video game, manga, novel, or movie.
All contestants must fill out the entry form.
All costumes must be PG-13 or less. No nudity or risqué costumes.
No bad behavior. You know what that means. No trash talking, sabotage or poor sportsmanship. Improper behavior will get you removed from the competition and possibly the convention. Remember, we’re all here to have fun.
No harmful or potentially harmful materials will be allowed. This includes, but is not limited to water, cigarettes, flames, fireworks, silly string, confetti, and any other substance that can be fired, launched or dropped.

What to expect at the contest:
When you first arrive at the show, there will be a COSPLAY INFO BOOTH in the COSPLAY LOUNGE. This is where all questions regarding the competition can be answered, and where you will need to go to sign up and/or check-in.
Who can enter? All attendees who have an event badge or bracelet for ANIMATE! can enter this contest. Participants can enter as individuals or in groups (up to 10 per group).
How do I sign up for the contest? There are two ways to register for the competition.
(1) Register Online. This is the most preferred method. You will receive an email confirmation with your contestant #.
When you get to the show, you will need to sign in at the COSPLAY INFO BOOTH in the COSPLAY LOUNGE, where you will be given further instructions.
(2) Register at the convention. Participants will be able to sign up for the contest at the COSPLAY INFO BOOTH, located in the COSPLAY LOUNGE. Fill out and return the entry form to the registration table. You will be given a contestant # and further information. Everyone must be signed in and all forms must be handed in by 4:30pm on Thursday. Late Entries may be accepted at the stage up until the start of the contest ONLY IF there are open spots available.
Acceptance of late entries is not guaranteed and is conditional on space left in the contest. To have a better chance at being in the competition, please fill out the form ahead of time.

ROLL CALL: All entrants must show up 30 minutes prior to the competition for roll call in the Hero Stage. All entries will be contacted back via email with a contestant # and check-in info. If you have any questions, please email us at cosplay@galaxycon.com

Apply Here!

ANIMATE! AFTER DARK COSTUME CONTEST
FRIDAY JANUARY 5, 2024

The After Dark Costume Contest is a place where the sexy side of cosplay struts their stuff on the catwalk. No contestants under 18 are allowed. Pre-registration is required in the Cosplay Lounge.

A special costume contest showcasing the risque side of fandom! This contest will be judged by a special panel consisting of professional comic book artists and professional cosplayers. This is a runway-style contest with no pre-judging. Costumes may be of any superhero or villain in comics, cartoons, movies, anime, video games, etc. Costumes may be handmade or store-bought. Since this contest takes place late at night, no one under the age of 18 may enter or attend this contest.

PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED AS FOLLOWS (Additional awards may be created at the Judges’ discretion):
BEST IN SHOW: $250 CASH PRIZE & award trophy
Director’s Choice: $200 cash prize & award trophy
1st Runner Up: $150 cash prize & award medal
2nd Runner Up: $100 cash prize & award medal
Best Group: $100 cash prize & award medal
Judges’ Awards (3): award medals

COMPETITION RULES
1. One entry per person. No separate entries from the same person.
2. There is a limit of 50 entries.
3. All costumes must come from an established cartoon, comic book, anime, video game, manga, novel, or movie.
4. All contestants must fill out the entry form.
5. No Nudity. While this is an 18+ event, we still can’t allow any nudity.
6. No bad behavior. You know what that means. No trash-talking, sabotage, or poor sportsmanship. Improper behavior will get you removed from the competition and possibly the convention. Remember, we’re all here to have fun.
7. No harmful or potentially harmful materials will be allowed. This includes, but is not limited to: water, cigarettes, flames, fireworks, silly string, and any other substance that can be fired, launched, or dripped.

What to expect at the contest: When you first arrive at the show, there will be a COSPLAY INFO BOOTH in the Main Exhibition Hall. This is where all questions regarding the competition can be answered, and where you will need to go to sign up and/or check-in.

