Come and go, the highly anticipated Anime Festival Asia 2011 has successfully ended. And here I am with my Day 2 report + cosplay photo pimps. Unless otherwise stated, all photographs are taken by Erving from the Philippines. Check out his Deviantart and Facebook!
I'm sorry to admit, because I was so busy cosplaying on day 2 itself, I barely experienced the event.
AFA day 2 saw the worse overcrowding in the history since it's commerce. Apparently, every organisation in town wanted to hold their inaugural event on the historic date of 11.11.11 and let their events run through the weekend =.= In simpler terms, 3 different events were happening on that day itself. And given Suntec Convention Hall's limited walkway, you bet it's crammed!
The usual cosplayer hangout at the level 3 atrium had a closed door event happening so the space for Cosplayers to roam was greatly reduced. Henceforth, everyone was forced to gather on the walkway of Level 4. It was so bad that I didn't even managed to finish walking the entire level 4 alley before I gave up. Not keen on jostling with my wings. Needless to say, I didn’t bother entering the Halls either.
To make matters worse, level 6 toilets were locked and frustrated cosplayers like ourselves were left stranded until we found another toilet at level 3.
Sadly, AFA 2011 Day 2 had got to be the most unenjoyable AFA for me due to the extreme overcrowding and lack of logistic arrangement. Disclaimer though, I do not think it is the AFA organising committee’s fault that such unhappiness had to happen. Not like they could stop the other concurrent events from happening right?
And for one, it seemed to be an annoyingly common practise for convention buildings to shoo and lock up toilets when that specific hall/area is not rented out. Either that or they foresee event attendees from neighbouring halls would mess it up and would rather avoid it. I’d love for any professionals in related fields ( Events management, Location rental etc) to enlighten me on the purpose for such extreme actions.
But nevertheless, the matter of fact was that due to the extreme overcrowding, it was hard for cosplayers (and any event attendees) to enjoy the event. In turn creating frustrations and disappointment among event attendees that had been anticipating the event for an entire year. And for some cosplayers, slaved their ass off to make it for the event.
I do know for a fact, that the actual event is in the Hall itself and the area outside is not officially part of the event. But let’s be honest, Cosplayers don’t cosplay at events to look at the booths, they cosplay to meet new friends, interact with the old and of course, showcase their hard work and love for the characters. And many of that happens outside, with more liberating space.
I’m not saying cosplayers don’t walk the booths and contribute to the payroll of the booth owners. They do. What I’m trying to illustrate, is the point that one can do that without cosplaying can’t they?
It seemed like an impossible wish but I sincerely hope the future events in Singapore can be more cosplay friendly. Perhaps, it is time for AFA to move out of it’s usual foothold along with the maturing of the event. Anyone of you agree with me?