Here’s some info!
Fort Worth Convention Center
The Fort Worth Convention Center is within walking distance of thousands of downtown Fort Worth hotel rooms, a variety of delicious restaurants and fabulous shopping. It offers more than 250,000 square feet of exhibit space, nearly 60,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, an impressive 28,160 square-foot ballroom, a 13,500 person events arena, and a 55,000 square foot events plaza that connects to the one-of-a-kind Fort Worth Water Gardens.
A-Kon Weapon/Prop Policy
Please read the following policy. Make sure you locate an A-Kon Kon Patrol station or team member to get your approval tag. If you carry a prop without an approval A-Kon tag you will be asked to return to your hotel or vehicle.
GeneralProps, Prop Weapons and Replica Weapons used as props must be carried in a safe manner that will not endanger or alarm other convention attendees. Violation of this rule may subject the attendee to charges of disorderly conduct and/or weapons charges under Texas Penal Code Chapter 42 and Chapter 46. Notwithstanding any other regulation or instruction; A-Kon, Phoenix Entertainment and their designated representatives reserve the right to disallow any prop or replica weapon at their discretion. Refusal to comply with said instruction will be cause for removal from the convention. Attending A-Kon or any of its activities serves as notice that the attendee has read and agrees to abide by all policies and instructions as given.
FIREARMS: Note to CHL/LTC holders !:NO REAL FIREARMS will be permitted as part of a cosplay regardless of functionality. ANY Lawfully carried handguns under authority of a CHL/LTC issued by the State of Texas or by another state recognized by the State of Texas must remain concealed if participating in cosplay. Failure to conceal lawfully carried handguns will result in FWPD checking you repeatedly for licenses and possibly being considered a threat. Handling or posing with a handgun will most certainly bring charges under Texas Penal Code 42.01(8) and may carry much more serious consequences. All licensees are solely responsible for obeying all laws and valid postings on private property and surrounding events. Be aware that Sheraton is posted in compliance with both TPC 30.06 and 30.07. However, any business can decide to post against concealed or open carry at a moment’s notice, whether permanently or temporarily. Nothing contained here or elsewhere in this policy may be construed as legal advice; nor may it be used as a legal standard in any cases arising from the improper carrying of a handgun or any other props used while attending A-Kon.
Prop, curio, replica and toy firearms
No functioning curio, replica or toy capable of firing a projectile, explosive cap or blank cartridge will be allowed unless the action or mechanism is disabled.
- Airsoft, Nerf and Paintball weapons must be disabled and no air puffs or other discharge should be detected on testing.
- Tampering with any toy or replica weapon with the intent or the appearance of intent to restore functionality is grounds for removal from the convention.
- It is ILLEGAL to black out or, remove a blaze orange tip from any toy or replica weapon so equipped.
Prop, model or replica firearms once approved, must remain holstered, slung or stowed unless posing for pictures or in cosplay events.
Under NO circumstances may any prop toy or replica firearm be pointed at attendees orA-Kon staff. Violators are subject to charges of “Disorderly Conduct” under TPC 42.01(8).It is understood that “realistic” prop, model, curio, replica or toy firearms are subject to inspection at the discretion of Kon Patrol, A-Kon Staff or Fort Worth Police whether or not it has been previously approved.
Props and Prop Weapons Overview
- Staffs, canes, shepherd hooks or any pole type props must be carried in a vertical position whenever moving through any convention space.
- If posing for photos or in Cosplay Events it is the responsibility of the attendee to ensure there is ample room to safely execute the pose.
- Oversized props MAY be directed to weapons check at the discretion of Kon Patrol or other A-Kon official to ensure the attendee understands safe handling practices and/or has a party member to act as lookout.
- Abrupt edges or points on rigid or semi-rigid props need to be rounded either by shaping or the addition of some type of point covering.
- Prop Arrows and Bolts must not have any type of rigid or sharpened head and should not be nocked (placed on string as if to fire).
- Bows must be carried either unstrung or with the bow string peace tied to prevent drawing.
- Crossbows must be unstrung OR have the Nut (Rolling Release), Retention Spring or Latch removed AND be peace tied to prevent drawing of the string.
- Metallic, ceramic or otherwise rigid shuriken, other throwing blade, chain whips, et al are illegal and WILL NOT be allowed under ANY circumstances.
- Swords, Daggers, and Knives over 5 ½ inches in length are illegal weapons in the State of Texas and are not allowed to be carried in public unless used in an activity where, “the weapon is a type commonly used in the activity” such as theatrical and reenactment events
- ANY metal sword or knife used as part of a costume must be “peace tied” and shall not be removed from their sheath, scabbard or container for any reason
- Steel and replica weapons purchased at the convention must remain packaged and transported directly to your room or vehicle. The exception is if the weapon is integral to and purchased for your cosplay, it may be brought to a Kon Patrol Weapons Check Station to be opened and peace tied.
