Activities: Masquerade

Welcome to the Otakon Vegas 2017 Masquerade rules and entry page! The Masquerade is a competitive event where costumed skits that range from comedy to dramatic fight scenes are presented to an audience and judges. Please read thoroughly for all rules and how to enter.

Masquerade Registration
Online pre-registration for the Otakon Vegas 2017 Masquerade will be available from January 1st to January 14th, 2017.

Please read the information below before following the link at the bottom of the page to the application form.

General Rules

Otakon Vegas General Rules and Guidelines must be followed at all times.

Online pre-registration will be available from January 1st to January 14th.

We will cap the groups at 50 entries. 35 entries will be available for pre-registration and after we hit 35, the remaining 15 will be available for at-convention signups. All entries must purchase tickets to Otakon Vegas.

Craftsmanship judging will be done Friday afternoon 2-5pm and Saturday afternoon from 12-3pm prior to the Masquerade (times subject to change so please check at convention).

Individuals will receive 10 minutes, groups will receive 15 minutes.

Any contestant under 18 years of age at the time of the Masquerade, must have their parent or legal guardians sign the appropriate section of the General Release & Waiver Form.

There are four levels: Novice/Journeyman/Craftsman/Youth. Novice is 0-3 Major Awards, Journeyman is 4-6, and Craftsman is 7 and up.

Youth Awards are for those 12 and younger.

Competing "down" (A Craftsman entering as Journeyman for an easier win) is discouraged and will lead to disqualification.

The "strongest" member of the group will have the group entered as that level (One craftsman, two Journeyman, one novice entering will result in the group entering as Craftsman.)

There is a required meeting Saturday morning (Time TBA) for at least one person from each entry to go over stage movement, basic rules, and iron out any details such as music submission not already done online as well as ask questions.

Skit time limits are as follows: Groups are given 3 minutes, walk-ons are sixty seconds. While we do give a bit of leeway, please do not push the time limit. Time will be given for set-up. Going over time will have you disqualified from receiving major awards.

All music is accepted in mp3 audio form. If necessary, we can accept CDs, although mp3 format e-mailed after receiving confirmation is strongly preferred. After your entry is accepted and you have Received an acceptance e-mail then you may e-mail your music in as well.

All skits must be PG and tasteful. No shocking, vulgar, or outright offensive performances.

Everything you bring on stage must be taken with you. No confetti, fire/explosives, or jumping off the stage. This is a platform stage, not a theater. If you have any questions over staging, please ask the coordinator. If you have any surprises, ask the coordinator. If you plan on doing any martial arts, gymnastics, hard falls - please consider this is a small platform stage and if it is deemed too risky, that the coordinator may ask you to tone down your skit.

Costume Rules

Otakon's mission is the promotion Japanese and Asian popular culture. As such, we ask that at least some part of your costume and/or skit be relevant to manga, anime and/or Japanese/Asian culture. This means that we will take series or works that has an obvious influence by notable works of Asian work or culture. For example: Ori and the Blind Forest is a work that was quoted as being influenced by Miyazaki's style.

Costumes must be built by or at least 75% modified by the wearer or designer. No commissioned costumes unless the creator of said costume is entering in the entry.

Any costumes that have won Best in Show or a major craftsmanship award are prohibited unless extensive changes have been made to the costumes with proper documentation.

No live steel or weapons. If you are unsure if a prop is acceptable for the masquerade, please ask security or the coordinator. In order to win a Craftsmanship award or Best in Show, you must attend craftsmanship judging.

Original or alternative take on designs (for example: Halloween Town Riku or Steakpunk Link) are acceptable, but must have strong or obvious references from the series with documentation to back up.

At convention signups will be available Friday afternoon and if slots are available, Saturday morning as well.

Costume references are strongly preferred as it helps showcase the details and work that you have put into your costume in your pursuit for accuracy.

Lying or falsification of costume work will have you banned from the competition and all future Otakon Vegas Masquerades.

The coordinator's word is final as is all decisions of the judges. All awards are presented following the Masquerade.

Notes to Consider

Presentation and Craftsmanship combine for the overall decision on the awards.

Originality and unique concepts are something looked upon favorably by judges in both skit execution, choice of series, and costume work.

Costume documentation, from original notes to the building process is valued. The judges are all designers and builders and enjoy the entire creative process.

Clean and simple construction will always trump a busy, sloppy costume. It is more difficult to construct a proper-fitting costumes with fewer details to hide stitchwork and fitting behind than to construction an over-the-top costume that hides construction.

That said, if you have a stellar costume with details and stitching that deserves some notice that isn't necessarily noticeable, please photo and document! Judges love details!


Q: What awards are there??

A:Honorable Mentions, Judges Awards, 1st/2nd/3rd for Each Division: Novice/Journeyman/Craftsman, Best of Show.

Please note that awards may be toggled depending on turnout.

Q: What should I bring to judging? What's going to happen?

A: You will basically go into a quiet room with three judges who are all accustomed to not only competing, but have judged as well. You basically will explain to them how you made your costume with any photos of reference and/or the building process. Focus on the details and try to be thorough but efficient.

Q: What are the judges looking for?

A: Originality, cleanliness, and thinking outside the box.

Q: What if I'm running late for my judging appointment??

A: We will do our best to accommodate. The judges have all competed and understand issues and stress to meet deadlines. Please feel free to E-mail if you are concerned and we will do our best to work with you.

Q: If I have questions about judging or how awards went?

A: There is a Q&A/feedback panel on Sunday to voice your concerns to the judges. We are always open to comments and criticisms. At this time you can give your feedback as well as receive feedback on your costume, if you wish.

Q: Is there is a cool Best in Show Prize?

A: Yes.

Q: Can I compete with a comic book series? League of Legends? Game of Thrones?

A: To stay true to the Otakon Vegas mission, the masquerade is open to all series that fall under the category of Anime/Manga, Japanese/Asian Theater/Music/Video Games/Culture only.

Please note:
The Judges and Coordinator's decisions are all final. Our goal is to have a fair and enjoyable experience for all to enjoy.