Thank you for your interest in participating in the 2022 Phoenix Fan Fusion Masquerade Costume Contest.  Please read the contest rules below BEFORE deciding to enter. 


Once applications are available, they will be reviewed and approved pending review of photographs of the proposed costume/s.  Costumes must be 75% complete by the estimation of our reviewers at time of application to be accepted into the contest. 


Review of progress photos will be factored into the judging process.  The more you can show about your progress, the better.  See contest rules for further details on judging.

If you have any questions, please contact the Masquerade Producer Mary Gillespie at



All participants must have a Phoenix Fan Fusion credential valid for the day of the Masquerade Costume Contest (this includes Attendee, VIP, Media, Exhibitor, and other specialty credentials). Members of the Phoenix Fan Fusion staff and crew are ineligible to compete in the Masquerade Costume Contest.


All registrations will be done online once our application opens. We can accommodate a total of 50 maximum entries or 110 total participants (including all members of groups that enter). Registration will close once we have a total of 110 participants. Groups may not have more than 7 members. Registration closes March 14. No late entries will be accepted. In order to be considered for one of the Masquerade Costume Contest openings, candidates must submit work in progress photos along with a reference photo (or drawing) showing what the finished costume should look like to

Work in Progress must be at least 75% complete by March 14 in order to be accepted and is completely at the discretion of Phoenix Fan Fusion staff. Applications will then be reviewed and selected entrants will be notified by email no later than March 28.


Workmanship pre-judging will begin with a questionnaire provided to the contestant upon final acceptance into the contest. Questionnaires, submitted work in progress photos, and any other information submitted by the contestant (i.e. updated photos, videos) will be sent to the judges for review. We encourage contestants to provide detailed close-up photos of all work including views of the work at different stages. This content will be weighed heavily in the judging process. IF YOU WISH TO PROVIDE A VIDEO TO SHOW WORK PROGRESS (NOT YOUR PERFORMANCE) IT MUST BE IN A STANDARDIZED SHAREABLE FORMAT. VIDEOS WILL BE REVIEWED FOR CONTENT AND IF APPROPRIATE, SENT TO THE JUDGES FOR VIEWING. On Saturday May 28th all contestants must be present by 6:00 pm in room 301A of the West Building at the Phoenix Convention Center. At this time, judges will view costumes again in person before the final stage of judging which is the /stage performance. EACH ENTRY IS LIMITED TO A TOTAL OF 2 MINUTES WITH THE JUDGES; NO EXCEPTIONS. Contestants may be accepted for participation only without eligibility for prizes depending on the number of applications and number of applicants who complete the judging requirements.


Entries will be separated into five categories: NOTE: THE YOUTH CATEGORY HAS BEEN MOVED TO THE “YOUTH MASQUERADE AND FASHION SHOW” TO BE HELD ON SUNDAY. YOUTH AGES 13 TO 15 MAY CHOOSE TO ENTER THE YOUTH MASQUERADE OR PARTICIPATE IN ONE OF THE CATEGORIES BELOW. YOUTH 12 AND UNDER MAY ONLY ENTER THE YOUTH MASQUERADE. 1. Novice – First-time contestants who have never entered a costume contest or contestants who have entered, but not won an award at any costume contest. This includes entries into events not produced by Square Egg Entertainment (Phoenix Fan Fusion, Phoenix Fan Fest, Phoenix Comicon, etc) where costumes were judged by a panel. 2. Journeyman – contestants who have won one major award with any costume at a cosplay/costume contest. This includes entries into events not produced by Square Egg Entertainment (Phoenix Fan Fusion, Comicon, etc) where costumes were judged by a panel.
3. Master – Contestants who have won two or more major awards with any costume at a cosplay/costume contest. This includes entries into events not produced by Square Egg Entertainment (Phoenix Fan Fusion, Comicon, etc) where costumes were judged by a panel.
Any of the three category entries may be individuals or groups. Groups will be judged based on the most experienced member of the entire group, regardless of creative input. So, if there is one master level and three novice level participants the entry would be judged as a master level. Groups may not have more than 7 members.


Costumes that have won any major awards (First, Second, Third, Best in Show) at any convention will be entered into the Masquerade Costume Contest in the Master category only.


There are both ranked and un-ranked awards given at the Masquerade. Ranked awards include, but are not limited to, the following: Best in Show

  • Individual
  • Group
First in Category
Second in Catagory
Third in Catagory Un-ranked awards include, but are not limited to the following: Judges’ Award
Honorable Mention, etc. Un-ranked awards are not considered major awards for the purposes of this contest.


Pictures will be taken during the Performance portion of the judging process. These pictures may be used by Phoenix Fan Fusion for promotion of future events and contests.


