Ayacon Convention Preview
With Ayacon 2011 now a mere 4 days away, it’s more than time for our traditional peek into what treats are in store for the intrepid con-goer this very weekend!
If live music is your bag, Ayacon will not disappoint. Friday evening kicks off the festivities in a refined manner with an anime-themed piano recital from Raven, accompanied by Neff on vocals. Unicorn Table (pictured above) will then crank up the volume for the opening party on Friday night. With credits from anime like Cutie Honey, and live action film Casshern, the duo have certainly got the qualifications to rock out the Anime crowd. The final band, Unshin, will be giving a performance on Saturday afternoon to promote their debut album “Waltz for Broken Dolls” as part of their UK tour.
Ayacon has always had a good history of cosplay events, and this year is no exception! Alongside the ever-popular masquerade, there are also workshops throughout the weekend, covering crossplay, makeup, and using patterns, right the way through to posing and performing convincingly on stage as your character. Cosplay HQ will be running all weekend as well, with a main information desk to help with any of your cosplay questions, a fully stocked repair station, galleries, photoshoot areas and much more. Ayacon are hosting the second qualifier for the Eurocosplay Finals, being held at MCM in October.
As well as Unicorn Table, who will be giving a Q and A session and a signing as well as their concert, Ayacon has a neat roster of guests to tantalise the collectors and superfans! Stephanie Sheh (pictured above), who has lent her voice to Naruto, Bleach and K-On!, will be joined by Michael Sinterniklaas (Bleach, Full Metal Alchemist, One Piece) and Matt Mercer (Mortal Kombat 9, World of Warcraft, Wolfenstein). Convention regular Akemi Solloway will also be attending to give a number on panels about life in Japan.
The Artists’ Alley is trying something new at Ayacon this year. Run by Sonia Leong, artist at Sweatdrop Studios, it is described as this:
“t’s not going to be a room this time. It’s going to be right in the thick of it – so no hiding away from sight or in a room that’s hard to find!
Basically, unless a convention is MAHUSIVE (like US or German ones with 40k attendees), artists are always going to lose out by having a table in a separate room from the dealers. That’s somewhat negated by offering the tables for free, but nevertheless, if you’re intending to earn lots and lots of money, that’s what buying a dealer’s table in the dealers’ room is for.
This is OLD SKOOL.
The Artist Alley is now, actually, an Alley – there will be tables and display boards set up for you in the area in the middle of the Student Union (And there are lots of chairs and sofas all around the edges, if those spots run out, or if you feel more comfortable working from there). And if you’re forgotten your paper/pencils, pick some up at the shops nearby (I won’t provide free paper/pencils as you know that some idiots will just end up wasting it on FREE HUG signs).
There are cafes/shops/banks ALL AROUND YOU. Looking down on you even – there is a mezzanine level with cafes where attendees can walk around and view the atrium area below. Passing trade, man, passing trade!!!
And like a street or alley – it’s a FREE public area for any artistic person to use. First come, first served. You can setup shop anytime you like from Friday, all the way through to closedown on Sunday afternoon.”
For more information on the Artists’ Alley, and rules and regulations, visit the thread on the Ayacon forums.
You can find out more about the events coming up at the weekend, and download a full timetable, here, on the Ayacon website.