Supanova Cosplay Guidelines & Weapons Policy
Supanova Pop Culture Expo is committed to creating and maintaining a safe environment for everyone, from attendees and cosplayers to exhibitors, staff and contractors. It is our Duty of Care to provide an environment safe from harm, and it is the Duty of Care of our attendees to ensure that they, or their adornments, do not place others at risk.
There are certain legislative regulations and venue restrictions as to the type of weapons, props and costumes that we all must meet. You can find more information about these below in General Requirements. These are the minimum expected standards of all cosplayers at our expos.
As the materials and methods of crafting your weapons, props and costumes evolve, we aim to evolve our policies with it – we constantly review our health and safety policies, conditions of entry and code of conduct to meet the needs of our community. One such policy is related to the weapons, props and costumes that our attendees wear or showcase at our expos.
The most important thing to remember is that the Exhibition Trade Hall, Foyers and Theatres can be quite crowded. You need to be constantly aware of your surroundings and the safety and comfort of others. Where are your props in relation to others? How are you carrying them – do you know who is behind you? Could they hurt someone if accidentally dropped or swung in their direction? Does your prop break-down for easy transport and could it fall apart?
The following set of guidelines for cosplaying at Supanova Pop Culture Expo and events is not exhaustive, nor definitive, and are collated so as to meet the National Best Practice of Workplace and Public Safety Acts and initiatives. They will address some of the most common questions relating to Cosplaying at Supanova.
If you have any questions about the weapons policy at Supanova, please contact [email protected] or visit CosplayHQ and speak with our team.
Pro-tip: While these guidelines relate to the trade floor and theatres, remember that even when you’re outside the venue in public spaces it is your responsibility to make sure your costume and props don’t interfere with the running of the expo or with the public. Cosplay is what makes Supanova awesome and the best way to show those who have never seen the passion of cosplay outside the event is to be well behaved, courteous and respectful of the public. Represent cosplay and cosplayers in the best possible way!
The development of these guidelines has been done with safety in mind, lots of community input and our own experiences during the past 15 years of Supanova. We understand the art of cosplay and the passion for accuracy in one’s costume, but it can not ignore the legal and safety aspects of the world we live in currently.
The Supanova Cosplay Guidelines will reviewed frequently to make sure we are keeping up to date with not only the community feedback but the changes in technology of costume construction but also the potential changes in legislation around the country.
General Requirements for Cosplay and Props
Supanova has developed the following six Core Cosplay Guidelines for cosplayers to follow in order to get the best experience out of the weekend. Below them, we go into further details about what items are restricted or prohibited at Supanova.
- Respect Everyone: Supanova is dedicated to providing a safe and harassment-free experience for everyone. If you feel like you are being harassed, pressured into doing something you are not happy with or are otherwise uncomfortable, do not hesitate to contact a member of the Supanova Staff or a volunteer. You can find these people by looking for a Supanova shirt. You also have to option of visiting CosplayHQ with any problems. For more information about our code of conduct, read our Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment Policy.
- Excessive Weight: Heavy props can be dangerous, particularly in crowds like the ones you might encounter in the vendor’s hall at Supanova. Imagine accidentally dropping a hammer like Mjölnir onto someone’s foot – ouch! We ask that all attendees keep in mind the weight of their props and costumes and make sure they will not cause any damage or become too unwieldy during a full day of fun at Supanova.
- Excessive Size: Supanova will allow props or weapons which are up to 1.5 metres in overall length onto the show and exhibition floor. If your prop is larger than 1.5 meters and you would like to carry it around, you are required to email [email protected] 14 days prior to the event, and have it checked at CosplayHQ where will do a final inspection to see if it is safe to carry into the vendor’s hall. If you’re carrying your prop at any Supanova event, including outside of the vendor’s hall, please remember to be aware of your surroundings and consider the comfort of your fellow attendees at all times.
- State and Federal Weapons Legislation: Each state and territory of Australia has different legislation regarding weapons which included licensing, storage requirements and restricted items. You can find the links to each state’s specific laws regarding imitation and replica firearms:
- Queensland: QPS Weapons Categories and Licensing
- New South Wales: NSW Police Imitation Firearms Fact Sheet
- Victoria: VIC Police Imitation Weapon Quick Guide & Prohibited Weapons
- South Australia: SA Police Imitation Firearms Quick Guide
- Western Australia: WA Police Firearms Registry Information
For more information, please contact the relevant state or territory’s weapons licensing team.
