The Insomnia Cosplay Community Masquerade – SIGNUPS CLOSED

Honouring and welcoming all ability levels of cosplay, this is a great place to get started in the cosplay world or simply show off your creation! The Community Masquerade will carry a series of categories the judges may choose to award you with.


1st 2nd 3rd






Performance Honour Gaming Cosplay Honour One to Watch Honour
Honour mention for costumes, props and accessories; and how well these elements are made Honour mention for use of general performance conventions and how you interact with the audience Honour mention for best gaming costume and/or gaming themed performance Honour mention for rising or beginner cosplayers

How can I enter?

The Cosplay Community Masquerade will be taking place at Insomnia Gaming Festival on Friday. You can take part by using the signup form below. Please arrive at least half an hour before the competition is due to begin. If you have signed up online you will be sent a confirmation email with all the details you need. We advise popping by the desk nice and early to check through your requirements.

How will the competition be judged?

The judges have various awards ranging from ‘Performance Honour’ to ‘The One to Watch Award.’ Judges also have the ability to award special honour mentions for something they love, they are used to encourage you to think outside the box and have fun!

All categories are equally weighted.


How much you made yourself and how well you made each handmade, altered or adjusted element such as costume, props and accessories. Showing and explaining how you made your cosplay is encouraged on the signup form. Help us see how you’ve created your masterpiece!


This category focuses on your stage performance. The judges will look at how well you present the character’s role, use of performance conventions, stage presentation and/or how you interact with the audience.

Character Concept

Character concept is a ‘bridge’ category and has equal application across the other categories, it looks at how you communicate, how you construct and how you express your character. Be it accuracy to a character, a creative interpretation (e.g Steampunk Harley Quinn or cross play) or a character likeness.

You are welcome to add pictures, such as you building your costume and/or reference photos of the character, and tell us all about your costume! This helps let the judges know what you’re proud of or what to look out for on stage.

Who can enter and what are the general rules?  

The Costume Element

  • Costumes from any genre of video game, television, film, book, anime, manga etc. may enter the Masquerade.
  • All costumes, including those that are bought, are allowed to enter the Cosplay Community Masquerade.
  • An altered costume will be eligible to receive points in the Craftsmanship category for specific components which are heavily altered or handmade entirely. All costumes will qualify for Character Concept and Performance categories.
  • Additional information must be attached to your email as either a PDF, Word, Powerpoint or standard image files. PDF is the preferred format.
  • All applications will be checked over by the Cosplay Team, this will not influence any judges decisions and you will be notified for competition confirmation.
  • Any size group may enter the Masquerade. However, if eligible for a prize, this will be split evenly between participants.
  • This competition is open to all ages, but if you are under the age of 13 please make sure to get parental consent. If you are under the age of 18 we may need to seek parental consent to award you a prize directly, we may request to send your prize to your parent/guardian in this event.

The Performance Element

  • You may perform to music and/or use a microphone during your performance. If you do not provide music, generic music will be provided for you.
  • The following elements are optional for your performance – Lighting choice, props, set, sound and microphone use. This is broken down on your application form to include. Performance details and requirements should be written on your application form. Any requirements and/or skilled performances need to be reviewed within good time before the show.
  • Performances/Skits must be no longer than one minute and thirty seconds in length. Please state the length of your skit time or if you are posing (e.g three point system) on your application form.
  • We highly advise you to visit the cosplay desk no later than two hours before the event is due to start to check through your requirements. If you do not visit the desk, your requirements for your performance may be refused.
  • Arrive at the designated area ready NO LATER THAN half an hour before the masquerade is due to start.
  • We ask you to fully fill out your application form. This includes confirming any music cues, items you are bringing such as props, performance requests and medical conditions.
  • If using stage props, items & backdrops, these must be safe and of working standard. As they will be moved quickly by our stage team. Whilst we endeavour to take very good care of your props, it is strongly recommended that you do not use any items that are precious, or delicate. While our team will do our best to care for your items, accidents can happen and our team will not be held responsible for any breakages in this fast-paced environment. If you have any specific handling requirements, please email and provide handling instructions, images and details. If utilizing your own stage assistant, they will be held responsible for any breakages or damage to items.

General Props Ruleset

What are the rules on weapons/props?

Weapons and props must be approved by security staff and/or event staff before being allowed into the convention. This may include checks which will be carried out by the cosplay team.

Decisions made by the venue, security and/or staff are final and these rules serve as a guide only.

