Cosplay and Reenactors Weapons, Costumes and Props Policy

Policies for safe Cosplay and reenacting at the UKGE

Please be careful when selecting weapons and props to bring to an event. As costumers and eventers our team understand you don't intend to cause fear or alarm by choosing the most suitable prop or weapon for your costume, but public can sometimes misunderstand the intent behind a costume or a weapon, so we advise caution and operate a weapons and props policy on site.

Re-enactment groups and their props are covered in an addendum below, it is important to make the distinction between the two groups as cosplayers are generally not trained in the handling of their props but also have less reason or need to carry imitation firearms and the like so for everyone’s safety the rules are more restrictive for cosplayers. Please understand that our staff are also well aware of the differences and that cosplayers attempting to breach the weapons policy by calling themselves re-enactors will still be subject to the rules for cosplayers and may be penalised for attempting to breach the policy.

Please do not bring anything to site that could be considered under the offensive weapons act.

The list below is an indication and is not exclusive.

Please do not bring:

Wooden or metal bats
Daggers or blades
Wooden swords
Metal swords
Replica firearms
Deactivated firearms
Live firearms
Active BB guns
Any prop gun without an orange cap. (We will have electrical tape to cap guns)
Any strung bow (prop bows without draw are acceptable)
Please ensure any arrows are secure in their quiver and cannot be pulled out
Solid staves ( please use pvc or larp foam for construction)
Solid mallets
Sword sticks
Knuckle dusters
Boot knives

(Re-enactors see the addendum below with regards deactivated firearms, real swords and so on)

Aliens Pulse rifles, Star Wars blasters and such similar items are very much allowed as long as they are NOT converted BB guns, they must be safe, non firing (unless NERF) replicas and in the case of NERF they must be without ammunition. All such props are subject to the weapons check policy as laid out in this document.

There will be a prop storage facility, and some props may be able to be used for photoshoots under supervision in the cosplay area at the managements discretion. If you bring an illegal weapon to site it may be confiscated and given to the police, or you may only be able to leave site with the weapon in a private car or taxi to your home.

Oversize costumes/Costumes with limited visibility

Some of these can fall into the category of the most amazing costume ever seen, however like all great things they carry a risk. If you have a costume which limits your manoeuvrability, or your vision please make sure you have a spotter with you. If your costume is bigger than would fit through a standard domestic door please again make sure you have a spotter.

Exceptionally large or wide costumes may require more than one spotter.

Should you only wish to bring these costumes to exhibit and for photos in the cosplay area spotter requirements may be waived as the cosplay team may be able to assist you in this zone.

For the purpose of the event the age of the sword would not be considered and it would still be classified as a restricted item.

Suitable alternatives for eventing would be:
Foam core larp weapons
Weapons made of light materials eg: Eva, foamex, pvc, balsa wood, papier-mâché, cardboard.

Re-Enactment Addendum
(where applicable)
We have no wish at all to exclude re-enactment groups from events and in such cases we will make special exceptions, properly deactivated or realistic firearms are allowed without orange tip though they must be carried properly and if you are wishing to leave the building and go onto public land at all for things such as smoking or eating etc we ask that you leave the item with us or that it goes in your weapons case (as many re-enactors have).

When it comes to melee weapons we also make exception for blunted real weapons as well, we understand that as trained, professional re-enactors you are essentially safe with such items but that carrying is done as per above.

It is expected that you will also be following the standard safety procedures as laid out by your re-enactment groups.
In essence, items deemed safe for re-enactment will be absolutely allowed under the above provisos, our goal is simply to keep everyone safe, including yourselves.

Cosplay and Re-enactment weapon/prop registration.

Registration is simply that when we take you through “weapons check” we will issue you with a wristband or identifying sticker for yourself or the checked prop whilst taking note of your name and the exact props we have deemed safe and thusly registered. If an event spans multiple days and you have other props for other days they will be registered in the same manner on the day they are presented.
In the case of wristbands these will be issued per day, on the day so your prop will need to be registered on each day. Registration, as laid out above, is a very quick and simple process so do not worry that you will be bogged down in “red tape” this is simply safety measures to keep yourself covered and the attending public safe.

Moving Costume Groups With Realistic Weapons

A wonderful part of the event  is the performance and integration of the costumers through the event, while this year the event is a lot bigger and calls for more control from a safety perspective we can still integrate this.

We have set areas for hanging out in costume, eg the front of the event and other prominent spots and a set route for costumers to take through the event. Costumers with weapons that are realistic need to be accompanied by a spotter who knows how many costumers they have with those weapons to ensure we show diligence that unauthorised or potentially live weapons cannot make their way into the event as we have had incidents in both Japan and the USA where weapons have been planned to be smuggled into events with the potential for tragic outcomes. The most recent being the Yugioh tournament in the states.

Reenactment Groups

Reenactment groups are probably our lowest risk as far as weapons goes, while we need to remain legal, the professional reenactors whose prescence the event enjoys are accustomed to carrying their weapons in large public events and making sure they are not commandeered by the public or leaving their props where they could be picked up and used for harm.

Authorised groups carrying props and weapons within our safety remits are not a concern and wristbands are issued to each member carrying weapons and that they be catalogued on a register with the cosplay desk and accompanied by a spotter while wandering the venue.

Members of the public displaying weapons should have the weapon tagged in a visible way which can be hidden for photography purposes eg a “game” tag or similar

This makes it easy for any steward at any time to be able to check if the prop is authorised and safe.