Yorkshire Cosplay Con - How it all began!

2010: The first convention of many!
On the 21st February 2010, Kitty Furniss had an idea to create and host a convention by herself that would unite all fans of Anime, Manga, Gaming and Cosplay together in one place. It was to be known as the Yorkshire Cosplay Con and later as YCC for short. The convention started life as a simple Facebook Group, which had grown over time.

Being a 19-year-old university student in Doncaster at the time, no one seemed to take her idea seriously but she was determined to create Yorkshire's first major convention. Inspired by her courage and determination MVM Entertainment, NEO Magazine, Genki Gear, The Rubber Pineapple and Letraset supported her efforts in making the convention a reality.

Genki Gear, who had been keen from day one, attended the very first Yorkshire Cosplay Con on 12th June 2010 at The Dome in Doncaster. They really loved being part of the first event and planned to return to future conventions.

The activities on the day included contests, stalls, karaoke, disco, raffle as well as battle and trading opportunities on handheld consoles.

The Star newspaper, had followed Yorkshire Cosplay Con's story and created a before and after press articles of the event in the hopes of creating more interest for the future conventions.

2011: A successful Second Convention
After the success of the first Yorkshire Cosplay Con, Kitty embarked on her next convention, which was to be a bigger event with a higher turn out than before.

Yorkshire Cosplay Con 2 was held on the 2nd July 2011 at The Dome in Doncaster. Hundreds swamped the venue with a variety of Costumes and Cosplays from Sci-Fi, Anime, Video Games and Comic Books. For a lot of the attendees this was the first ever convention they had attended and they enjoyed it so much they planned on returning.

Yorkshire Cosplay Con loves to involve its attendees in a variety of activities from an origami workshop by Japan Crafts to entering the wide-range of contests that Yorkshire Cosplay Con 2 had to offer. There was a variety of Anime and Cosplay merchandise stalls too.

On the day Yorkshire Cosplay Con and Genki Gear helped raise money for Red Cross - Japanese Tsunami Appeal with a raffle, which raised a total of £125.96.

The Star Newspaper attended the convention and took a group photo that has become one of our most iconic photos.

Cosplay Party – Renamed Yorkshire Cosplay Con 3
Due to the success of Yorkshire Cosplay Con 2, many followers were begging for another convention to attend, even though the last convention wasn't too long ago. Kitty decided to throw a Cosplayer’s Party which would focus on Cosplay, Music, Dancing and Singing. The event would later be renamed Yorkshire Cosplay Con 3 as most people, got confused with the name.

Yorkshire Cosplay Con 3 / Cosplay Party was held on 12th September 2011.

The party was to be half the size of the last convention due to the premiss having to be located quickly, however the smaller venue still gave the perfect atmosphere for our attendees and this gave the convention a friendly party like feel. Yorkshire Cosplay Con 3 still had its usual Anime merchandise stalls. There was also a raffle at the end of the day.

Yorkshire Cosplay Con 3 was another successful event with all tickets selling out.

2011: Yorkshire Cosplay Con 4
Yorkshire Cosplay Con once again returned to The Dome Doncaster and Yorkshire Cosplay Con 4 was held on the 12th November 2011 and once more sold out. This was to be the last convention for a while.

Over 200 attended the Convention and took part in the many activities available. A Caricature workshop was available from Special Guest Yen Yip who was also available to draw your caricature for £1. YCC had its first Trading Card Tournament at Yorkshire Cosplay Con 4. Karl Cloke one of YCC's regulars hosted a Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Game Tournament on the day that was open to all attendees. Another first was the Video Gaming Room. Dave Quinn help with the set up and running of the video game room. As well as the regular Cosplay, AMV, Singing and Dancing Contests YCC4 introduced a new Photo Contest where coplayers had to get photograph of themselves with their tickets in the most interesting or comical ways possible. At the event Yorkshire Cosplay Con 4 had a variety of traders selling anime and cosplay merchandise. YCC ended the event with a prize raffle where ticket numbers where drawn from a hat.