Please be aware that these rules are here to ensure we have a safe event for both staff and attendees. If you have been asked to put your prop away, please do so. In an extreme case, you may be escorted from the event.

If there is any doubt, please send photos and a description of the prop and/or costume to; Please note that we cannot definitively suggest that your prop will be allowed into the convention without inspection in person.

Types of props:

  • Live weapons (including, but not limited to; deactivated guns, Airsoft, metal knives, swords, axes, live bows or slingshots, bokken, hanbo) are expressly prohibited, whether sheathed or peace-bonded.
  • No pyrotechnics, gas canisters, explosives (including cap-guns) or incendiary items.
  • You cannot perform any action which may lead event staff, attendees or members of the general public to believe you are in possession of a real live weapon.
  • No exceptions will be made regardless of any special licenses, training or memberships!
  • ‘If the prop was to hit someone, would it break before they do?’ If your answer is ‘no’ then it means that someone could get hurt and we would recommend you leave your prop at home so you are not disappointed.
  • Props cannot be made out of metal or hard woods e.g baseball bats or swords.
  • Props must not be capable of firing any sort of projectile at any point, including foam darts or water. If you have a bow type prop, you must make sure this cannot fire a projectile.
  • Props must also be fitted with a visible brightly coloured safety tip and/or panel of colour. This must be clearly visible at all times. It must also be clear at all times that you are not in possession of a real weapon.
  • Any sensible material is permitted for use with your prop such as light wood, foam, card, light plastic etc. but make sure your prop contains no sharp, protruding edges. Make sure these are sanded, rounded, padded, covered or otherwise protected adequately.

Transport of costumes/props

  • When outside of the convention hall, please make sure you have a safe way to transport your props and that they are sufficiently covered. Be extra careful when travelling through high traffic areas such as the airport and railway stations, so as not to cause alarm or issue to others.
  • If your prop is made out of light wood, this cannot be too heavy, large or unwieldy (i.e blocking corridors/doorways or is likely to hit, hurt or inconvenience others.)
  • If your costume is large and/or has trails/trains of fabric, please make sure you are aware of how you will travel to and from the venue and in high traffic areas of the convention. Costumes cannot block isles/gangways, or act as a trip hazard.
  • In all cases, the weapon or prop must be no longer than 1.6 m (5’2”).

Large elements, such as wings, exceeding over two metres, must be collapsed when on the convention floor.

  • If you lose your prop please report this to someone immediately with a full description and if possible a picture of the item.

Electronics and Electrical Safety

  • Ensure appropriate* cabling and connectors are used in costume circuitry (*appropriate = suitable for the circuit load and power source)
  • Ensure there is no fraying or loose connections or damage anywhere in the circuit before connecting to the power source.
  • Include a suitable fuse in any circuit. Appropriate to the intended current draw.
  • No wet cell or LiPo batteries to be used.
  • We reserve the right to refuse use of any electrical circuits on stage and on the convention floor if it is deemed unsafe.


Please be aware that these rules are here to ensure we have a safe event for both staff and attendees. If you have been asked to put your prop away, please do so. In an extreme case you may be escorted from the event.

If there is any doubt, please send photos and a description of the prop to

Masquerade Ruleset

  • Costumes must be appropriate for a family friendly convention and include enough body coverage to be worn in public.
  • All entrants must have a spare copy of their masquerade music track on USB/CD.
  • We STRONGLY recommend entering two separate costumes for Community and Championship masquerades. Only one prize can be awarded per costume, if entering one costume to both competitions in order to maintain maximum fairness we will be asking entrants to choose which ONE competition they would like to forfeit being judged in and to choose two different music tracks, one per competition. This will be noted on all your masquerade documents so we can provide the clearest and fairest means of competition we can.
  • Costumes being entered into ECG cannot enter in either the Community or Championship competitions.
  • A full and valid attendee ticket or creator pass is required to enter the Community and Championship masquerades. Any exhibitor wanting to enter will be required to purchase a ticket accordingly. Please be aware that Costume and Play have no involvement or input in the allocation and/or decision making of Insomnia Creator Passes.
  •  We reserve the right to decline or stop any performer at any time for any reason.
  •  Use or performance of the following will be immediately stopped and you may be

disqualified from the competition or convention floor:

  • Excessive/inappropriate language such as swearing.
  • Committing an act which is viewed as something which may potentially harm yourself or others.
  • Under no circumstances are entrants to alter their skin tone to portray or match a character’s ethnicity. This has no relation to accuracy scoring.
  • In order to keep up with latest advancements in social issues and concerns within the cosplay and competition community, Costume and Play and any staff, venue or organiser reserves the right to change or revise these rulesets at any time, to better reflect these issues and make sure a fair competition is held.

