Calling all Costumers and Cosplayers!! 

     Are you interested in exhibiting a costume onstage in the Masquerade? If so, please read along for registration and all related information! 

     If you are at the convention and unsure about entering, please come by the Masquerade Registration Desk in costume, or with a photo of you in your costume, and talk to us about your costume ― we’ll be happy to help you.

     It is advisable to premiere your Masquerade costume at the Masquerade itself, thus giving you the biggest possible impact on the audience and judges, but it is NOT mandatory. (If we find you in a fabulous costume in the hallways we might attempt to recruit you for the Masquerade!)

     Should you decide to enter the Masquerade: Thank you very, very much! YOU make the show - we couldn’t do it without you! Registration information is below. 

Participation and Entry Requirements

  • Who may enter the Masquerade?
    • Any Attending Member of Spikecon.
    • Creators (those who have others model their work), must have at least a Supporting Membership to Spikecon.
  • Themes: Costumes should have a relation to general Science Fiction/Fantasy/Cosplay themes, (including Video Games, Comics and, Animé), as an Original Creation, a Re-Creation, Creative Interpretation, or Assembled costume. For questions please contact the Masquerade Director.
  • Double Entries:
    • Each person may only appear onstage with ONE entry.
    • A person may have different costumes modeled by others in a different entry. (Example: a Young Fan may enter a costume made or partially made by a parent, while the parent is participating with their own entry.)
  • Eligible Costume Types:
    • Original: A costume inspired by science fiction, fantasy, mythology, animé, alternate history, or other original sources, including your imagination. The design must be the creation of the entrant.

      Documentation: Although optional, evidence on how you made your costume, what your costume represents, and any other information is welcome and reviewed by the judges for the categories it qualifies for.

    • Re-Creation: A costume that is copied/adapted from a movie, video, television series, art, comics, theatrical presentation, book illustration, sculpture or other mediums. They should give at least one good view onstage. Often, they are the published design or work of someone other than the entrant.

           Entries based upon descriptions only are not considered re-creations as there is no visual source for the entry. These entries are considered as “creatively inspired or interpreted” from a source. Often re-creations are placed in the Original category. 

      Documentation: To be eligible for Workmanship judging, re-creation entries MUST provide at least one image of their source. This can include a picture, written description or sculptural piece with your registration (the sooner the better). The judges may not be familiar with the medium you are copying. 

    • Creatively Inspired/Creative Interpretation: This is best illustrated with an example: a Victorian Steampunk Star Trek Uniform.

      Documentation: as with re-creations, to be eligible for judging, creatively inspired costumes must provide at least one image of the original derivative work at Registration (or a detailed description from a book/publication if there is no visual reference), as the judges may not be familiar with the work you are being inspired by.

    • Assembled: A costume created from assorted pieces and/or multiple suppliers qualifies. You may use the “Assembled by” line on the registration form to indicate your work. For instance, if you purchased some parts from a consignment shop, some from a donation store, and some from a costume shop, that would be an “assembled” costume.

           Assembled costumes are allowed, but are only eligible for Presentation Awards, not Workmanship. (Exceptions like a costume piece(s), such as a prop, that you created yourself - may be eligible for Workmanship judging.)

Note on Documentation: Hard Copy documentation turned in prior to judging is preferred. While it is required for Workmanship judging, Presentation judges also have access to the documentation you provide.

     If your documentation is in electronic format and must be shown to the judges at time of judging, please pre-load it to your device, as the Internet may be difficult to access during judging. 

  • Presentation Length/Stage Time:
    • Excluding stage setup (stage crew putting a prop, portable backdrop, or a chair placed onstage, etc.); Individual presentations have a default time limit of 60 seconds from lights-up to lights-down. Larger group entries (typically 4 to 6) have a default time limit of 90 seconds.
    • Think “TV commercials”; make your presentation as short and to the point as possible to avoid losing the audience’s interest. You want to leave the stage before their attention drifts; and leave them wanting more!

If you feel your presentation needs more than the default time frames, please contact the Masquerade Director.

  • Presentation Audio:
    • Sound Beats Silence: Even if you are doing a simple walk-on (e.g.: come on stage, make a couple of turns so that all parts of your costume can be seen, walk off), PLEASE bring a music CD or a flash drive with a track that compliments your costume! Be sure to put your name on it!

    • You Can't Speak From The Stage: Because, you won’t have a mic, and nobody will be able to hear you! Speech dialog. music or sound effects must be PRE-RECORDED.  Two copies (preferably on different media, see below) should be handed to registration for the Audio team as early as possible. Clearly label your media with the name and title of your entry. Please don't use a generic label such as “Spikecon Masquerade — Star Wars”.
    • The MC May Assist You: The only person who has a microphone and should speak from the stage is the Master of Ceremonies (“MC”). The MC will be happy to work with you in reading a short script or interact with you on stage if planned ahead of time. 
           Please provide your script in .txt or .rtf format by email to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or have it available on a thumb drive to turn in when you register. We will print it prior to rehearsal and only modify if needed, for printing.
    • Please Keep It Simple/Easy: The media you submit should ONLY include the music and/or speech, sound effects, etc. for your performance. Start the sound from the point you want it played during the show, and make sure to match the timing for your sound when it should be heard in your presentation. We can do some audio editing at the Masquerade desk but available time to edit is a factor. 
    • If You Only Have a Music CD: If you are using a music track from a commercial CD, the Tech Crew will start at the beginning of your track and fade out when you reach your time limit. If you are using any other portion of a musical track, please bring in a previously edited version with your preferred starting point.

    • Sound File Formats: Large sound systems bring out the best and worst in recordings. If  possible, base your presentation music from non-compressed sources such as CDs rather than a download. Keep the sound files in uncompressed .WAV or .AIF format throughout the editing process, and deliver final material as WAV, AIFF, LAC, ALAC, and AAC files for playback. Do not save the sound file in a compressed format (.MP3 or otherwise.) If your file is not a CD, we prefer USB thumb drives or flash drives. Tablets or smartphones may compress your file.

    • Double-Check Your Sound: It is suggested that you check any recorded voice for clarity by playing it in a car traveling at highway speed to see if it is still understandable. 
    • What Our Tech Crew Will Do: Before your rehearsal, the Audio team will capture the sound file from your media and prepare it for playback. We will either return your media at the rehearsal, or at the Masquerade Show-and-Tell/Postmortem on Sunday.

    • Um... I Need Help Finding Music: Earlier requests for help (e.g.: via email) will have higher priority than requests at-con. Please request help in time to be ready BEFORE your Tech Rehearsal. If you show up at the rehearsal with no music, the Tech Crew may not have time to help you. 

Questions? If you have questions about any of this, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and we will help you.

  • I’ve worn this costume before at another event! Can I wear my costume at Spikecon before the Masquerade?
    • There are NO restrictions on costumes worn at this convention or at other prior events. We ask that you use your best judgment about whether to enter in competition, or only as Exhibition (if you’re not sure, please ask us).
    • If you have won a major award with this costume (such as “Best in Class”) at an international competition, (including WorldCons, Costume-Cons, and Anime North), we might ask you to compete at a higher level or present your entry out of competition (Exhibition). We DO want to see your costumes here!