Who can enter: All attendees 18 or older who have an event badge or wristband can enter this contest. Participants can enter as individuals or in groups (up to 10 per group).

How to sign up for the contest: (1) Register Online. This is the most preferred method. You will receive an email confirmation with your contestant #. When you get to the show, you will need to sign in at the COSPLAY INFO BOOTH, where you will be given further instructions. (2) Register at the convention. Participants will be able to sign up for the contest at the COSPLAY INFO BOOTH in the COSPLAY LOUNGE. Fill out and return the entry form to the registration table. You will be given a contestant # and further information. Everyone must be signed in and all forms must be handed in by 8:00pm on Friday. Late Entries may be accepted at the stage up until the start of the contest ONLY IF there are open spots available. Acceptance of late entries is not guaranteed and is conditional on space left in the contest. To have a better chance at being in the competition, please fill out the form ahead of time.

ROLL CALL: All entrants must show up 30 minutes prior to the competition for roll call. All entries will be contacted back via email with a contestant # and check-in info. If you have any questions, please email us at cosplay@galaxycon.com

Apply Here!

THE ANIMATE! COSTUME COMPETITION
SATURDAY JANUARY 6, 2024

The Animate! Costume Competition is our signature cosplay event with the best contestants and largest audience. More than $2,500 in cash and prizes is at stake. Pre-judging and Pre-registration are required.

A competitive costuming event with over $2,500 in cash and prizes at stake with $1,000 cash for Best in Show! This contest is open to ALL skill levels to ensure both novice and experienced costumers have a chance at winning an award. Please read before entering. Scroll down for rules and regulations.

PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED AS FOLLOWS:
BEST IN SHOW: $1,000 CASH PRIZE & AWARD TROPHY
Con Chair Spotlight: $400 Cash Prize & Award Trophy
Masters Award: $300 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
Craftsmanship Award: $100 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
Best Individual, Journeyman: $100 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
Best Individual, Novice: $75 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
Best Individual, Junior/Youth: $75 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
Best Group, Journeyman / Masters: $100 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
Best Group, Novice: $75 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
Best Original Character: $75 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
Best Prop: $75 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
Best Individual, Uncertified: $50 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
Best Group, Uncertified: $50 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
Judges’ Awards (3): Custom Medals
Enter the Animate! Competition online prior to the advance registration deadline. Any entries not sent in advance by the deadline must be entered at the convention at the COSPLAY INFO BOOTH in the COSPLAY LOUNGE. All entries will be contacted back with-in 48 hours via email with a contestant # and pre-judging information.

COSTUME COMPETITION SKILL DIVISIONS
In the interest of fairness, and to allow for the best possible competition among peers, Animate! has separate divisions for entrants based on skill and experience. This is to ensure that both novice and experienced costumers have a reasonably equal chance to win awards in the Costume Competition. The divisions include Master, Journeyman, Novice, and Junior/Youth. The costume contest judges will determine which division a costumer belongs in based on the information shared by the cosplayer during the application and interview process. Factors include techniques, hours invested in the making of the costume, and years of cosplay or crafting experience. A competitor may always choose to compete in a higher division than that in which the costume competition director has placed him or her in. He or she may not choose to compete in a lower division. Commissioned costumes (paying a person to make your costume), or costumes which have been created by a person, not at the event with the entrant, may be classified as Uncertified, as long as the creator of the costume is available to speak with judges and go over the costume creation via Google Meet or Zoom during pre-judging. Costumes entered as Uncertified are eligible for consideration in the following award categories: Best in Show, Con Chair Spotlight, Best Individual: Uncertified, and Best Group: Uncertified.

Master: (a) Any competitor may enter the Master division.

Journeyman: (a) Professional (Master) costumers may not enter as a Journeyman. (b) A contestant who has competed and won in the Master division at another major competition in the past may not enter in the Journeyman division. (c) A contestant who has won Best Journeyman at another major competition may not enter the Journeyman division. (d) A contestant who has won more than three major awards in the Journeyman division at other major competitions may not enter in the Journeyman division. (e) Minor awards may be counted towards placement at the discretion of the costumer.

