27-28 June 2020




Please send any queries by email to: cosplay@mcmexpo.net - please include the show location in the subject line e.g. Birmingham or Scotland.

Participation in the Masquerade does not grant free entry to the MCM Comic Con.

Cosplay is not limited to costumes from anime and games - whether the source is films, television, comics, bands, cartoons, any costume is welcome. Original costumes can also be entered if supported by concept sketches and an explanation of the inspirations behind the costume.

The Cosplay Team reserve the discretionary right to amend or waive any of the rules and to reject applicants.


You can sign up to display a costume or perform in MCM Masquerades online on the Cosplay & Masquerade page of the relevant show on our website: http://www.mcmcomiccon.com.

Online sign ups open 6 weeks before each event and close will close when places are full or 1 week before the show, whichever comes first. Please note that Performance applications close much earlier, normally around 3 weeks ahead of the show. Follow us on Facebook for announcements-https://www.facebook.com/cosplayatmcm/

We occasionally accept sign ups for the MCM Masquerade on the day; on the day sign ups close at noon or when the places are full, whichever comes first. Please come see us at Cosplay Central first thing to find out if any spaces are available.


There are two types of Masquerade entry: Costume Display and Performance.

Costume Display entries are aimed at people who want to simply display their costume through in character posing and are the majority of entries in the Masquerade. The maximum group size is eight people.
 Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. 
Most entries will be on stage for about a minute, or two minutes for larger groups or bulky costumes.

Performance entries are aimed at people who want to do more than display their costumes on stage or have a talent or skit to display for the audience. The maximum group size is usually eight people. Places are limited and are allocated by a panel of cosplayers by comparing the merits of all performance applications.


Anyone 15 years old or less can enter the Costume Display category regardless of whether or not they made their own costume. In the case of very young entrants (11 years old or younger) adults can similarly join them in any costume for support & encouragement.

Otherwise, all Costume Display entrants must wear a costume that meets the following criteria. There is no exception for people who do not wish to be judged:

• All significant parts of the costume must have been constructed (or greatly modified from generic clothing) by the person wearing it, or by one of the group on stage for group entries.
- AND -
• Any bought items except for wigs, footwear, and underwear must be largely insignificant considering
the costume as a whole. 

- AND -
• It has not been entered into a Cosplay Masquerade at any previous MCM event.
This does not include costumes entered into the MCM Championships of Cosplay and selected other competitions- please email to confirm if in doubt: cosplay@mcmexpo.net

Commissioned and bought costumes, or costumes mostly made up of bought general clothing are not suitable for Costume Display entries even in a group with some eligible costumes.

Costume Display entries are allowed their own choice of music. This should be a general background track, any spoken elements must be within the first 20 seconds, so that the pacing of the masquerade can be managed fairly for all participants. It should be a minimum of 30 seconds long, any tracks longer than 1 minute will be faded out as you leave the stage.


The Best Performance prize is awarded for taking to the stage and impressing the audience

Can we perform with bought costumes?

YES! We allow performances with bought costumes.
Note that if not selected to perform, it will not be possible to change category to Costume Display.

Here are some examples of Masquerade performances:

• A short comical performance or ‘skit’ 

• Your own short scene such as an alternate ending • A magic trick or other show of skill 

• A choreographed fight scene* 

• Re-enacting a dramatic scene

• Mix your characters into a scene or sketch from a different source
• A dance or ‘dance off’ to music
• Miming or singing a song*

• A short musical performance*

*the organisers may need further reassurances before approving these.

Performance entries must be submitted in advance and applications close a minimum of 3 weeks before the show, no performance places will be available on the day. After signing up via the website we require a full description of your performance and examples of your skill/style. This can include previous performances but rehearsal videos are very helpful for the panel assessing your use of the stage. These should be sent by the deadline indicated in the confirmation email and on the sign up form.

A panel will assess all performance applications, selecting a number of them to perform based on factors such as quality of scripts, originality, and variety. Performance places will be only be confirmed once the application deadline has passed and the panel has made their selection.

Please note the following:

  • The content must be suitable for a family audience. 

  • The time limit for singing & dancing performances is 2 minutes, and 3 minutes for any other


  • The MCM Cosplay Team may be able to provide basic props, e.g. tables, and assistance if available and requested at least a week in advance. Anything that is unavailable must be supplied by the entrants. 

  • A hand-held, live microphone may be permitted for certain performances e.g. singing, conditional on having provided a similar performance observed by the MCM Cosplay Team. For dramatic performances and skits we strongly recommend using pre-recorded dialogue. Other microphone types are not available.

  • We can only accept a single sound file OR video file for an entry, which we will start to play when you come on stage and continue until the track ends.

  • We reserve the right to reject poor quality tracks and so recommend sending in voice recordings early, so that we can test and inform you if it needs to be improved. 

  • Energetic performances involving e.g. running or martial arts displays require extra checks on the skills of the performers, and we reserve the right the interrupt performances for safety reasons. 

All files MUST be sent to the Cosplay Team at least ONE WEEK before the show.

Performances and using costumes more than once

It is permitted to use the same costume for more than one performance, or to perform with a costume previously used for a Costume Display entry. If a costume is eligible to be in the Costume Display category, it can be judged in that category in the first Masquerade it participates in only.


You do not have to be judged if you wish to just showcase your work!

The contest element is open to ages 16 and up. If you wish for your costume(s) to be judged competitively, you need to make yourselves available at Comic Con before the Masquerade for judging of your costumes construction and accuracy. Be aware that groups will be judged as a whole, and not just on the basis of the best or worst costumes.

For a costume to be judged competitively a picture or photo reference of the character / costume you are representing MUST be brought with you on the day; note an A4 sheet is superior to a small mobile phone screen. You will be judged against this reference so it is advisable to make it good!

DO NOT rely on the judges knowing the character. Other information regarding the costume's construction, such as 'in progress' photographs, are also welcome.

Entries will be judged on Accuracy and Construction before you go on stage.

  • A high Accuracy score (maximum points available is 10) will be awarded for correct colours, details, patterns, hair style etc. 

  • A high Construction score (maximum points available is 10) will be awarded for good workmanship, variety and complexity of techniques used, and finish. 

• Once on stage, entries will be judged on stage presence (maximum points available is 5) including affecting the character’s mannerisms, flourishes to engage the audience and how well the costume is presented on stage.

Good reference pictures will focus judges on the best sections of the costume. Consider getting several angles of the character and put them all together on a single sheet. Progress pictures are useful when talking to the judges- being able to discuss your techniques and even better what problems you overcame can make you a winner!

A ‘Best Costume’ and ‘Best Performance’ prize will usually be awarded to the best entries in those respective categories. The judges may award runner up prizes depending on the size of the Masquerade. All performances are eligible for the ‘Best Performance’ prize. This is awarded solely on the basis of the stage performance without consideration of the costumes. If the performance costume(s) would be eligible as a Costume Display entry, they can be judged for the costume based prizes as well. 

The judges’ decision is FINAL 

Please respect the judges and the other participants by accepting their decisions.