- Metal and other potentially hazardous materials: Props made from metal, glass and other materials that can be heavy or dangerous in any other way will have to be presented to CosplayHQ for assessment. CosplayHQ will be aiming to make sure that props are unlikely to cause any damage to people and property, even if the damage is accidental. Hazardous Materials includes but is not limited to: bio-hazardous, combustible and dangerous chemicals.
- CosplayHQ and Weapons Check-In: CosplayHQ is the first stop for any cosplayers with props which may require inspection. The CosplayHQ team will assess weapons and props to make sure they comply with all of the guidelines above and are safe to carry around the expo. If a prop is determined to be unsafe to be carried around the expo we will offer to store the item at weapons check-in. Items stored like this may be collected for photos outside of the vendor’s hall and for the cosplay competition and should be collected before leaving the expo. Prohibited items will be held for the duration of the day attended and only given back when the owner is leaving. If the prohibited item is found in breach of state or federal law, the police may be contacted. Final decisions regarding whether or not props and costumes will be allowed into the expo lie with CosplayHQ. Venue security and members of the Supanova team may also request you check an item if they find you to be breaching of any of the above guidelines or behaving dangerously with your props or costume.
DISCLAIMER: Weapons and Props required to be cloaked are done so at the owner’s risk. While every care is taken to make sure that items brought to or at the event are safe, Supanova takes no responsibility for any damage dealt to props, weapons or cosplay items either on the person, or kept in the weapons check-in desk.
Below is more specific information about a variety of cosplay costume and prop related items which are restricted and should not be brought on site as well as what may be allowed provided items are inspected by CosplayHQ upon arriving at the event.
Pro-tip: Please be aware that everyone needs to be wearing footwear while attending Supanova. The last thing anyone wants is Thor’s hammer dropping onto a Jack Frost’s bare feet. Please be aware that Roller Skates/Blades, Skateboards, Wheelie shoes, and Hover-boards are not permitted for use inside any part of Supanova even if they are a part of a costume.
Cosplay/Costumes, Armour, Size and Accessories
Cosplays and Costumes are a huge part of Supanova, however there are times where some parts of a costume are potentially a risk to yourself and those around you. Below are some helpful guidelines to make sure your Supanova is an awesome experience for all involved.
Metal Armour, Spikes and Metal Shields are allowed if they are deburred and safe for a public space. Sharp edges pose a risk to yourself and others. Even blunt spikes can pose a hazard in crowds. Barbed wire is not acceptable in any form on prop or on a costume due to it’s tendency to snag and cause damage.
Wings are allowed to be worn. However, please be aware of the space you take up. Knocking over a crowd of people every time you turn around is not a fun way to spend your weekend! It is a good idea to make your wings small enough that they will not cause you or the people around you any problems in getting around. Maybe you can make them so that they fold up for times when you’re on the show floor. If that’s not possible, feel free to take them to CosplayHQ for storage while you explore.
Large scale and super elaborate costumes can be Supa-impressive but also difficult to get around in! We don’t want to see your hard work damaged and wouldn’t want other attendees tripping over your costume so please be aware of the space around you and the crowd. Where possible, it is a good idea to have a friend along to help take care of you and your costume. It may be a good idea to bring along a change of clothes in case you want to explore the convention more easily out of costume too!
Masks, Helmets, Make Up and Facial Coverings should be easy to remove if requested by security and staff. This will also make it easier for you to eat, drink and communicate – three very important parts of any expo! Please make sure body paint and fake blood is sealed and applied correctly as they can damage property and other people’s costumes. (Glued Prosthetics will be asked for ID.)
Supanova is a family friendly event, so some costume choices are not appropriate. Just be sure that what needs to be covered is covered (breasts, groin and buttocks) and be aware of costume malfunctions throughout the weekend and make sure your costume is not culturally insensitive or in poor taste. You may either be asked to cover up, change out of the costume or asked to leave the event without a refund.
