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Home arrow Cosplay arrow CosFest Competition Rules
CosFest Competition Rules
Whether you're competing for the first time or have a long history with competition, it's always possible we are doing something different than you might expect. It is your responsibility to read the rules and make sure you understand them.

CosFest, the PMX Cosplay Contest, will be held on Saturday, November 12, 2011 in International Ballroom B (Main Events) from 4pm - 6pm at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport.

CosFest Registration will be located in Marina this year. This is on the Second Floor (Exhibit Level) of the the Hilton.


I. Timeline

  • Online Registration opens Saturday, September 10, 2011, around 12:00pm (Noon).
  • Craftsmanship Judging Online Registration opens Saturday, October 22, 2011 around 12:00pm (Noon).
  • Online Registration Closes on Saturday, November 5, 2011 around 12:00pm (Noon).
  • You can always try registering at the convention, even if online Masquerade Registration is closed.

Friday, November 11, 2011
Time Place Description
12pm – 4pm CosFest HQ (Marina) CosFest Check-in, Music Submission
4pm - 8pm CosFest HQ (Marina)


Craftsmanship Judging
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Time Place Description
9am – 2pm CosFest HQ (Marina)


CosFest Check-in, Music Submission, Craftsmanship Judging
12pm – 2pm International Ballroom B OPTIONAL CosFest Rehearsal
3pm - 3:30pm International Ballroom B


Mandatory CosFest Meeting for Participants:

You must be in costume and with your entire group.

3:30pm – 4pm International Ballroom B

Audience Seating
4pm - 6pm International Ballroom B CosFest

II. Eligibility

  1. All contestants must be paid attendees of Pacific Media Expo 2011 at the time of the con.
  2. A single entry may have a maximum of 8 costumed members. We allow special helpers to accompany an entry, such as stage ninjas, costume assistant, medical assistant, etc. If your entry requires one or more helpers, please inform the CosFest Manager for approval. If more than the approved number of contestants appears on stage, your group will be disqualified.
  3. All participating costumes must fall into the categories below. If you aren't sure whether your costume qualifies, you are more than welcome to e-mail the CosFest Manager and ask.
    • Asian films
    • Asian animation
    • Asian comics
    • Asian-origin video game
    • Asian music stars
    • Asian history, culture, or mythology (e.g. historical recreation, Elegant Gothic Lolita, Elegant Gothic Aristocrat, original Asian folkloric costume, etc.)
    • Sources that are non-Asian in origin but explicitly influenced by Pacific-Asian art or culture (e.g. Avatar: The Last Airbender, Kill Bill, Mortal Kombat)
  4. Any costume entered in a previous Pacific Media Expo CosFest is ineligible for re-entry.
  5. Each contestant may only participate in a single entry. Each costume may only appear in one entry. A contestant may wear one costume, or a group of people may wear one costume simultaneously (in other words, a large construct that requires several people inside to move it).
  6. Costumes that have been purchased or rented from a costume shop, designer direct, eBay, Yahoo Auctions, Yahoo Japan Auctions, Cospa, or any other costume store or online resource are absolutely prohibited. Likewise, you may not enter with a costume custom-made for you by a designer, tailor, or seamstress. Any entries that violate this rule will be removed from CosFest and disqualified from all awards. Honesty is always the best policy.

    There are three exceptions to this policy:

    1. The person who made the costume(s) is participating in the entry with you.
    2. "Found Item" costumes are allowed. A "found item" costume is one built by collecting various pieces from thrift shops or normal clothing stores and combining them together in a unique way (with or without sewing/alterations) to make a costume.
    3. If the participant is in the Junior/Youth division, it's okay if a relative or guardian made the costume. However, if the costume is entered for craftsmanship, this relative or guardian must appear to answer the judges' questions.

III. General Guidelines

  1. All contestants must sign a liability waiver. Minors must submit a parental consent form in addition to the liability waiver.
  2. Children aged 14 and under must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  3. Please provide current, accurate contact information so the CosFest Manager can inform you of important updates. Please notify her if your contact information changes.
  4. You must come to CosFest Registration (Marina Room) to confirm your entry's presence at the convention. If you do not check in before 2pm on Saturday, November 12th, you will be removed from CosFest.
  5. If you are a group entry, every individual member must personally check-in at CosFest Registration (Marina Room). You do not all have to check in at the same time, but we need to make sure that every member is present and has a PMX membership badge.
  6. There is a mandatory pre-show meeting on Saturday, November 12th at 3pm. We will do roll call and go though a brief orientation. If you don't attend this meeting, we will assume that you've dropped out and remove you from CosFest.
  7. Do not wear or use any messy substances that might ruin the costume of another contestant. If you are wearing body paint, glitter, or make-up, please make sure it will not come off in casual contact with others.
  8. Do not leave anything on the stage that cannot be picked up by the crew in a few seconds.
  9. Costumes must be self-contained. Connections to electrical sockets will not be available.
  10. PMX and CosFest staff will not allow anything near the stage that we feel may pose a danger to people or the stage area.
  11. Display weapons are allowed if appropriate to the costume. However, live steel (metal) will not be allowed under any circumstances. If you have any questions concerning whether a prop/weapon is allowed, please ask the CosFest Manager. Please bring your weapon(s) when you check in because it may need to go through a security check. Any weapons not checked in will not be allowed on stage.
  12. Pacific Media Expo's damage policy is: if you break a piece of equipment, deface the facilities, or cause any other damages, then you pay to replace what you damaged. How does one prevent damages? Please exercise care when you are on or near the stage. Be aware of floor microphones, cables, speakers, curtains, screens, etc. No "horse-play" will be tolerated, and take care that large props/costumes will not cause any problems. Be mindful of other people and do not leave a mess.
  13. Please be respectful and civil both to your fellow contestants and to CosFest event staff.
  14. While we certainly would not exercise it lightly, we have the right to cancel your performance at any time.