Novice: (a) Professional (Journeyman or Master) costumers may not enter the Novice division. (b) A contestant who has competed and won in any division other than novice at another major competition may not enter in the Novice division. (c) A contestant who has won Best in Show or Best Novice at another major competition may not enter the Novice division. (d) A contestant who has won more than three major awards at other major competitions (in either the novice division or a non-division event) may not enter in the Novice division. (e) Minor awards may be counted towards placement at the discretion of the costumer.

Junior/Youth: (a) The Junior/Youth division is for any child under the age of 13. (b) A child wearing a costume designed and built entirely by an adult should be entered in the adult’s appropriate skill division. We wish to encourage creativity among the junior division in an effort to help them grow into accomplished costumers.

SPECIAL NOTE FOR GROUPS: Each member of the group must note which skill division they belong to on the costume competition entry form. Group members may belong to any skill division. The judges will use their discretion to determine which skill division to judge the group as a whole.

AWARDS: All awards, with the exception of the Con Chair Spotlight and Judges’ Awards, will be chosen by a majority vote of the Judging Committee. The Con Chair Spotlight will be chosen by the Convention Chairman at his discretion. Judges’ Awards will be chosen by the individual judges.

COSTUME COMPETITION RULES
One costume per person. No separate entries from the same person.
All costumes must come from an established cartoon, comic book, anime, video game, manga, novel, movie or jrock/jpop artist. Please bring reference photos or drawings of the original character.
All costumes must be entered by their creator, with the exception of uncertified entries. Costumes may be worn by models, but prizes will be awarded to the person who created the costume, so both applicants must be present at the pre-judging and the contest. If you choose to use a model, be sure to include this information on your application. Uncertified entries (costumes created by a person or persons, not in attendance) may be entered by the model, but are only eligible for consideration in the following award categories: Best in Show, Con Chair Spotlight, Best Individual: Uncertified, and Best Group: Uncertified. Creators of costumes entered in the uncertified category must be available during pre-judging to speak with judges via Google Hangouts.
Store-bought costumes are not allowed. The following items are allowed to be store-bought: Wigs, Notions & Trims, Belts, Shoes, Jewelry, Most Accessories, and Props (which will make you ineligible for a prop award). Other items will be allowed at the discretion of the judges. Please email in advance if you have a question regarding a store-bought item. Remember: this is a competition that focuses on craftsmanship. The more you create, the more impressive the finished costume is.
Commissioned costumes may only be entered if the creator of the costume is in attendance. As well, commissioned costumes may be entered into the Uncertified category. See the above rules for requirements for Uncertified entries.
The Animate! Costume contest has a zero-tolerance policy for bullying/cyberbullying of any kind, before, during or after the event. Violation of this rule will result in immediate disqualification from all future  Animate! events. No trash talking, sabotage, or poor sportsmanship. Remember, we’re all here to have fun.
NO PETS! Pets are not cosplay props. Anyone who enters the contest with a pet will be immediately disqualified.
Prejudging will take place on Saturday between 10am and 5pm. You will be given a predetermined time slot based on your check-in number. You will be directed to come to prejudging during that time slot. If you are unable to make it during that time slot, your entry will be removed.
All contestants (with the exception of Juniors) must submit reference photos at pre-judging. We need accurate reference photos or drawings of your character/costume. Remember: it may be your favorite character from one episode of your favorite anime that only showed once in Japan or a costume worn by a character in one comic book issue, but to the judges, it may be something entirely new. We also need in-progress photos of you making your costume (at least 3 or 4). The higher the division, the more reference we expect. We want to see your costume from conception to creation. Show us how good you are… impress us!
THE RERUN RULE: If you have won an award at any  Animate! contest, you may not enter it in another contest the same weekend. 1 contest, 1 costume. If you are presenting a costume that has won an award at another major competition, the following rules apply: (A) Any costume that has won an award at another major competition in a prior year is not allowed. It’s a new year, time for a new winning costume. (B) Any costume that has won an award at another major competition held in the same calendar year as Columbus  Animate! is allowed.
No Nudity. This is a family show and will contain young contestants. All costumes must be PG-13, PG, or G.
No harmful or potentially harmful materials will be allowed. This includes, but is not limited to: water, cigarettes, flames, fireworks, silly string, confetti, and any other substance that can be fired, launched, or dripped.
PROP POLICY: You may pose with your prop at the costume competition, however, there is to be no waving of props around which could cause an accident. It’s never planned for someone to get hurt… that’s why they call them accidents.
If participants are seen using a prop inappropriately (play fighting, waving it around, etc), they will be automatically disqualified and might potentially be removed from the con.
There will be a maximum of 75 online entrants accepted, 75 at show entrants, for a total of 150 entrants.
Please note that winners of cash prizes of $600 or over will be required to fill out a W9 on site. Anyone who cannot complete a W9 or have a parent complete a W9 on-site may have to wait until one is able to be completed before receiving their prize.

What can I expect at the contest? When you first arrive at the show, there will be a COSPLAY INFO BOOTH in the COSPLAY LOUNGE ROOM. This is where all questions regarding the competition can be answered, and where you will need to go to sign up and/or check-in.Who can enter? All attendees who have an event badge or bracelet for  Animate! can enter this contest. Participants can enter as individuals or in groups (up to 10 per group).

How do I sign up for the contest? There are two ways to register for the competition: (1) Register Online HERE. This is the most preferred method. When you register online, you will receive an email confirmation with your contestant # and a time to arrive for pre-judging. When you get to the show, you will need to sign in at the COSPLAY INFO BOOTH, where you will be given further instructions. (2) Register at the convention. Participants will be able to sign up for the contest at the COSPLAY INFO BOOTH, located in the COSPLAY LOUNGE. Fill out and return the entry form to the registration table. You will be given a contestant # and a time to arrive for pre-judging. Everyone must be signed in and all forms must be handed in by 12:30pm on Saturday.

ROLL CALL: All contestants must show up 1 hour before time at the designated line up location. All contestants must fill out the Costume Competition Entry Form prior to the Advance Registration Deadline. All entries sent by email will be contacted back via email with a contestant # and pre-judging information. Any entries not sent in advance by the deadline must be entered at the convention at the COSPLAY INFO BOOTH in the COSPLAY LOUNGE. If you have any questions, please email us at cosplay@galaxycon.com.

Apply Here!

ANIMATE! KID’S COSTUME CONTEST
SUNDAY JANUARY 7, 2024

A fun costume contest for kids 13 and under to walk the stage among peers. They can enter homemade or store-bought costumes and showcase their favorite character! To enter, please arrive at least 15 minutes early to sign up in the room before the contest.

The ANIMATE! KID’S COSTUME CONTEST will be “Runway” style. There will be no pre-judging. If you have any questions, please email us at cosplay@galaxycon.com

MASQUERADE COSTUME & PERFORMANCE COMPETITION
SUNDAY JANUARY 7, 2024

The ANIMATE! Masquerade Costume Competition is where costuming and cosplay go to the next level! This is a competition based on performance and presentation. Pre-registration required Over $1,000 in cash and prizes are up for grabs!

PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED AS FOLLOWS:
BEST IN SHOW: $500 CASH PRIZE & AWARD TROPHY
Director’s Award: $250 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
Best Individual: $150 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
Best Group: $150 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
Best Junior / Youth: $50 Cash Prize & Custom Medal
Judges’ Awards (3): Custom Medals
Contestants can enter as individuals or as a group and will be judged based on stage performance and costumes. Think of it as a costume talent show; more than just a cosplay contest, this is your chance to put on a performance as the character(s) you are portraying

AWARDS: All awards, with the exception of the Judges’ Awards, will be chosen by a majority vote of the Judging Committee. The Judges’ Awards will be chosen by the individual judges.