While being in character, it’s important to remember that not everyone will appreciate your intention of bringing the character to life. Just be aware of other patrons, staff, guests and exhibitors at Supanova and be conscious of what you say and do. Getting right into Cosplay is awesome, but understand there are boundaries to what is acceptable.
Pro-tip: If you’re bringing a big costume to Supanova, don’t assume a place will be provided to store it. CosplayHQ does provide a check-in space for weapons and props, but space for large costume pieces is limited. It is a good idea to organise to store it in a vehicle or in a nearby hotel in case you want to take a break. Supanova does not offer cloak room for bags or non-cosplay related items including umbrellas, strollers and luggage. The event venues themselves may offer cloaking services, but not Supanova Pop Culture Industries.
Firearm and Projectile Prop Weapons
Supanova defines firearms under two separate categories, Toys and Imitation/Replica Firearms. Toy Firearms are generally sold in toy shops and are made in multiple colours and usually with brightly colour tips on the end of the barrels to clearly identify them as such. Imitation/Replica firearms mimic the actions, appearance and construction of the actual working weapon, and are considered dangerous to have in public, requiring licences in many state and territories of Australia.
Actual or Decommissioned Firearms, BB or Airsoft, Sports Weapons, Metal Replica, Cap Gun, Ammunition, Militaria/Collectors Pieces are NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES to be brought to Supanova so please leave them at home.
Orange or Red Tip (either painted or taped) is requested for all firearm related props. We have tape at CosplayHQ which you can attach to your prop if required. A removable Orange or Red Barrel plug is acceptable and can be removed for photos, but must be placed back once finished.
No Projectiles are permitted loaded into any toy capable of firing such a payload. This includes but is not limited to: Nerf or Foam Darts, Gel Caps, Arrows or Bolts, Powder Caps, Explosive or Power Charges, Any liquid etc etc. Nerf Guns are allowed, as are bows and crossbows, as long as they are incapable of firing any projectile.
Pro-tip: Remember, while travelling to Supanova your weapons and props may cause concern to members of the public who don’t know how ‘Supa’ Cosplay is. Please take care while in public and keep firearms, swords or any other prop which may cause alarm to those not familiar with cosplay well concealed.
Melee, Sword, Staff and Sports Equipment
Metal Weapon Props are strictly prohibited on site. This including and is not limited to the following: Daggers, Knives, Swords, Ninja Stars, Metal Chains and Metal Baseball Bats regardless of item sharpness, blunt edges, live blade or training replicas. These items can cause serious damage to persons or property, and they are to remain at home. Examples of materials which are acceptable include Timber, Plastic and Foam.
Lightsabers may be carried by both Jedi and Sith, however, we don’t encourage anyone to engage in combat or perform spins and tricks with them in and around the venue. Lightsabers can be metal hilts and either polycarbonate or wooden blades.
Baseball Bats made from metal, aluminium or wooden are prohibited in and around Supanova. These items pose a very high risk for a blunt force injury due to weight and the way they are often carried over a shoulder.
Kitchen utensils, tools and miscellaneous accessories will be examined on a case by case basis. Frying pans are generally fine, however actual tools (power, garden or hand operated) are not allowed. Examples including but are not limited too: axes, shovels, cutting or slicing implements and puncturing devices.
Pro-tip: Sometimes costume malfunctions happen, either on your costume or your prop so if possible, please make sure you have spare change of clothes including footwear. Supanova has a Cosplay Repair Station which is run by members of the cosplay community to help out with any problems and they can be found at CosplayHQ, or around the event helping out where needed.
Items Purchased At Supanova
Some items sold at Supanova by vendors on the trader’s floor could be in violation of the Weapons Policy. These items come in packaging and MUST remain inside their original packaging for the duration of the event. If they are taken out of packaging, you will be asked to check them at CosplayHQ or you may be removed from the event with no refund.
If your item is in a large box, and you do not want to carry it for the duration of the event, and are unable to secure storage, CosplayHQ weapons check-in will take boxed purchased weapon props for storage during your attendance, and eventual collection at the end of the day.
If there are any questions pertaining to the Supanova Cosplay Guidelines, feel free to contact us at [email protected].