Cosplay, Props & Weapons Rules

General Q-Con wristband rules 

In order to gain entry into convention venues, and to participate in any event at Q-Con, attendees must have their entry wristband clearly visible at all times. All attendees, including those in cosplay, must be able to demonstrate that they are in possession of a Q-Con wristband, ideally worn on one of their wrists. Failure to do so will result in delay or rejection of you being signed up for events throughout the weekend. 

Q-Con is an all age convention so please be aware our Cosplay events have an audience of both children and adults alike. As a result, some material may not be suitable for viewing by children. Q-Con management requests that all attendees please be aware of their behaviour and language at all times, even when in cosplay portraying a character.

Any cosplay event participants under the age of 14 will be asked to have their adult guardian be present with them at the sign up desk, in order for the guardian to confirm they are comfortable with under the 14 year old attendee participating in the event (subject to event age restrictions).

Cosplaying at Q-Con

Cosplay is not mandatory at Q-Con, but cosplayers are welcome and we encourage everyone to pay tribute to their favourite characters! Cosplay is permitted in all areas of the convention and there are several dedicated events with audiences for cosplayers to partake in.

All attendees are reminded that the golden rule of interacting with any cosplayer is that “cosplay is not consent”. No cosplayer should be involved in any activity which they do not wish to be a part of, and everyone should be respectful of all attendees at all times both within and outside the venue grounds. No harassment of any kind will be tolerated by Q-Con management; failure to abide to this will result you in being escorted from the venue by security and you may banned from the convention. Serious matters may be referred onto the appropriate authorities along with physical evidence and statements. 

The safety of all attendees is paramount to Q-Con management. The materials used in your cosplay and your cosplay itself must be suitable for a general audience of all ages. Cosplays which incorporate nudity, walking barefoot (even if it’s part of your character’s cosplay), or which reference offensive or inflammatory subject matters will not be permitted within the venue. Similarly to standard clothing, cosplay clothing items should not be able to be easily removed by other attendees.

For health & safety reasons, no skates, rollerblades, skateboards, scooters, “heelies”, or any form of bladed or wheeled footwear is permitted within any Q-Con venue. These may be carried as props for the costume, but must not be left unattended at any time. Cosplay apparel should not have any leading edges which could cause contact injury to other attendees. 

It may seems obvious, but your costume shouldn't cause you or others any physical pain, injury, or damage whilst you wear it and walk around. If your cosplay is too large in size, is difficult to manoeuvre, restricts vision, or otherwise requires aid to be transported or worn from one part of convention to another, please bring a designated companion with you to escort you around the convention at all times. 

Your costume and props should be able to fit through a normal door unhindered and should not be so large as to encumber yourself or others.

Props and Weapons at Q-Con

All props and weapons must follow the official Q-Con Cosplay, Prop and Weapons rules! As every prop is unique, made using different construction techniques and materials, certain props may need inspected by Q-Con volunteers to ensure that it cannot easily cause injury and that it is suitably appropriate for a general public event. The below rules should be taken as a general rule of thumb.

  1. For health and safety reasons, any props deemed to be too large or unwieldy to safely carry around will not permitted in any of the convention venues.
  2. All handgun or firearm related replicas/props must be easily recognised as a replica from a distance – such as bright orange caps/markings on guns. If your gun does not have anything that differentiates it from a real weapon, it will not be allowed into the convention. 
  3. Please be sensible when designing and carrying firearm props in any public space; PSNI officers are present both onsite and elsewhere and will approach individuals who act in any fashion in which visually suggests they may pose a risk to the general public. It is illegal to wield any black or realistic airsoft gun in public.
  4. All firearm-type weapons must be replicas and must be clearly marked as such. Airguns (both working and deactivated), paint guns, water guns and similar projectile weapons are not allowed into the convention. Nerf guns are permitted into the venue but must be unloaded at all times and Nerf guns which require batteries to be operated must not have any batteries installed whilst within the venue. 
  5. No edged weapons with live blades, or blunt edged weapons heavy enough to cause bludgeoning damage, will be admitted to the convention. Any swords, daggers, bat’leths or other weapon props must be judged as safe and tagged by convention staff at the Convention Registration area before being allowed admittance to the convention areas. 
  6. If your costume design or any prop you carry features sharp edges - or any other feature that could cause injury to others - you must sand, file or smooth off those edges. Any prop deemed too deemed as dangerous will not allowed inside the convention.
  7. Due to an increase in archery related TV series and super hero characters in films, we’ve noticed an increase in strung bows and arrows at Q-Con. Actual archery equipment (compound or recurve bows, crossbows etc.) will not be allowed to Q-Con due to their obvious dangers. No loose arrows, both tipped or blunted, will be allowed, and any bows (either bought or homemade) should not be strung or otherwise be under any tension.
  8. All weapons must be carried, holstered, sheathed or slung in an approved fashion.
  9. "Free Hugs" signs are not permitted within any convention area and must not be gestured to at any point.
  10. All props must be reasonably suitable for a general public event, meaning they must not be of a sexually explicit or suggestive nature or reference events of an offensive or inflammatory nature.

