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Home arrow Cosplay arrow CosFest Contest Rules
CosFest Contest Rules

***Update 11/4/12 - CosFest Deadline Has Been Extended to Wednesday, 11/7/12 at 11:59 p.m.***

Whether you are competing for the first time or have a long history with competition, it is always possible that PMX is doing something different from what you might expect. It is your responsibility to read the contest rules and make sure you understand them.

CosFest, the PMX Cosplay Contest, will be held on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012.
from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. in Main Events (International Ballroom B on the Lobby Level)

The Cosplay Office will be located in Century A & B this year. This is on the Second Floor of the the Hilton. Their hours will be Friday, 2:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.; Sunday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Note: there may be a requirement to submit preview videos of skits; this is still being finalized. If you have any concerns about this, please contact the CosFest Coordinator before registering.

Once you have read the rules below...
Click here to register for CosFest 2012!


I. Timeline

  • Online Registration OPENS Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. Register now!
  • Craftsmanship Judging Appointments will use a different process than last year, TBA.
  • Online Registration CLOSES on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 at 11:59 p.m.
  • We strongly advise that all participants register online, prior to the convention. However, at-con registration may be available at the convention.

Please check back for a more detailed schedule.

II. Eligibility

  1. All contestants must be paid attendees of Pacific Media Expo 2012 at the time of the convention.
  2. A single entry may have a maximum of 8 costumed members. Special helpers are allowed to accompany an entry, such as stage ninjas, costume assistant, medical assistant, etc. If an entry requires one or more helpers, please inform the CosFest Coordinator for approval. Having more than the approved number of contestants on stage will result in disqualification.
  3. All participating costumes must fall into the categories below. If you are not sure whether your costume qualifies, please do not hesitate to contact the CosFest Coordinator.
    • 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 Coordinator can inform you of important updates. Please notify him/her if your contact information changes.
  4. Contestants must come to the Cosplay Office (Century A & B) to check-in and confirm their presence at the convention. Failure to check-in by 12:00pm (noon) on Saturday, November 10, 2012 will result in removal from the CosFest.
  5. For Group Entries, every individual member must personally check-in at the Cosplay Office (Century A & B). All members do not 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 10, 2012 at (time 3:00 p.m. in International Ballroom B). We will do a roll call and go though a brief orientation. Contestants who do not attend this meeting will be assumed as drop outs and removed you from CosFest.
  7. Please do not wear or use any messy substances that may ruin the costume of others. If you are wearing body paint, glitter, or make-up, please make sure it will not come off in casual contact with other contestants.
  8. Please do not leave anything on the stage that cannot be easily picked up by the crew.
  9. Costumes must be self-contained. Connections to electrical sockets will not be available.
  10. PMX and the Cosplay staff will not allow anything near the stage that we deem may pose a danger to people and/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 Coordinator. Please bring your weapon(s) when you check-in. All weapon(s) will 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. "Horse-play" will be NOT be tolerated. Please take care and assure 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 the CosFest event staff.
  14. While we certainly would not exercise it lightly, we have the right to cancel a performance at any time.

IV. 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 a maximum of 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 the Cosplay Office (Century A & B) on Friday, November 9, or Saturday, November 10, at the convention, during office hours. Audio must be submitted by 1:00 pm on Saturday, November 10, or you will not be allowed to participate.
  4. 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.
  5. The tech crew will play all audio tracks as-is. They will not pause or resume your dialogue for you.
  6. We ask that you 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.
  7. Please bring audio back-ups to the convention. There is always the chance that something unexpected may happen that is beyond our control. Be prepared just in case something goes wrong.

V. Presentation Rules

  1. The show will be limited to 30 entries, but can be increased at the discretion of CosFest Staff, depending on time. 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 ("Walk-Ons") are simply to model a costume without any performance aspects. Display Entries will 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 are not 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 Coordinator 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 Coordinator. If you are planning something "unique", please discuss it with him/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 a Special Performance, please e-mail the CosFest Coordinator 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 Coordinator. (He/She might ask for a sample of your work if you wish to exceed 2 minutes.)
  4. Special Performances will presented 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 at the Cosplay Office (Century A & B) 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 9, 2012 (preferred), or Saturday, November 10, 2012 (by 1:00pm), 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 Coordinator 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 availability. 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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Senryu Taiko will be coming to PMX to hold a panel and have a workshop. Attendees also get a chance to try out the taiko drums. (10.26.12)

Food Trucking
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Pocky Room
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Program Schedule
The programming schedule for PMX 2012 is now available! The schedule will be updated up until PMX, so stay tuned for more updates! (10.24.12)

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The applications for Way of the Stick and Blade and White Out Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments are now available! (10.18.12)

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Mobile Guide
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Artists Market Info
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Industry Reg is Open!
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CosFest rules have been updated and online registration is now open. (09.08.12)

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2012 Pacific Media Expo
Images used with permission and are copyrighted by their respective owners.