March 7, 2017
News for EliteCon 2017:
EliteCon bans cosplay from their eventby Patrick Delahanty, Executive Producer, FanCons.com
EliteCon in Tampa, Florida, which is promoting itself as "A Premium Collectibles Event for Advanced Collectors", has banned people from attending their convention in costume. Although the ban is not mentioned on their web site and previously appeared only as "no cosplay" on some promotional advertising on some of their Facebook posts months ago, their March 5th Facebook update has attracted the attention of many cosplayers and prompted hundreds of responses.
The post says, "Just one week to Elite Con so a quick reminder in case you missed it along the way, there is no cosplay allowed at Elite Con. We appreciate cosplay but we want to keep the focus on the collectibles for our event. Thank you in advance for your adherence to this policy!"
Many responses seemed confused by the decision not to allow costumes. One commenter said, "Woooow OK obviously you don't want many hardcore collectors to be there then. I collect collectibles, especially of the characters I cosplay. What a way to disregard a wide demographic of consumers. #GeekDiscrimination"
Another thought it might be a joke. "Wait... What? No cosplay at a convention? You're kidding, right? I mean, it is a bit early for an April fool's joke."
Someone else made a play on the convention's name saying, "That sounds very elitist, and not in a good way."
Earlier today, Elite Con posted in response to the outcry from cosplayers. "Hello, we are well aware that this rule is not desirable to some collectors, however the intention of this post was not to argue the merits for or against having cosplay at our convention. It was simply to make the rule known prior to the event so that no one makes the trip out and is denied access to the event. There is no cosplay and no exceptions. If your primary concern is the allowance of cosplay and not the premium collectibles we will offer then our show may not be the right one for you. Our focus is solely on the collectibles as we have stated many times. We respect your decision not to attend and ask that you respect our decision to be a different kind of event even though you may disagree with us."
The convention has yet to clarify what qualifies as "cosplay" and what might merely be someone's unusual clothing.
Although cosplay may not be allowed at some professional trade shows, we're not aware of any previous fan conventions that have banned cosplay from their event. It's their event and they can ban cosplay if they want to, but we would not be surprised to see some Florida cosplayers organize a protest outside the convention.