Cosplay & Prop Weapons Policies

Last updated: January 3, 2024

We understand that cosplay is a HUGE part of making our convention fun so we want to make sure that everyone has a fun and safe time at the con. Please read our costume and prop weapons policy and follow the rules! If you violate the policy, you could be asked to leave without a refund. Management reserves the right to make the final determination in matters related to public safety or to the integrity of the event. 

General Cosplay Policy

  • Costumes must be appropriate to wear in public – if you can’t wear it on the streets of the city, you can’t wear it to a LeftField Media event.
  • Naked isn’t a costume. You must also wear proper undergarments. LeftField Media hosts events which will draw fans of all ages, including those under 18. Costumes and clothing should not expose the body in such a way as to be deemed indecent exposure by the City and State in which the Event is held. Private parts must be covered in an opaque material that will not slip or have gaps.
    • Please be advised the for Awesome Con, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center has their own cosplay guidelines to be followed while in the convention center, which Awesome Con attendees are asked to abide by while at the show. The policies are as follows:
      • No one will be permitted to be topless in or on convention center property; this applies to all genders: male, female or non-binary. Liquid latex, body paint or makeup, and/or pasties shall not be acceptable costumes or clothing. All “private parts” must be covered by actual clothing and must not be visible through the clothing. If the costume calls for a thong, G-string, pasties or other similar items, a bodysuit or leotard must be worn beneath it.
    • The Javits Center (Anime NYC), Oregon Convention Center (Rose City Comic Con), and Fort Worth Convention Center (Anime Frontier) do not have venue-specific cosplay policies and attendees for those shows must abide by LeftField Media cosplay policies.
  • No bare feet. Can be shoes, flip flops, etc, but some form of foot coverings must be worn.
  • No signs or solicitations including but not limited to: signs offering services, requests to be hugged or touched, and political statements.
  • Uniforms are great! Some of the coolest outfits are uniforms. But if you intend to wear a uniform that looks super-realistic, please distinguish that it is a costume. If your costume could lead to you being confused with local law enforcement, please don’t wear it. Official law enforcement, emergency services, or military personnel uniforms are not permitted, nor shall anyone impersonate or attempt to impersonate such individuals.
  • Hateful symbols or symbols that could be mistaken for hate symbols are not allowed at LeftField Media events.
    • Historical costumes can be great, but reminders of unspeakable atrocities are not appropriate – this goes for Old School Hydra and Red Skull or any other Nazis from entertainment properties. Those figures, while comic-related, are still very much Nazis. As a result, they are 100% banned, always. This includes any sort of “ironic” or satirical costumes that re-appropriate Nazi paraphernalia or gear. Absolutely no swastikas. Absolutely no SS emblems or uniforms.
    • Tokyo Revengers cosplays are allowed as long as the Manji have been covered up.
    • Can you cosplay as a Stormtroopers in Star Wars or the Zeon in Gundam? Yes. LeftField Media events do not forbid science fiction and fantasy characters with designs loosely inspired by WWII.
  • Wings, large props or large costumes are fine, but if your costume is over 8 feet tall or over 3 feet wide you may not fit through the doors. If possible, make wings and other oversized parts detachable. We have no limit on the size of costumes or props, but ask that you be safe and aware while at the convention. You will be responsible for any damage incurred by your costume. Your costume must allow movement with limited assistance. Any assistants or handlers needed for your cosplay will be required to purchase their own badge.
  • Visible convention badges and peace bonding will be required at all times while inside the Convention Center.
  • No electrical power connections will be provided. If your costume requires power it must be part of your costume design. Your power source is subject to staff approval but we ask that you use common sense.
  • Drones, flying costume parts, hoverboards that actually hover, or anything that lifts off the ground on its own accord is not allowed.
  • Bicycles, scooters, skateboards, roller blades, or roller skates are not allowed in the convention center even if they are a part of your cosplay and even if you do not plan on riding them.
  • No vapes, smoke machines, or fog machines. Anything that produces smoke or vapors is not allowed in the convention center.
  • Harassment of any kind is not welcome at LeftField Media events. Any costume intended to harass, provoke, or intimidate isn’t allowed.

Props & Prop Weapons Policy

Generally speaking, props and prop weapons are allowed at LeftField Media events, as long as they meet the following criteria: they are composed of cardboard, foam, or something light. Prop firearms are allowed only if they cannot be mistaken for real weapons and must have an orange tip. Prop bows will be allowed providing all arrows have soft tips and will not be shot.

For the safety of our attendees, there will be no play acting, swinging, mock fighting, dueling, throwing, swinging, hitting yourself, or staged combat with prop weapons allowed except in designated areas.

Please review cosplay props within the following categories to see if your cosplay prop/prop weapon would be allowed or prohibited:

  • Real weapons are not allowed.
  • Any weapon or possible weapon that could seriously hurt somebody is not allowed.
  • Functional firearms are not allowed – this includes but is not limited to paintball guns, airsoft guns, bb guns, cap guns, or any gun that shoots a real projectile or causes a real explosion. These types of firearms are not allowed even if they have been disabled so do not bring them.
  • Realistic firearms are not allowed – any gun that could be confused for a real gun including rifles, shotguns, handguns, blowguns, and tasers are not permitted. If it looks like a real gun, it cannot come into a LeftField Media event. Realistic prop guns with brightly-colored caps are not allowed.
  • Unrealistic firearms are allowed but still need a bright orange cap or tip. Nerf guns are allowed as long as you do not bring any projectiles.
  • Prop weapons made of exposed hard material such as metal, wood, or glass are not allowed.
  • Functional projectile weapons such as but not limited to crossbows and slingshot are not allowed.
  • No metal weapons, including but not limited to bladed weapons that are dulled, sword canes, switchblades, Bali-Song (Butterfly Knife), axes, Kunai, and hatchets.
    • Lightsabers are allowed provided there is no metal above the hilt.
  • Whips are not allowed.
  • Explosives, incendiary devices, and chemical weapons are not allowed.
  • Blunt weapons or items that could be used as a weapon such as bats, clubs, guitars, tennis rackets, golf clubs, brass knuckles, nunchucks, or hockey sticks are not allowed.
  • Loud props such as whistles, horns, etc. are not allowed.

Prop weapons will be allowed into LeftField Media events at the discretion of LeftField Media staff and uniformed security personnel. Safety is paramount, we will always err on the side of caution. There will be no place to store prohibited weapons on-site. If you have a weapon that is prohibited, you will be escorted from the building and not allowed back in with the weapon.

Thank you for taking the time to review these Policies. Should you have a question that is not answered in these policies, please email [email protected] for clarification.