You agree to be filmed and photographed during the event, all rights of this belong to the event organisers and/or Costume and Play.

  • Prize Terms 
    • Any size group may enter the Masquerade. However, if eligible for a prize, this will be split evenly between participants.
    • Any cash prizes awarded after the event will be paid directly to you. If you are under the age of 18 we may need to seek parental consent to award you a prize directly. We may also request to send your prize to your parent/guardian in this event.
    • If the placing is for a group, there will be one trophy only.
    • No cash or alternative prize will be awarded in replacement of items such as (but not limited to) trophy, items, certificates, sponsor prizes etc.
    • All cosplayers may receive photography/video performances provided by Insomnia Gaming Festival. The time frame for these will vary. If we do not have your email address, announcements will also be placed on our social media for receipt of these.
    • Cash prizes when handled by Costume and Play will be processed in an 8 week time period. When handled by event organisers please refer to the event rules and regulations.
    • Any prizes provided by third parties will be the sole responsibility of the group providing said prize. Costume and Play accepts no liability for the provision of these prizes. A list of all prizes not being supplied by Costume and Play for the event, and the third party providing said prizes will be available upon request.
    • Due to the handmade nature of the trophies, postage and Bank processing times, a timescale of 8 weeks is set for the processing, sending and arrival of prizes. This starts the day following the concluding day of the event.
    • Should any issue beyond our control arise that may extend the 8 week processing time (weather, postal/bank strikes, damage ect) all receiving applicants will be made aware of the situation and kept in contact until the situation is resolved.

Insomnia Cosplay Community Masquerade Sign Up Form



DON’T FORGET to place the EVENT NAME and DAY PARTICIPATING in the email subject.

Please remember if you are in any doubt or even just worried about entering, then check with us. We’re all happy to help you through this and we understand rules, while essential, can sometimes be a bit daunting!

Email Address:

(Do you wish to be contacted in future with news from Costume and Play?) Y/N

Full Legal Name/s (If you’re a group enter all names):

(Preferred name if applicable):

Your Pronouns:

Cosplay Names/s (chosen name for announcement on stage)

If you wish please include social media tag/s (to tag you within any promotional material used):

Character Name/s: 

Character Series: 

Age and signed by parent/guardian if under the age of 13:

Sign ___________________________________________________________________

(If chosen, Are you happy to be asked some questions about cosplay backstage/on the stage?) Y/N

Information for the Judges. 

We know you’re passionate about your costume so tell us about it!

Describe your costume including handmade/altered elements. You are welcome to include any reference pictures and work in progress if available.

Describe any element you did not make: We want to hear about those lucky, or clever, thrift shop finds, fashion “rescues” or dream costume purchases!

Anything else you would like the judges to know; such as parts of your costume you are particularly proud of and why? I.e maybe something you handmade or something that was hard to source, why you selected the character etc.

Performance Information

Please describe what you will be doing during your performance. Performances/Skit tracks must be no longer than one minute and thirty seconds in length. Please list your performance choices such as movement/posing. We must be aware of everything you intend to do on stage.

Music (attached mp3 track name or youtube link) & Performance Length: If you want music, please state when you would like this to begin and submit a MP3 or WAV file AND bring a copy of your track on USB/. You may submit a direct Youtube link in advance via email.

Cue – Please play music at: e.g Just before I enter the stage

Will you need assistance getting on/off the stage?

Are there any medical conditions we need to be aware of? Please list any requirements such as seating, wheelchair, mobility chair and access to inhalers, etc.


 You may request general mood lighting, prompts and anything else that you would like for your performance. if you have additional requirements for stage this does not count towards your allowance however you must contact us beforehand. We will attempt to use this if possible but cannot guarantee. 

Performance details:

Microphone request:


Please be aware that we cue the show live, therefore we need a minimum of a few seconds gap between each cue element to call the next cue. (so if you have two lighting cues, please leave a few seconds gap between both, if you have a lighting and prop placement cue, we can do this simultaneously for you within reason) Do not feel forced to use every element, they are here for you to use if you wish!