European Cosplay Gathering, we call ECG, is a cosplay competition bringing together cosplayers from different countries in Europe. There are many differences from other competitions in the way the ECG is being organized and judged. For ECG, one individual and one group will be chosen for each country and costumes from Western films and comics are permitted.
The prize of EGC
The winning individual and group will win a week-long trip to Paris and a 4-day VIP pass to Japan Expo! I think this is a really nice prize, since they will have a chance to meet other cosplayers from around Europe and Japan Expo always has exciting guests from Japan. Plus the overall winners at the final will be awarded another prize.
It’s the sister event of the Japanese Art Festival, taking place in London on March 5th. However unlike JAF, it’s more of a traditional Japanese festival than an anime and manga event. Both events are organized by Akemi Solloway, which many cosplayers will know from her Japanese culture panels at Amecon and London Expo.
Cosplayers have to be over-18 and holder of a UK passport to enter. This is a shame for younger cosplayers and cosplayers from other countries living in the UK, but it must be make sure the winning cosplayers will be able to travel to France without any problems with their visa or getting parental permission, etc.
It’s the biggest event of its kind in Europe with around 180,000 attendees, and takes place at Parc des Expositions just outside Paris, France.
However, it’s not just an anime convention – the show also has huge video game, Japanese culture and sci-fi areas. There are always famous guests from Japan (the past two years have seen Morning Musume, X-Japan and even CLAMP appear!), not to mention a full-size concert venue attached to the venue. For cosplayers the facilities are incredible – two huge stages with projectors, a 20m catwalk and changing rooms with food and helpers provided.
The finals ECG are being held
The final will be on Japan Expo’s main stage in front of an audience of 4,000 people.