It was time of year once again for one of the more renowned, and long-running, cosplay events in Singapore – Cosfest. With this year’s rendition being the 18th Cosfest, I was looking forward to what the event had in store.
Getting To Cosfest
Cosfest is held at the same venue every year: at D’Marquee, in Downtown East. Every year, anime fans and cosplayers alike journey to the East to attend the event – myself included. Consider it part of the experience to travel up to Pasir Ris.
From the MRT, you can just take a bus to Downtown East. There are a couple that go there, so you can pick whichever you want. Alternatively, you could walk there, since it’s only two stops away from the interchange. Make sure not to walk into the malls by accident! You can’t miss D’Marquee – it’s essentially a giant tent-like structure, located right outside.
On this end, my advice is to go early. The buses to Cosfest can get crowded after lunch, so if you want to avoid crowds on the way to the event, and at the event itself, make your way down before, or during, lunch time.
Inside Cosfest Itself
Cosfest this year was rather different from its previous iterations. With the intention of allowing more people to host booths at the event, Cosfest expanded its boothing spaces outside of D’Marquee. There were four boothing areas in total – one of which I entirely failed to realise existed until after the event.
In any case, I did manage to visit a couple of booths. Though it did get crowded at some points, I was able to get some merchandise I wanted, and got a good look at all the booths I walked past. There was a really good mix of booths this year, selling items ranging from handmade crafts and apparel, to the standard fare of hand-drawn keychains, stickers and prints (amongst other things) sold by local artists and cosplayers.
There were a couple of bigger booths as well, ranging in variety. One was a booth set up by a local printing shop, possibly to attract more business from the local artists. Another specialised in selling superhero-themed apparel, though I’m not entirely sure if they were fan-made, or real.
Being a Cosplay Festival (hence the name Cosfest), there were many cosplayers roaming about the event! Tons of people were cosplaying popular anime series such as My Hero Academia and Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, though there was a whole ensemble of superhero cosplayers as well.
Of course, since there was a stage in D’Marquee, there were performances. A wide variety of performances take place every year – from cosplay skits, to singing and dancing. Of course, since these performers are mostly amateurs, these performances vary in quality.
The best way to enjoy the performances is to keep an open mind and be good-spirited – cheer if they tried their best, or if they performed a song you liked decently! It doesn’t hurt to be nice and supportive, if you’ve stopped to watch.
All in all, Cosfest is how it is. It’s a great event for cosplayers, seeing as how much open space there is outside D’Marquee, even though it was really hot. It’s also a great event for anime fans to show off their talents through their performances – through dancing and/or singing, some even while in cosplay – with little judgement.
However, the event had an incident that occurred this year as well – which brings its lack of proper security (and oversight on the part of the managers of this event) to light. Some crowd control would have been nice as well, since the walkways between booths could be hard to navigate when there were too many people.
More importantly, though, Cosfest should definitely strive to print out (and display) an event map of all its available booths. After all, with rows of booths outside of D’Marquee (where everything used to be), it would be useful to have a big, physical map to refer to – especially with this being the first year in which outside booths were introduced.
There were areas that the event could definitely improve on, but ultimately, Cosfest was still enjoyable! In light of this year’s incidents, however, hopefully the management will take measures improve on the event, to make it even more smooth-sailing (and enjoyable) for attendees next year.