Menu Close

Cosplay Contest 2019

cosplayer collage




GalayFest will have a cosplay competition on Saturday. Online registration will close January 28, 2019. Walk in registration will be welcome, however, we suggest you get in early. Check the schedule for prejudging & contest times. If you miss prejudging, you may still walk on stage, but are not eligible for any awards. There is a limited amount of time and therefore, a limited amount of entries that will be allowed, so make sure to sign up at registration early instead of last minute!


Yokaze Cosplay – Judge and Cosplay Director

Yokaze is a local cosplayer that’s been sewing, gluing, and burning her fingers (yay, thermoplastics!) for over a decade with more than 20 awards. She has judged a dozen cosplay contest for adults, children, and pets!  She’s most well known for costumes that employ creative engineering to allow for gravity defying costumes, 15 foot wingspans, articulated armor, and swords that look like laced obsidian. She also designs high fashion in a line called “Fantasy Couture.”  Yokaze is always trying to push the limits of what is possible with cosplay.

Judges: Yokaze Cosplay, Fred Mehner, Eva Juzwiak



***Please note: Novice, Journeyman, Master, and Skit divisions are open to individuals above 12 years of age who want to compete. We have a contest on Sunday for those children. Groups may also compete in these categories, but will be judged and categorized based on the person with the highest skill level.***

Children’s Division is for contestants under 12 as of opening day of GalaxyFest

The following rules are for the adult contest and are subject to change.

Categories – Novice, Journeyman, Master, and Skit… Click to Read More...

Category hours are to include research, shopping, building, repairing, false starts or redone work, etc. Honestly, EVERYTHING you do to create this project counts, including writing your documentation, finding your reference pictures, and stuff you tried that didn’t work. Don’t discount your work just because the first attempt failed. That’s practice, and it counts because you learned something.


  • Novice: 0-100 hours
  • Journeyman: 100-300 hours
  • Master: 300+ hours


Novice: If you are new to cosplay or have only competed a few times, this is your division. Novice must have no more than one win in a previous contest. Craftsmanship is not expected to be perfect. Rather, the judges will be looking for how you have translated a character from paper or screen to your own person. Remember, everyone in Masters was once in the Novice category. Enjoy the process!  You must have made at least 60% of your costume yourself

Journeyman: This is the category for those who have several competitions under their belt or those who have won a craftsmanship award in the Beginner division. If you’ve won between two and five awards this is your division. A higher degree of skill is required in this category as judges start to take fine details, fabric choices, and more advanced techniques under consideration. Documentation is highly recommended.  You must have made at least 80% of your costume yourself.

Master: This is the place for the most seasoned cosplayers. Competitors in Masters are those who are considered professional or near professional quality – if you have won any Masters level awards, have won more than five awards in the past for your works, and if you have been a cosplay judge or a guest at other events. If you make 50% or more of your income from cosplaying (commissions, props, celebrity, etc.) you are considered a Master. All aspects are considered, including seams, linings, under-pieces, structure, and props, many of which are not noticeable unless closely inspected. Documentation and reference photos are required. At this level, the tiniest detail can make a sizable difference in judging.  You must have made 95% of your costume yourself (leeway for small things like shoes)

Exhibition ONLY: Exhibition Only is a great way to get your feet wet. Afraid of judging because it’s too stressful? Just do Exhibition Only! You still get to show off your amazing costume to MILLIONS of adoring fans (okay, maybe not millions) and you can get some practice being on stage. Regardless, you will get your picture taken and can even qualify for the People’s Choice award for audience favorite!

Skits: Just like the name says. This is a blend of both performance and craftsmanship, and the group may be at any of the aforementioned skill level. Standard craftsmanship judging will occur as per the other categories, but the performance aspect will be much more heavily weighted. Skits may be up to three minutes long. Copies of the script and audio recording must be submitted no later than TBA.


Children’s Division: Many of us have kids too so we know the challenges of herding them! In order to keep them happy and participating, we will have a separate costume Parade on Sunday for younger folks. There will be specific prizes for them.

There are times when the judges decide that an individual should be bumped up to higher category. This is most definitely a compliment on your work! Your craftsmanship is ready to be considered at a higher level and you will be competing in a way that shows everyone in their best light. In general, competitors should enter in the last category in which they were placed, or a level up if they have won a craftsmanship award in that division. Judges also have the right to lower your category – we want you to do the very best you can and give you the best opportunities!



If you are unsure about where you fit skill-wise, let us know! We know our stuff. If we feel you would show better in a lower category, we’ll ask if you want to drop down. Likewise, if you are too skilled to be in the category you chose, we’ll bump you up to the proper level.

Although we won’t drop you a category unless you are okay, we might bump you up without telling you.

Costume / Cosplay Contest Rules Click to

Every costume contest has to have its rules and there are valid reasons for each of them. However, if you believe you have a really good reason not to comply with one of the rules, convince the Costuming Director to make an exception. The Costuming Director has the final say.