MASQUERADE COSTUME & PERFORMANCE COMPETITION RULES
One entry per person. No separate entries from the same person. If you enter as part of a group, you may not enter as an individual. If you enter as an individual, you may not enter as part of a group. Groups are limited to a maximum of 12 individuals on stage at the same time.
The competition is limited to 50 entries, with no exceptions. If you wish to compete, you may pre-register online via the Masquerade Competition Entry Form or register on-site at the COSPLAY INFO BOOTH in the COSPLAY LOUNGE ROOM. There is a limit of 30 entries that will be accepted in advance. We will close the form when that number has been reached. The additional 20 spots will be held for people to enter at the convention. Any of the 30 advance slots not already reserved will be open at the convention in addition to the 20 already available. Once the roster of 50 entries is filled, additional entrants will be offered will-call slots in the event of a no show, on a first-come, first-serve basis. All pre-registered attendees MUST check-in at the COSPLAY INFO BOOTH by Sunday at 3:00pm or you will lose your spot, which will be given to one of the will call entries. There are NO exceptions to this rule.
There is a performance time limit of 90 seconds for individuals and 3 minutes for groups.
When you check-in at the COSPLAY INFO BOOTH in the COSPLAY LOUNGE, the staff will sign you up, verify your information and introduction, and take your USB Flash Drive with your audio file, or direct you on how to send your audio file to the tech booth. You will be directed on where to meet for roll call, which will be 30 minutes before the start of the contest.
NO MICROPHONES may be used by the contestants. All vocals and music must be pre-recorded. You must bring a flash drive with the audio file, or you will be instructed on where to send your music when you sign up at the COSPLAY INFO BOOTH in the COSPLAY LOUNGE.
If you have won an award at another major convention prior to 2022 with the same performance / costume(s), you will be disqualified. It’s a new year, time for a new performance. You may enter if you have won an award at another major convention in 2022 with the same performance / costume(s).
No Nudity. This is a family show and will contain young contestants. All costumes/skits must be PG-13, PG, or G. No bad behavior. You know what that means. No trash talking, sabotage, or poor sportsmanship. Improper behavior will get you removed from the competition and possibly the convention. Remember, we’re all here to have fun.
No harmful or potentially harmful materials will be allowed. This includes, but is not limited to: water, cigarettes, flames, fireworks, silly string, confetti, and any other substance that can be fired, launched, or dripped.
PROP POLICY: You may pose with your prop at the costume competition, however, there is to be no waving of props around so that there can be an accident. It’s never planned for someone to get hurt… that’s why they call them accidents.
All performances are confined to the stage area or area immediately surrounding the stage including off stage left and off stage right and should be entirely self-contained. Performances will not include any person not listed on your sign up sheet and may not utilize audience members, other contestants, stage crew, convention staff or convention volunteers.
IMPRESS US! This is a competition based on performance and costume. The more the judges and audience are entertained and impressed, the greater chance you have to WIN!
Please note that winners of cash prizes of $600 or over will be required to fill out a W9 on site. Anyone who cannot complete a W9 or have a parent complete a W9 on-site may have to wait until one is able to be completed before receiving their prize.

How do I sign up for the contest? There are two ways to register for the competition: (1) Register Online. You will receive an email confirmation with your contestant #. When you get to the show, you will need to sign in at the COSPLAY INFO BOOTH, where you will be given further instructions. We will accept a maximum of 30 registrations via online entry. (2) Register at the convention. Participants will be able to sign up for the contest at the COSPLAY INFO BOOTH in the COSPLAY LOUNGE. Fill out and return the entry form to the registration table. You will be given a contestant # and further information. Everyone must be signed in and all forms must be handed in Sunday by 3:00pm.

ROLL CALL: All entrants must show up 30 minutes prior to the competition for roll call. If you have any questions, please email us at cosplay@galaxycon.com

Apply Here!