AnimeCon Fest a hit

Saturday, August 11, 2018

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DESPITE a rain delayed start and random showers throughout the day, AnimeCon Fest 2018 pulled out the fans at the Shell Bandstand in Hope Gardens, St Andrew, recently.

“It started off on a very bumpy road. We had the extremely late delivery of chair and table rentals. The rain came. Trophies weren't delivered as was agreed to, then rain and more rain. We had to cancel many of the day's activities, but by the grace of God we got through all these adversities and came out successful,” Ricardo Carter, event organiser, told the Jamaica Observer.

Carter and his team braved weather to ensure that patrons were satisfied at the end of the day, especially given the size of the turnout.

“The turnout was what we expected. In fact, at one point based on the interest we garnered on social media, since that's where we do most of our promotions, we were a bit fearful that the turnout might become too large and overwhelming for our meagre resources,” he said.

Through the day pop-culture fans ate up the displays of local comics and animation, patronized vendors selling locally created infused anime items, played video games, all while many were dressed as their favourite character. In the end it was Kemar Stoddart dressed as Kratos from the God of War video game series who took home the top prize as 2018 Jamaica Cosplay Champion. Stoddart, a cosplay rookie, built his costume with his mother. He attributed his win to his confidence and stage presence which won over the judges and crowd.

Now with a grasp of planning AnimeCon Fest under their belt Carter said his team has learned plenty and will apply this knowledge for 2019, which is already under planning.

“We learned a little too much, but two things, in particular. The first is to secure the services of reliable and genuine service providers months ahead in advance and to trust my gut feelings more sometimes.”

For 2019, Carter added his team will be focused on gaining the support of the corporate Jamaica and the government, especially given the event's aim of highlighting the talent of young Jamaican creators. For now they'll be working on Hallow Palooza 2018, scheduled for October.

“Jamaica Cosplay Club is now looking forward to Hallow Palooza 2018 in three month's time. That's our Halloween fundraising costume party for AnimeCom Fest. Then the commencement of plan for AnimeCom 2019.”

— Rory Daley

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