All weapons or realistic props must be checked and authorised by the Q-Con Committee, and are allowed within the venue at our discretion only. To reduce the need for certain props to be constantly rechecked, they may be subjected to being "tagged" with a removable and easily recognisable tag. Tags are specifically selected to not cause damage to props.

Any weapons which fail to meet the safety criteria must be immediately (and discreetly) returned to storage, (e.g.: your hotel room or vehicle), for the duration of the convention. Q-Con will not store these items for you and is not liable to any damage caused to property you bring into the venue.

Actions which could cause injury with weapons, props, or costumes such as horseplay, duelling, fighting, running, swinging etc. are not tolerated. Failure to abide by this will more than likely have your weapons confiscated until the end of the day and will result in automatic disqualification from both the Masquerade and Talent Show.

Venue security staff have final authority over whether any item/article/weapon can be brought into the building. Anyone found in breach of their decisions may be removed from the building at once

Cosplay Talent Show

ALL ENTRANTS WHO HAVE SIGNED UP FOR COSPLAY EVENT PARTICIPATION MUST TAKE PART IN EVENT ORIENTATION, FAILURE TO DO SO WILL MEAN AUTOMATIC WITHDRAWAL FROM THE EVENT PARTICIPATION.

There is a maximum time limit of approx. 5 minutes for a performance on Cosplay Masquerade

Cosplay outfits for the Cosplay Talent Show are not required to be made by the person wearing it, it can be store-bought. Only the Group/Cosplayer’s performance on stage will be judged for the following event.

All costumes performances must be tasteful and appropriate for a general audience. Any activity on stage must be within the boundaries of the stage as shown by staff and must not be dangerous to performers or the audience. Your performance must also be suitable for both children, teenagers, and adults alike.

Background music is allowed for Cosplay Talent Show, but you must provide a clearly labelled CD/memory-stick with an .mp3 format of what to be used for your performance prior to the talent show with the song/music needed as the first track and of the appropriate file size. Cosplayer’s and/or groups name must also be clearly labelled on the following. It is recommended to have cues from the song for your skit’s beginning, especially for dance or timed skits (I.E a sound encoded into the track that indicates how long until the song starts and when to start with timing). Only one .mp3 track per performance is allowed. Audio CDs, portable music players, mobile phones or YouTube® links are not acceptable!

Only a signed and fully filled out form will allow entry into the event. A Masquerade sign-up form must be completed fully for anyone looking to participate in cosplay masquerade both for showcase and competitive entry and talent show sign-up form must be completed per group if you wish to do a performance skit.

All performances and Cosplays must be tasteful and appropriate for a general audience. Any activity on stage must be within the boundaries of the stage as shown by the Masquerade staff and must not involve rowdy play. Failure to comply with these will result in disqualification and any further actions deemed necessary by the Q-Con Committee and/or Venue Security, up to and including ejection from the Convention.

Cosplay Masquerade

All Masquerade contestants planning to wear weapons at Q-Con as part of their costume MUST present their weapons for inspection upon arrival at Convention Registration. Any unauthorized weapons will not be permitted into the convention.

A Competitive Entry into the Cosplay Masquerade requires that your Cosplay MUST be your own work and not made or commissioned for you by someone else. Allowances can be made in special circumstances at the discretion of the Committee; however, in all other cases you will not be eligible for awards and prizes. If your Cosplay is not your own work, you must inform us of this. You may still take part in the walk-on Masquerade or the Performance category in this case, but your Cosplay itself won’t be judged for the prize.

Participants must follow the instructions of the event staff at all times during the Cosplay Masquerade, including stage directions such as how and when to proceed onto the stage and where the boundaries of the stage are. Failure will result in disqualification and any further actions deemed necessary by the Q-Con Committee and/or Venue Security, up to and including ejection from the Convention.

There is a maximum of 1 minute of stage time per person for Masquerade Catwalk entries.

You can enter your Cosplay into both the Performance and Judged categories. Please inform the front desk regarding this prior to the Cosplay Masquerade

You may still take part in the walk-on Masquerade or the Performance category if you didn’t make your Cosplay but your Cosplay itself won’t be judged (you still receive 1 minute on stage in this case for the catwalk).

Only a signed and fully filled out form will allow entry into the event. A Masquerade sign-up form must be completed fully for anyone looking to participate in cosplay masquerade both for showcase and competitive entry and talent show sign-up form must be completed per group if you wish to do a performance skit.

All performances and Cosplays must be tasteful and appropriate for a general audience. Any activity on stage must be within the boundaries of the stage as shown by the Masquerade staff and must not involve rowdy play. Failure to comply with these will result in disqualification and any further actions deemed necessary by the Q-Con Committee and/or Venue Security, up to and including ejection from the Convention.

Any breaches of the above rules may result in disqualification from the cosplay competitions. Severe breaches may incur any further penalties deemed necessary by the Q-Con Committee and/or venue security, up to and including ejection from the Convention and removal from the building itself.