Bladed weapons continued
- Approval to carry any steel weapon as part of a cosplay is solely at the discretion of A-Kon, Phoenix entertainment, Kon Patrol and designated staff. ANY weapon may be denied for any reason.
- Wooden, Foam or practice swords and knives must remain sheathed or belted unless posing or participating in a cosplay event.
- Any posing must be conducted in a safe and courteous manner
- Any wielding or handling other than posing or cosplay participation will be considered unsafe and is cause for removal from A-Kon and/or charges of disorderly conduct where appropriate.
Blunt Force Prop/Weapons
- A “club” is defined as, “an instrument that is specially designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person”. Examples from Texas Penal Code 46.01 include:
- Nightstick Black Jack Mace (Nunchaku, Flail, Morning Star, etc.)
- Tomahawk (Battle Axes, Indian Club, etc.)
- Carrying a club or any blunt force weapons as described is illegal and WILL NOT be allowed into the convention under ANY circumstances.
- Prop, foam, practice and lightweight replicas will be allowed provided:
- They remain sheathed, belted or stowed when moving through any convention space.
- Any posing/cosplay participation is conducted safely and courteously.
- Any such weapons purchased at the convention must remain packaged and be transported to your room or vehicle without delay.
- Any display, wielding or use of prop weapons is cause for removal from the convention and/or subject to charges of disorderly conduct under Texas Penal Code – Chapter 42.
Weapons CheckWeapons check stations will be situated in various locations throughout the convention space. Ask any staff member and they will direct you to the closest one. You are required to go to weapons check if your costume includes any of the mandatory items or at the discretion of Kon Patrol, an A-Kon official or their designee.
- MANDATORY Check Items Include:
- Realistic or formerly functioning prop, replica or toy firearms.
- Metal swords or rigid (heavy) weapons.
- Bows that are carried strung and (nonfunctioning) crossbows.
- ANY replica, practice or foam blunt force weapons including bats, Nightsticks, Nunchaku, Mace, Chain Whip et al
- Items NOT Requiring Mandatory Checks Include:
- Walking and Mage Staffs, Shepherd Crooks or Canes.
- Obviously fantasy based, inert or harmless props, weapons, and firearms.
- Training and Practice Firearms (Solid polymer and/or colored models).
ANY Prop or Weapon may be subjected to weapons check at the discretion of Kon Patrol or A-Kon Staff.
Cosplay Contest Rules
A-Kon 2017 Cosplay Competition Rules and Guidelines
Section I: Contest Rules
- Entrants must have a valid A-Kon badge in order to participate.
- Entrants 13 and under must have their parents’ permission to enter, and must be accompanied by a legal guardian or adult relative at the show.
- By entering this contest you agree to read and abide by all rules as posted and that failure to do so will result in your disqualification from the contest and/or removal from the event. Upon check-in, all entries will be required to sign their entry form to verify that they have read the rules and agree to adhere to them or be dropped from the contest.
- A-Kon Cosplay Staff and A-Kon reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone to the Cosplay event for any reason.
- Cosplay is a PG-13 event. Offensive language and sexual humor is not allowed. Be clever, not crass. Judgment on appropriateness of material is left to the discretion of the Cosplay Director and Cosplay Staff.
- All costumes must provide as much body coverage as a bikini. Body paint, latex pasties, thongs, etc. are not considered adequate body coverage on their own. Underwear and/or supportive garments must be worn underneath revealing or skin-tight costumes. If your costume does not meet this criteria you may be asked to change or not permitted to walk the stage.
- Entrants must exhibit good sportsmanship and remain professional at all times. Rude behavior and offensive remarks or insults toward staff, judges, or other entrants may be considered grounds for disqualification.
- Entrants must be able to enter and exit the stage quickly on their own or with the assistance of a handler. If your costume/prop cannot make it onto the stage, please enter the Hall Cosplay contest instead. Cosplay staff will not be able to provide a handler for you.
- Entrants may not enter costumes entered in any previous A-Kon Cosplay contests (Main Cosplay contest, Hall Cosplay contest, etc.).
- In order to prevent sandbagging, entrants wishing to compete with costumes that have previously won a costume competition must declare this upon registration. Entrants may not compete in a costume that has won a major award at another large convention.
- Costumes entered must be presented with reference images and recreate characters from anime, manga, animation, etc. Original characters will not be permitted; however, art book variations and reinterpretations of existing characters (including gijinka) will be allowed with an accompanying reference.
How and when to enter:
- Signups for the A-Kon 28 Saturday night Cosplay Contest will begin on March 1, 2017. All entries are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline for online entries is April 15, 2017.
