Costume Contest (“Costume Shindig”) Rules
All Rules and Regulations are subject change without notice. However, we will post updates on our Facebook and Twitter page as needed. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR COSTUMING RULES OR EVENTS, PLEASE E-MAIL US: firstname.lastname@example.org
REGISTRATION IS CLOSED!
Costume Enthusiasts, Cosplayers, and Other People Who Like To Dress Up!
After a great inaugural success last year, Denver Comic Con is hosting our second Costume Contest! What separates our “Shindig” from the rest of the herd (other than the reference to a popular show whose title is synonymous with a luminescent insect) is that we really want to put an emphasis on celebrating geek culture through costuming.
Attendees of all ages and all skill-levels are encouraged to participate regardless of background. From people who want to show off how accurate their reproduction of Optimus Prime’s laser canon is, to someone who wants to get up on stage with sporks wrapped to their hands to share their love of Wolverine, we welcome everyone’s enthusiasm. Have fun and show off for your fellow con-goers!
With that said, there are some guidelines to follow if you want to participate:
- The Shindig will have a maximum of 45 entries.
What qualifies as an entry:
- One person in costume, doing a flourish on stage (also known as a “walk-on”)
- A group of people in costume showing off their outfits (maximum 5 people per group)
- One person in costume doing a brief performance or monologue (see sound rules below)
- A group of up to 5 costumers doing a skit (see sound rules below)
- Each entry gets a maximum of TWO MINUTES. You don’t have to use the entire two minutes, but if you go over, you are DISQUALIFIED. This rule will be strictly enforced.
- Costumes from all worlds of fandom are welcome. Comics, sci-fi, movies, anime, steampunk, fantasy, original characters – bring it!
- You cannot enter more than once. No joining multiple groups; we want to give everyone a chance to participate.
Kids & Family
- This category is non-competitive fun for children ages 10 and under, or group entries with a group member who is age 10 and under.
- Solo child entries must be accompanied by a parent or guardian in the Green Room. (It is up to you whether or not to go onstage with the entrant.)
- “Family” entries are for groups that want to include children (10 & under) in their stage performance. (You don’t have to be related, this is just an easy way for Team Cosplay to differentiate between adult groups and groups with kids in them.) Family entries are non-competitive.
- All Kids & Family category contestants will receive recognition. It takes guts for our little Comic Fans to get up on stage!
- Caregivers: there will be lots of down time in the Green Room and during the contest. Make sure to plan for entertainment, food and bathroom breaks for your little ones. If you have questions, please email the staff at email@example.com.
- This category is for our less experienced costumers, who are just starting out in costuming. If you’ve never competed before or only have a couple years of costuming experience under your belt, this is the place for you!
- This category is for costumers who have a firm grasp on the “basics” but are still honing some of the more complicated skills. If you’ve been doing this costuming stuff for a while now and maybe have been recognized for your work (but aren’t quite ready to go toe-to-toe with the big wigs yet!) this is the category for you!
- This category is for our seasoned costumers who are always looking for a new challenge! If you’ve won Best in Show at another major convention/contest or have several years of experience, then this is the place for you.
- The purpose of Divisions is to put you on equal footing with other costumers who share roughly your same skill set. So, to keep everything fair and square, the judges will have the final word on any Division placement. If you are not quite sure where you belong, just shoot the Cosplay Staff a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Denver Comic Con is a kid-friendly all-ages environment. Keep your content to PG-13 and no cursing.
- No jumping off the stage.
- No pyrotechnics, no confetti or glitter bombs, no water guns or blood splatters, no projectiles. Don’t make a mess.
- And speaking of messes, if it comes onstage with you, it must go offstage with you. Denver Comic Con Staffers are not your maids (even if they’re dressed as maids). (See handler instructions below, if you need assistance setting up or clearing the stage.)
- Hall Cosplay rules apply on stage too, check the acceptable attire policies.
- Do not interact with the emcee. They already have a job to do.
Sound & Music
- If you want to do a skit or performance, you must submit an mp3 of your pre-recorded dialogue and/or music before Denver Comic Con. These entries will be screened for content.
- Your MP3 must be a single track. The sound crew’s job is to hit “play”, plan accordingly.
- Tracks will be no longer than 2 minutes or you will be disqualified.
- The deadline for mp3s is May 17th. No exceptions.
- There will be no microphone available on stage, so if you want to say something, it must be pre-recorded. Shouting from stage never works like you hope, so send in an mp3 instead.
Costume Shindig registration will take place before the convention.
Registration will open on Saturday April 13th.
- This is a big event, and we want everyone to have a great time!
- You must be pre-registered for the convention in order to register for the costume contest.
- Once we hit 45 entries, registration is closed, get your forms in quickly! Registration closes on May 17th, but if/when we reach the max number of entries, we’re cutting it off. So if you want a slot, don’t wait! Register now!
- The deadline for mp3 submission is May 17th. No exceptions.
- When you arrive at Denver Comic Con, you must check in with Team Cosplay at their table in the Exhibit Hall. This way, we know you are real. (And we can get you to sign the photo release– awesome photographers want to take your picture!)
- The Shindig will be Saturday afternoon/evening (time TBA).
- Large or tricky costumes (or large stage props requiring setup help):
- If your costume has restricted movement or vision and you need a helping hand, you can bring along a handler.
- The registration form will have space to identify your handler.
- Denver Comic Con volunteers will be available to help you get on and off stage, but if you think you’ll need more attention than that, please consider a handler.
- If you have big stage props or set pieces, you can also bring a handler to help.
- Your handler can also help clear the stage post-performance.
- Remember, you only get two minutes on stage, so if you have an elaborate stage prop that takes work to set up, that’s time away from your performance. Practice and plan accordingly.
- Did you make your own costume? We love that! If you wish to be eligible for special Craftsmanship Awards, there will be a separate judging session before the stage show.
- You must show up to Craftsmanship Judging so the judges can give you the attention you deserve.
- Purchased costumes are not eligible for Craftsmanship awards. However, purchased, pre-made pieces of your costume are acceptable, to an extent. This would include things like wigs, shoes, and some accessories. Be prepared to clarify to the judges what is and is not your handiwork (and if you have a question, email it to the Cosplay staff beforehand.)
- Bottom line: for Craftsmanship, most of the work needs to be done by you and not commissioned.
- If someone else is modeling the costume YOU made, that’s okay – the craftsmanship award goes to the craftsman, of course! You must make clear who made the outfit/items so we can recognize the right person.
- If you choose Craftsmanship Judging, you will be sent a dedicated judging form before the con. It will outline how you made your costume and give you a place to submit reference images.
Craftsmanship Judging times will be available for sign up at a later date.
- Each division (Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced) will have “Runner-Up” and “Best in Division” for Craftsmanship and for Presentation. The top prize is “Best in Show”, which spans all categories.
- Entries will be judged on appearance, stage presence, and originality. Have fun, look cool, and be memorable!
- Judges can give out special awards that are separate from the division awards.
We want to have a fun show from both the stage and the audience– Bring your great costumes and your energetic performances and we’ll have the best Shindig ever!