  • All Contest participants must be registered attendees of GalaxyFest.
  • NO flagrant nudity. This Contest is rated PG-13. Please use some discretion, as there are usually children in the audience. Your costume will be evaluated before going on stage, should it be deemed inappropriate you could be disqualified from the contest and possibly asked to leave the convention with no refund.
  • Keep everything “family friendly”. No profanity allowed on stage. Content you provide must be no worse than something you would see in a rated-PG movie. This includes messages on signs or clothes. Anyone who breaks this rule will be disqualified and possibly asked to leave the convention.
  • The following costumes may not be worn for competition: purchased costumes, rented costumes, or costumes purchased as a kit.
  • Both made costumes and found/pieced together costumes may be entered into the contest. At least 80% of a costume needs to be made by the wearer for it to be considered made. (Example: Sewing a dress for your costume but then buying accessories and shoes would still qualify it as over 80% made by the entrant.)
  • Small children must be under the control of a responsible adult at all times and it suggested that they compete in the children’s contest.
  • Your costume must be finished before you get to the Green Room. No sewing, gluing, spray painting, welding, or other construction work is allowed back stage. However, final assembly of large costumes and/or props and unexpected repairs will be allowed.
  • Costumers will be required to sign a release for use of a video and photos. By appearing in the costume contest, a costumer allows the convention to make a video tape and/or photos of the event and offer them for sale. For Participants under 18 years of age, the release will have to be signed by a parent or guardian.
  • For safety reasons, the following is not allowed: live animals with the exception of service animals, substances which might damage or soil other costumes, aerosol sprays, or projectiles.
  • No pyrotechnics will be allowed including but not limited to: fire, flash powder, explosives, smoke bombs or fireworks. Additionally, the use of oil based smoke/fog machines is prohibited as they will set off the hotel fire detection system.
  • Illegal weapons of any kind are not allowed. Legal, real or prop weapons must follow the convention weapons policy and can only be used as part of the costume with restrictions. You must have any real blade props for the contest approved by the cosplay director prior to bringing it into the convention area. You are not required to have your weapon “peace bonded” while you appear on stage or in the Green Room however, you are expected to act responsibly with your weapon. The Green Room is not the place to practice your presentation’s sword play! You may be asked to check your weapon in to our Props Master prior to the start of the contest if we deem the weapon potentially dangerous to your fellow costumers. If you decide to carry a weapon, by signing your registration form, you accept any legal and financial responsibility for damage your weapon may cause to persons or property. Although you are not required to “peace bond” your weapons while appearing in the contest, normal GalaxyFest Weapons Policy rules apply while you are not competing.
  • Costumes with electric power requirements need to be self-contained. There will be no access to electrical outlets on stage.
  • Costumers who want to use special effects in their presentations (i.e. strobe lights, etc.) must notify the Costuming Director prior to the convention. The Director has the right to deny requests for special effects due to safety concerns, power availability and building regulations. Do not plan your presentation around unapproved special effects!
  • Costumes that could potentially damage the hotel facilities will not be allowed.
  • Any entry in the Contest, including the Exhibition Class, shall not be for the purpose of advertising a company or product. If the entry is to advertise another fan-run convention, the script will be subject to review by the GalaxyFest Costuming Director prior to performance.
  • GalaxyFest does not supply costumers with any of the following: make-up, make-up applicators and/or removers, glue, paint, etc. Please come to the Contest with everything you need to repair your costume. The GalaxyFest Contest Staff may be available to help with emergencies or damage repair.
  • Smoking is not allowed in the Green Room. Contestants who leave the building for a smoke break may lose their turn to appear on stage.
  • Surprise the audience, not the GalaxyFest staff. If you are planning something completely different, let us know well in advance. All information will be held in the strictest confidence.
  • No Whiners! Entrants are presumed to be adults, or under the supervision of one. All judge’s and Costuming Director decisions are final.
  • The Costuming Director has the right to eliminate any entry from the competition on the basis of taste, danger to the audience, building or yourself, violation of any of the above rules, or any other reason deemed sufficient. We do not wish to eliminate anyone, but this protects you and the convention
  • Reference images are not required, but are recommended. If you are not able to print a reference image, you may also pull one up on your cell phone or tablet to present to the judges. Reference images are not mandatory, but without reference pictures, costumers may not be able to compete for accuracy awards. Plus, it allows the judge to view the character you are portraying if he/she has never seen the anime, game, or series.
  • Original designs are allowed and must have a reference picture to enter.
  • Contestants can only enter in one category, Individual or Group.


On Friday (time TBA) and Saturday (time TBA), the judges will be doing pre-judging. This is a chance for you to bring in your costume and have it looked over by the judges before it goes on stage. You CAN wear it but you don’t have to.

Pre-registered entries will be emailed for a preferred time slot.  At the sign-up area for the costume contest, there will be a sheet with 10 minute time blocks. Pick a remaining one and write your name in it. Make note on your judging sheets what your time slot is. You are required to check in for this slot in person. BRING YOUR 4 JUDGING SHEETS WITH YOU TO YOUR PRE-JUDGING APPOINTMENT. If you forget or misplace them, reschedule and fill out replacement sheets. If you can’t reschedule, please enter under Exhibition Only. We still want you to be on stage, but we can’t judge you if we don’t have your sheets.


IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO BE ON TIME. If you are late to your pre-judging, you can reschedule to a later time only if there is an open slot. If something happens and you can’t make your time slot and can’t reschedule, please enter as an Exhibition Only. You did all this work and prep, the audience deserves to see your work!


After reading and agreeing to the rules above, complete the below registration form and submit to GalaxyFest: