FAQ/Rules

General Rules

Rule No. 1: Cosplay =/= Consent

Always ask to take a photograph of a cosplayer, please. We can’t police this, so it is a guideline, not a rule, but we will investigate any concern expressed by a cosplayer about creeper behavior, in addition to any harassment.

Any harassing behavior by attendees, guest panelists, vendors, photographers, media, staff or non-convention hotel guests will be dealt with by the con staff and the hotel swiftly. We have a zero tolerance policy.

No alcohol or drugs. Duh. No drinking of alcoholic beverages will be allowed in the convention space, or in the hotel public spaces except in the areas designated for it, such as the lounge. We will be sharing the hotel with non-convention guests, including families, so don’t booze up and riot.

Food, glorious food. There will be food and drink, but details have yet to be pinned down with the Holiday Inn. Stay tuned.

Attendance policy

You must purchase a ticket to attend CAPE 2016. Tickets are available online now.

Wristbands will be attached upon entrance to the convention. They must be worn and visible at all times throughout the day. Cosplayers will be allowed to place them somewhere that won’t show in photos, but they must be able to be quickly shown upon request.

Costumes policy

If it is allowed at a beach in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it is allowed at CAPE. That said, please be aware of the fact that we are not the only people staying at the hotel, or likely even the only people using the convention center facility, so erring on the side of caution is not a bad idea. Going commando under any costume that can in any way be moved aside to reveal the fact that you are going commando is prohibited. The use of dance belts for men or C-strings for women, in tight or revealing costumes, is highly encouraged.

If you wear something that does not meet the public place standard in Massachusetts, you will be asked to change or leave. If someone at the hotel complains, we will come to bat for you, assuming you meet the costume guidelines above.

Photography policy

CAPE is all about cosplay photography and it is not only allowed, but encouraged. However, there are some convention and hotel policies, and general guidelines.

Shooting at the venue
The Holiday Inn is prepared to be inundated with photographers, and is happy to have people take pictures pretty much anywhere, with the exception of the courtyard pool. We are working on a solution for a shooting period during the day of an hour or two, but as of right now, there is no photography allowed in the pool. Shooting in the tree-filled courtyard aside from the pool is fine. There will be other guests in the hotel, so please be considerate of their needs and possible desire for privacy when taking photos.

Shooting in the studio room
CAPE will have three to five portable studio setups for any photographer to use for fun, not profit. Each studio space will feature a full backdrop with 2-3 studio lights and wireless triggers. A staffer will be available to help you with setup, and your time will be limited to 15 minutes, so do all your planning with your cosplayer subject in advance. These are not available to charging photographers.

Professional photography for profit
CAPE is focused on sharing photography and costuming knowledge, and we don’t want to ban photographers from charging for shoots, but we also don’t want them tying up our resources for other attendees, particularly the studio setups. So, just as in any other vendor that makes money at our convention, we will be charging any pro that plans to charge for shoots a $50 fee. That includes the attendance fee, so you would be paying an additional $30 beyond what any non-charging attendee would. This is, of course, on the honor system — if you choose to pay the regular $20 fee and still charge, we can’t stop you in advance. We will stop you during the con, however, and insist you pay the fee or be removed if you are discovered.

This does not give you any greater use of the hotel facilities beyond what was described above (i.e., be considerate). In addition, it does not get you access to the studio room setups. Those studio setups are for photographers to learn on, not for you to make money on. Rent a room and bring your own.

In addition, you will not be allowed to pick up shoots ad hoc during CAPE — all paid shoots must have been pre-arranged by the photographer and cosplayer in advance. One of the very few complaints we got from attendees last CAPE was that there was some confusion as to whether or not people who asked for photos were charging, The answer now is an emphatic “No.” If a paid shoot wasn’t arranged for in advance, charging photographers will not be allowed to ask for one at CAPE.

Cosplayers, if any photographer asks for photos and then mentions they want you to pay for them, report them to Security or Staff. They will be removed.

CAPE photographers
By attending the convention you agree that any images or video taken by CAPE staff or volunteers may be used by CAPE for any marketing or advertising purposes at any time.

Weapons Policy

No live steel weapons or tools. This includes swords, knives, bayonets, throwing knives, hammers, wrenches, and any other object made of metal that could hold an edge, regardless of whether it is sharp, or be used as a bludgeon. Sorry, peace-tying steel weapons in a sheath is not allowed. This includes anywhere on the hotel grounds — if you want to bring live steel and risk the Nashua PD by taking photos off the hotel grounds, that is your call. None will be allowed in the venue or on its grounds.

No firearm that still has moving parts. Included in this are Airsoft guns, pellet guns, water guns, BB guns, dart guns, blow guns, crossbows, water pistols. Prop firearms that no longer contain moving parts and are marked with an irremovable orange tip are fine.

No real bombs. Duh. Fake ones, like ’66 movie Batman’s bomb, are fine.

Every weapon needs to be weapon checked. Anything that is representing a weapon or could be used as weapon must be checked at the weapons check table in the lobby.

Removable weapons ties. We will again be providing cosplayers with weapons ties that can be removed for photoshoots. This would not be allowed in the general run of the con venue, only in the studio room, or at a non-venue campus location. Basically, don’t take off the weapon tie if someone asks for a snapshot in the vendor room or lobby or panel rooms.

Weapons allowed at CAPE

Crafted prop weapons. If you made it out of foam, tissue paper, plaster of Paris, cardboard, toy plastic swords, wood, automotive bondo, etc., it should be OK as long as it poses no threat to convention attendees. This includes staves, bo sticks, shinai, boken, and other wooden swords and staffs. All weapons, including those listed above, are still subject to weapons check, however.

Big is OK, within reason. Large weapons are fine, and most of the rooms and areas we will be using are large enough, with high enough ceilings, to handle the biggest of ridiculous anime swords. But please exercise caution in closer quarters with large props and weapons. If it becomes a problem, you will be asked to move to a more open area, or to remove it from the venue.

Weapons Conduct

If you create a dangerous or harassing situation with a weapon (like swinging it around in a public area, or threatening someone with it) you will be asked to remove the weapon from the convention area, and if you refuse, you will be removed permanently from the convention along with it.

Any weapon that does not meet acceptable convention policy but is purchased in the vendors room must be boxed and removed from the convention area immediately.

If you have any questions about our weapons policy, please email capesecurity@nerdcaliber.com.

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