2012: Yorkshire Cosplay Con's Break
At the beginning of 2012 Yorkshire Cosplay Con went on a temporary hiatus that would mean that YCC would be having a break from Conventions and Social Gatherings. There were many reasons for the hiatus but the plan was to take a year away and come back bigger and better with some fresh new ideas.

Unfortunately, many of the followers and supporters were disappointed by the fact that there would be no Yorkshire Cosplay Con Conventions for a year or more, as many were hoping another one for 2012. Some of the followers were so dedicated that they created tribute pages such as 'Support Yorkshire Cosplay Con' in the hopes that YCC would return in 2012.

“It hurt me alot more than most people realized at the time but I had no choice but to have a break from the convention.” Quoted Kitty.

To make matter worse, Facebook updated their user policies and deleted the Yorkshire Cosplay Con profile page and all 2,000+ members were lost over night. There were two reasons the profile page was deleted, one: Facebook was deleting profiles that used the word 'Cosplay' because of copyright characters people was portraying, two: Facebook wanted all profile to be people with their real names and everything else to be pages.

Kitty was really disheartened because of this as there was no way of getting the followers back and so if she wanted to come back, she would have to start again from scratch. However, during Kitty’s break away from the convention, she met someone who would soon be a big part of bringing back Yorkshire Cosplay Con and helping to make it bigger and better.

While working as a Graphic Designer, she met Jon who was a Web-Designer at the same company. They worked together everyday and they both liked the same things, so naturally they decided to join forces and work together on the Yorkshire Cosplay Con project.

2013 Yorkshire Cosplay Con is back!
On the 24th March 2013, Yorkshire Cosplay Con made a return on Facebook after a year of disappearing. However, the followers didn’t forget about Yorkshire Cosplay Con as most re-added themselves in less than a few weeks.

There was changed to how the convention ran and improvements to its services. Yorkshire Cosplay Con was experiencing a re-brand and started expanding its presence to the other social media such as: Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest. As well as finally starting a proper website for the convention which started to open doors more to people who didn’t have a social media account.

“I want to reach out and make Yorkshire Cosplay Con appeal to a wider audience by making us easier to find and get in contact with’ Kitty Quoted.

Yorkshire Cosplay finally started to have more of an identity and presence in the convention world. People started recognizing the convention more.

The press got involved as BBC Radio Sheffield recorded a piece and interviewed Kitty and Jon a few weeks before the convention. Then on the morning of the event BBC Radio Sheffield played what they had recorded and did a live interview with Kitty in regard to the convention. As well as this the Doncaster Free Press also got involved in promoting the event.

On 17th August 2013 at The Dome in Doncaster saw the return of the convention - Yorkshire Cosplay Con 5. As well as some of the regulars there were a lot of new attendees for the sold out Convention.

The Convention had a lot of activities on the day which includeed:
  • Our DJ Tony playing your favourite: Anime, J-POP, K-POP and English tunes. As well as a bit of English and Japanese Karaoke!
  • A variety of Contests: Cosplay/Costume, Fan Art, Fan Mini Comic, AMV and more.
  • Patriot Games attended with a stall and provided our guests with a Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Game Tournament and presented the winner with a prize.
  • Variety of stalls selling Anime and Cosplay Merchandise as well as gothic goods from Melon Colley from Barnsley.
  • Video Gaming Room with an Xbox 360 with Kinect and a variety of games such as Rock Band 3 and a full range of instruments.
  • Yorkshire Cosplay Con 5 ended the day with a Raffle Give-Away
During the event we helped Jessica Hempshall in raising money for Little Princess Trust Charity, which is a charity for children with cancer who have lost their hair to help buy them wigs. We helped raise: £84.81 to her total.

After Yorkshire Cosplay Con 5, YCC received a lot of positive feedback and a lot of YCC followers wanted more. With their support and the support of our traders and sponsors YCC decided to make YCC6 the Official return, going as far as to name the convention The Return of the Ninja Pudd!, a slight word play on Star Wars Episode 6 The Return of the Jedi. YCC got its usual 3 rooms which allowed for its usual capacity of 200 as well as The Dome's Forum, a much larger room at the venue which increases the capacity of the event to over 2,000 people.