IV. All About Audio

  1. We require pre-recorded audio for all entries, such as background music or skit dialogue. Skit Entries have a maximum time limit of two minutes, and Display Entries are allowed a short audio clip of your choice, or we will provide one for you.
  2. We will provide microphones this year for vocal performances only (i.e., singing). If you and/or your group plans to sing, we will allow you to use the mics and you must have a karaoke audio track for us to play as well. We will have 5 wireless handheld mics available. If you are planning on doing a skit or any other type of performance, we require pre-recorded skit dialogue.
  3. You may submit your audio to us at CosFest Registration (Marina Room) on Friday, November 11, or Saturday, November 12, at the convention. Audio must be submitted by 2pm on Saturday, November 12, or you will not be allowed to participate. We accept .wav and .mp3 file formats and you may bring your audio via audio CD, data CD, data DVD, USB device, or SD card.
  4. The tech crew will play all audio tracks as-is. They will not pause or resume your dialogue for you.
  5. You must do all audio recording, editing, and splicing yourself. We cannot help you record because we do not have the proper equipment. We will not edit your audio for you.
  6. Bring audio back-ups to the convention. There is always the chance that something unexpected and beyond our control may happen. Be prepared just in case something goes wrong.

V. Presentation Rules

  1. The show will be limited to 30 entries. There will be two types of entries: Skits and Display Entries (walk-ons).
  2. Pre-recorded audio is required for all entries. (Please see the Audio section for more information.)
  3. Entries may present in CosFest as a Skit or Display Entry.
    • Skits are performance entries such as a comedy sketch, dramatic scene, action sequence, song/dance routine, etc. Skits will be allocated 2 minutes for a presentation (usually a skit, dance number, song, or comedy routine).
    • Display Entries are simply to model a costume without any performance aspects. Display Entries will be grouped together in a fashion show at the start of CosFest. We will have you walk out on the stage, pose while we describe your costume, and then you will walk off the stage.
  4. If you want the emcee to read an introduction speech, it must be limited to 35 words or less. Emcee narration is optional. If you choose not to have one, the emcee will only read your entry name and number before your performance.
  5. Please do not interact with the emcee. We also prohibit the emcee from talking during your performance.
  6. Be tasteful in creating your presentation. Nothing is allowed that would be banned in a "PG"-rated film. Actions, dress, or mannerisms that would not be allowed on a public street or thoroughfare must be avoided. No explicit sexual gestures, nudity, or explicit swearing. Violating these rules will disqualify you and possibly result in an escort off the premises.
  7. Your entry must be somehow relevant to your costumes and/or directly related to Asian popular culture. We do allow the use of non-Asian music in your skit. You may use the latest popular American movies, commercials, TV shows, etc. as an influence, but we strongly request that you keep your presentation's content appropriate to your character. If you aren't sure whether your skit plans are appropriate, please ask.
  8. Fire, flash powder, lasers, and explosives of any kind are prohibited. Electronic flashes may be permitted if you notify the CosFest Manager in advance and announce it in your emcee introduction to protect those who might be affected.
  9. All presentations must be strictly confined to the stage area and cannot incorporate the aisles or other audience areas. Do not jump off the stage; doing so will result in instant disqualification. Use only the designated stage entrances and exits.
  10. Feel free to surprise the audience, but not the CosFest Manager. If you are planning something "unique", please discuss it with her in advance.

VI. Special Performances

  1. Special Performances are non-competitive entries for showing off one's costume(s) and/or doing a performance just for fun. They are not judged and do not receive awards.
  2. If you wish to participate as an Special Performance, please e-mail the CosFest Manager for approval.
  3. Special Performance entries may potentially be allowed to exceed the time limits of competitive entries. Please discuss time allocation with the CosFest Manager. (She might ask for a sample of your work if you wish to exceed 2 minutes.)
  4. Special Performances will present in the middle of the CosFest.

VII. Craftsmanship Judging

  1. Being judged for craftsmanship is optional, but you must meet with the craftsmanship judges if you wish to be eligible for craftsmanship and/or Best in Show awards.
  2. You must confirm your entry by checking in with CosFest Registration (Marina Room) and you must appear on stage in the show. If your entry drops out of CosFest after seeing the craftsmanship judges, you will be disqualified.
  3. All craftsmanship judging occurs prior to CosFest itself on Friday, November 11, or Saturday, November 12, at the convention. You must make an appointment to be judged, and appointment times are given on a first-come, first-served basis.
  4. Two weeks before the convention, entries may begin requesting craftsmanship appointment times. The CosFest Manager will contact all registered entries by e-mail. Appointment time slots may be requested at the convention as well, but options will be limited based on what's still available. Be on time - if you do not show up, you lose your guaranteed craftsmanship appointment and you probably won't get seen by the judges.
  5. All craftsmanship competitors must fill out a Craftsmanship Form prior to their appointment with the judges.
  6. We strongly recommend that you bring at least one color reference picture of each costume in your entry. (Black and white is acceptable if color images are unavailable.) For recreation costumes, your images should show the character from head-to-toe if possible, and you may include other aspects you feel are important. For original costumes, you may share design sketches or images that show influences behind your creation. You may also provide progress photos or other documentation.
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