- ONLINE ENTRIES ONLY. Starting this year, absolutely no entries for either the skit or walk-on contests will be accepted on-site.
- To enter, the entrant (or group leader) is required to submit the Cosplay Sign-Up Form online (to be posted March 1, 2017). Please submit only one entry per group.
- Audio for skit entries must be submitted to email@example.com on or before May 19, 2017 for approval.
- Each entry must submit at least two (2) reference images, either at the time of entry or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the April 15 entry deadline. Entries without reference images cannot be judged and will be disqualified.
- If your entry is confirmed, you must check in at Cosplay HQ (CC 121D) at your scheduled judging time or you will be dropped from the contest. When you check in, you must let us know how many parents/handlers you will be bringing backstage with you so we can make sure enough seats are available.
- Walk-ons will be performed to runway-style music chosen at the discretion of Cosplay Staff.
- Walk-on entries will be limited to 30 seconds and may include up to 5 people.
- Walk-on entries are required to attend craftsmanship judging. Walk-on entries that do not come to craftsmanship judging will not be eligible to receive awards and may be dropped from the contest.
- Skits will be primarily judged on performance and visual impact. Craftsmanship judging is OPTIONAL, and purchased/commissioned costumes will be permitted if permission is granted by the creator.
- Skit entries that are judged for craftsmanship will additionally choose a Walk-On craftsmanship division and be eligible for craftsmanship based awards.
- All skit audio must be pre-recorded, including all dialogue, music, and sound effects. Audio tracks must be received by the Cosplay Director no later than May 19, 2017 for review and testing.
- Written scripts will not be accepted in lieu of recorded audio in order to meet the deadline. Any skit entries that do not submit a pre-recorded soundtrack by the deadline will be disqualified.
- Should a soundtrack be deemed inappropriate, entrants will be allowed to re-record it once. After audio has been approved, it may not be changed or resubmitted for ANY reason. If submitted audio tracks exceed the time limit, they will be cut off at 3 minutes.
- Dance skits must feature original choreography. Dancing along to music videos is fun, but please show off your own talents!
- Skit performances will be limited to 3 minutes on stage with one minute allowed for setup.
- Skit performances cannot exceed more than 10 people, including handlers and set crew (“stage ninjas”), and only 6 people may be on the stage at one time.
- No microphones may be used by the contestants at any time. ALL audio material must be pre-recorded and submitted as a skit entry (see above).
- Everything brought onto the stage during a skit or walk-on entry must be removed at the end of the time limit. Messy substances including confetti, glitter, flower petals, and water are not allowed to be brought on the stage. Pyrotechnics or special effects such as fireworks, flash paper, or smoke machines will not be allowed on the stage or backstage area. You may not throw anything off the stage or into the crowd.
- Non-firing toy weapons will be allowed on-stage without peace bonding, but any live weapons will result in immediate removal from the stage. No food, animals, or remote control devices are allowed on stage.
- All stage fighting or acrobatics must be limited to half speed and quarter strength. One foot must remain on the floor at all times. Climbing onto the stage or leaping off the stage is prohibited.
- All costumes must be made by the entrant(s) or credited to the appropriate creator(s) on the entrant’s entry form. Creators not entering in costume must be present to receive awards. No purchased costumes will be considered for craftsmanship judging.
- All walk-on entries must be at least 75% made or significantly modified from original garments. Entrants will be required to list any parts of the costume (styled wigs, props, etc.) that were purchased or commissioned upon entering the contest. Borderline costumes will be accepted on a case-by-case basis
- When filling out the entry form, you must choose a one-hour block during which your group will come in for judging. If your first choice is full, you will be asked to choose another. Each entry of up to 2 people will be allowed 3 minutes to present their costume to the judges; groups of 3+ people will be allowed one minute for each additional group member. Entries that go over their time limit may be disqualified.
- Craftsmanship judging will take place in Cosplay HQ (CC 121D). Please arrive a few minutes early if possible in order to check in, as entries for each block will be judged in the order they arrive. If you arrive late, you may be rescheduled if time allows. If you find out in advance that you will not be able to make your timeslot, please contact us. Entries that do not show up for judging will be disqualified.
- Reference images and progress binders may be used as part of craftsmanship presentations, but must be picked up from Cosplay HQ by 1pm on Sunday.
Section II: Divisions and AwardsIn all cases, if the Cosplay Head or a judge feels that you should be placed in a higher division based off the craftsmanship and presentation of your costume, your entry may be changed to that higher division. Groups will be considered a single entry, combining all awards won by its participants. Any division receiving fewer than  entries will be omitted from the contest and entries will be moved to different divisions as appropriate for their level. Major awards include 1st-3rd places, Best in Show, etc. Minor awards include Judges’ awards, honorable mentions, etc. Walk-On Divisions:
- Novice: 1) This division is intended for costumes with little to no prior experience in making costumes, and no formal training in costume or fashion. 2) Novice Division entrants must not have won more than one award of any level at previous conventions.
