If you’re a fan of anime, video games, comics or Japanese culture, then you should consider going to one of the many conventions put on throughout the UK each year. It’s a great chance to see special guests, shop for unique merchandise, meet other members of your favourite fandoms, and of course show off your cosplay! Don’t have a costume? That’s perfectly fine as well since seeing so many characters brought to life is an experience in and of itself. Whether you’ve missed this summer’s biggest conventions or are just looking for a fun trip, here are some more events to get you through the rest of the year.
Going to a Convention by Bus? Some Quick Tips!
Travelling by bus is often a cheaper alternative to rail, so you can spend more money at vendors and on your cosplay!
Consider whether or not you can wear your costume on the bus. Is your costume bulky, glittery or could appear threatening to other passengers? Probably best to wait until you arrive to get changed!
Have you bought any weapons or something that may be banned on the bus? Best to check with the regulations of the bus provider you’re travelling with. Typically if it’s stored in the right kind of container it should be ok.
When: 24 – 25 August
How much: £20.00 for Friday and Saturday, £10.00 for just Friday, £15.00 just for Saturday
A true con experience, J-Con offers live music, anime screenings, skits, and an Otaku bring and buy with all the anime, comics and video games you can take in! Special guests include Bentley Jones, singer and songwriter of Sonic the Hedgehog fame, as well as Team Four Star member Makakox, who worked on both the Naruto and DragonballZ abridged series on youtube.
When: 2 September
How much: £44.00 for all 4 days, £19.00 for Thursday, Friday or Sunday, or £25.00 for Saturday
Alcon offers more activities than you can cram into the weekend with a talent show, numerous panels, cosplay events, workshops, a pub quiz and even a glow stick rave. Special guests at the convention include voice actress Kira Buckland, known as the voice of Falke from Street-fighter as well as 50 other anime and video game characters, and Martin “LittleKuriboh” Billany, who is famous for his work on the Yu-gi-Oh abridged series and various internet parodies.
Cosplay Culture 2018
When: 9 September
How much: £3.00 at the door
With 80 percent of the proceeds from tickets going to the Derby Hospital Children’s Ward, Cosplay Culture is a good time for a good cause. The event features several cosplay and anime themed activities as well as panels about Japanese culture.
Connections to Burton-Upon-Trent
Bus from Birmingham to Burton-Upon-Trent, National Express, from £13.20
Leicester to Burton-Upon-Trent, National Express, from £6.10
Bus from London to Burton-Upon-Trent, National Express, from £15.10
Yorkshire Cosplay Ball
When: 16 September
How much: £11.00 or £8.80 if booked online in advance
Ever dream of going to a masquerade as one of your favourite characters? The Yorkshire Cosplay Ball is the perfect opportunity to do so at the Holiday Inn. Attendees must be at least 15 years of age due to the more mature atmosphere of the event, and alcohol will be served. The dress code requires either a costume or semi-formal attire, so be sure to dress the part!
Nottingham Comic Convention
When: 20 October
How much: £8.00 for Adults (13 and over) and free of charge for Children 12 and under
The Nottingham Comic Convention will feature seminars guest Q&A panels, an animated film programme, and live music from local bands. This year’s special guests will include comic artist Marc Laming, who worked for DC and Marvel comics on Wonder Woman, Captain America, Star Wars, X-Men and many others, as well as Christian Wildgoose, who worked on DC’s Batgirl as well as the acclaimed Porcelain series.
Where: Milton Keynes
When: 2-4 November
How much: £55
Connect with other members of your favourite fandoms at Hibanacon with its own cosplay ball and masquerade, a party, live performances, and panels. Enjoy a special performance of The MMORPG show from the actor, comedian and director Paul Flannery, who is best known for the stage show Knightmare Live.
Connections to Milton Keynes
Bus from Leicester to Milton Keynes, National Express, from £7.40
Bus from Manchester to Milton Keynes, National Express, from £5.00
Bus from London to Milton Keynes, megabus, from £3.00
Doki Doki 2018
When: 10 November
How much: £12.50 if bought in advance, £15.00 on the day
Celebrate both Japan’s modern and traditional culture at Doki Doki 2018! The event includes panels on Japanese pop culture, calligraphy demonstrations, Japanese etiquette lessons, language activities, food and drink samplings and a cosplay competition judged by well-known cosplayers. Special guests include Andrew Osmond, author of “100 animated feature films,” as well as other books on anime subjects, and Akemi Solloway, a member of an old samurai family and lecturer on Japanese culture.
YCC Geeky Christmas Market
When: 25 November
How much: £2.20 for advance rates and £3.00 at the door
What better way to close the year and celebrate the holidays than to go back to Sheffield for a geeky Christmas Market? Not only does the event offer the typical convention experience but is also the perfect opportunity to do a bit of holiday shopping for your loved ones.
Connections to Sheffield
Bus from Manchester to Sheffield, National Express, from £2.50
Bus from Manchester to Sheffield, National Express, from £4.00
Bus from Bristol to Sheffield, megabus, from £7.01