- Intermediate: 1) This division is intended for people with some to moderate experience making costumes, some formal training in costume or fashion, or who have competed previously and won more than one award. 2) Intermediate division entrants must not have won more than five minor or three major awards at previous conventions.
- Masters: 1) The Masters division is intended for people with advanced formal training in costuming or fashion, extensive experience in making costumes, or who have won several awards for costumes. 2) Anyone may choose to enter this division 3) Professional costumers must enter in this division
- Best in Show - This award is to be granted to the entry that shows an overall exceptional degree of craftsmanship and execution. This award may be given to an entry in any division.
- Best in Division (Walk-On) - Given to a solo entrant who has shown an exceptional degree of craftsmanship and presentation for their division.
- Runner-Up in Division
- Best Skit - Given to a skit which demonstrates exceptional performance and execution.
- Skit Runner-Up
- Best Craftsmanship - Given to an entry which displays an exceptional degree of craftsmanship.
- The People’s Choice - This award is given to the entry that receives the biggest audience response.
- Judges’ Awards - Each judge may grant an award to an entry that they feel is exceptional.
- Best Sewing - best execution of sewing techniques
- Best Armor - best execution of armor techniques
- Best Prop - best execution of propmaking techniques
- Best Wig - best execution of wig-styling techniques
Please fill out the form below to "Contact A-Kon" this form will be emailed directly to our customer service department who will email you with a response. You can alway e-mail customer service directly at Customerservice@a-kon.com[vfb id='1']
Kon Survival Tips!
Preparing for a convention is quasi-art form, quasi-science. These lists are intended as a helpful guide on what to bring and prepare for. A bag to put your stuff in. (stick a small folding bag in your luggage for holding your new loot) YOUR MONEY Clothes for 4 days (don’t forget clean socks and undies!)... View Article
Terms & Conditions
The following Membership terms and conditions (Membership Terms) govern access to, and use (as a Member) of A-Kon®, a Phoenix Entertainment Media Group, LLC (herein referred to as “Phoenix Entertainment”) event. By selecting “I agree to the Terms and Conditions” when purchasing a membership, you will be deemed to have agreed to the Membership Terms... View Article
Cosplay Contest Rules
A-Kon 2017 Cosplay Competition Rules and Guidelines Section I: Contest Rules Eligibility: Entrants must have a valid A-Kon badge in order to participate. Entrants 13 and under must have their parents’ permission to enter, and must be accompanied by a legal guardian or adult relative at the show. By entering this contest you agree to... View Article
A-Kon® is dedicated to providing a harassment and violence-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body type, race, age, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. A-Kon® participants (including internal staff, exhibitors, vendors, etc.) violating these rules may be subject to various... View Article
Fort Worth Convention Center
The Fort Worth Convention Center is within walking distance of thousands of downtown Fort Worth hotel rooms, a variety of delicious restaurants and fabulous shopping. It offers more than 250,000 square feet of exhibit space, nearly 60,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, an impressive 28,160 square-foot ballroom, a 13,500 person events arena, and a... View Article
Hall Cosplay Rules and Guidelines
A-Kon 2017 Hall Cosplay Rules and Guidelines Eligibility: You must have a valid A-Kon badge in order to participate. Entrants 13 and under must have their parents’ permission to enter. By entering this contest you agree to read and abide by all rules as posted and that failure to do so will result in your... View Article
Rental Power Scooters
RENT A POWER SCOOTER FOR A-KON! LIMITED TIME OFFER
A-Kon Weapon/Prop Policy
Please read the following policy. Make sure you locate an A-Kon Kon Patrol station or team member to get your approval tag. If you carry a prop without an approval A-Kon tag you will be asked to return to your hotel or vehicle. General Props, Prop Weapons and Replica Weapons used as props must be carried... View Article
Please fill out the form below to “Contact A-Kon” this form will be emailed directly to our customer service department who will email you with a response. You can alway e-mail customer service directly at Customerservice@a-kon.com
The A-Kon® family started small in 1990 with only 380 people and now we’ve grown to an international following with over 21,900 attendees. Many people have asked about our numbers over the years and we want to do our best to answer people’s questions and provide something you can cite if anyone asks. These numbers... View Article
Kids At The Kon
Is it safe for children? What age groups should come? While most events at conventions are for general audiences of all ages, there may be a few Adult-themed or oriented events (we designate these at A-Kon® by calling them “Adult”). This may be due to skimpy costumes that tend to be worn, or language or... View Article