This is an open genre costume contest. Genres include, but are not limited to:

  • Sci-Fi
  • Anime/Animation
  • Comics/Manga
  • Fantasy
  • Novels
  • Steampunk
  • TV
  • Film
  • Games


All costumes must abide by the rules of the convention dress code and prop policy as posted here. If a policy violation is discovered by any of the Phoenix Fan Fusion Staff or the judge’s panel, that entry will be disqualified. Please note that due to the nature of our event, it is possible that prop policies may need to be updated at any time leading up to or even during the event. Should a change be necessary Phoenix Fan Fusion will attempt to notify all participants of the change as soon as possible. Ultimately the safety of the event will be given priority over consideration of including a prop or weapon in the Masquerade Costume Contest. Phoenix Fan Fusion producers and staff are unable to make exceptions to the prop policy so please, do not ask. Any questions regarding props should be addressed to the Phoenix Convention Center here. The masquerade is a family friendly event. Any costume that is not appropriate for all ages will be disqualified. Disqualification is at the discretion of Phoenix Fan Fusion staff or the judges panel.


No glitter, confetti, pyrotechnics, live flame, or smoke generators of any kind are allowed in the convention center. Large props that require special storage, hamper movement behind the stage or in the green room, or that cannot be easily transported up the stairs into the stage room are prohibited.


No electrical power connections will be provided. If your costume requires power, it must be part of your costume.


The Master of Ceremonies (MC) and/or other members of the Masquerade Costume Contest Staff cannot be used as part of your presentation in any way. Any people part of your presentation must be supplied by the participants. This includes moving any props or set pieces on stage for you. If you require assistance onto the stage due to costume restraints, staff will be on hand to help you up and down the stairs. Contestants’ assistants/crew do not count towards the onstage time allotment, however.


Purchased costumes are prohibited from entering the contest. However, exceptions can be made for costumes that contain pieces that are modified from their original design or purpose. Although this may affect the total craftsmanship score of the participant, it is not meant to discourage participants from entering the contest. Costumes that are considered “kits” are allowed so long as kit was assembled by the participant. All participants should be prepared to briefly explain the process through which their costume was created, altered, or modified. Costume(s) should be 75% hand-made.


All entrants are strongly encouraged to bring reference material for their costume(s). While we will not turn away entries that do not bring reference material, the absence of reference could affect your final score. Not all judges know all characters and creatures, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to supply a color photo (or several). If a costume is an original design, reference images of inspiration or in cases of characters from novels, a printed description from the literary work will be most helpful. Digital devices may be used to present reference photos to the judging panel, but hard-copy printouts would be best for future reference by the judges. Please note, each entry will only have two minutes in front of the judges for pre-judging.


Each contestant may present or wear one and only one costume, or in cases of group entries, each member may wear one costume per person or may wear one costume together (i.e. large costumes that require several people inside to move). The costume shown to the judges during pre-judging MUST be the costume you are wearing in the contest itself.


Should a participant decide to enter but chose not to model their costume, or rather have it be presented by a model, the designer must be present at pre-judging and be prepared to explain how the costume had been created. The designer may appear on-stage for performance with the entry.


1. Your costume must allow you the freedom of movement so that you can go up and down steps. The steps are not removable, nor can they be altered in any way ( I.E. removing the handrail). The steps are 36 inches wide. Should assistance be needed, you may have up to two assistants help you but they will not be provided by the Phoenix Fan Fusion Staff. Special accommodations must be given to event staff prior to the beginning of the show. 2. If your entry is large or physically unable to maneuver stairs you may be allowed to present in front of the stage on the main floor. However, you must make your request at least one week prior to the masquerade for this accommodation. This accommodation does not pertain to props and is at the discretion for Phoenix Fan Fusion staff. 3. You must remain in the green room before your stage appearance, and in the main ballroom for the entirety of the contest. You will have designated areas for waiting pre and post judging during the performance phase of the contest. (Handlers will be allowed backstage and in the green room and other designated areas). Listen to the directions given by the Masquerade Staff/Phoenix Fan Fusion crew and be respectful to your fellow contestants. If you have special needs, please let the judges’ panel be aware at the pre-judging portion of the contest. 4. Every single participant will have 60 seconds of time to perform on stage. This is your time to shine so make the best of it. 5. In cases of groups, for each additional person, you are granted an additional 30 seconds, not to exceed 3 minutes or 180 seconds. For example, two participants will be granted 90 seconds, a three-person group is granted 120 seconds and so forth. 6. Performances are 25% of the overall judging score. 7. Performances must be appropriate for all ages. Any performance that is not appropriate for all ages will be disqualified and not allowed to compete in future Fan Fusion masquerades. Inappropriateness is at the discretion of the Fan Fusion masquerade stage manager and judges.


No microphone will be available for contestant’s use during the Masquerade Costume Contest. This includes the Emcee’s podium microphone. Only the use of prerecorded audio is allowed.


1. Entrants are allowed and encouraged to provide their own music or audio for their presentation. Audio must be edited to the allowed performance time (60 seconds for a single participant, 90 seconds for two participants, 120 seconds for 3, up to 180 seconds or 3 minutes).
2. If an entrant wishes to provide their own audio (music, dialogue with music and sound effects, etc.), it MUST be in MP3 format and emailed to the Masquerade stage manager ( no later than May 6th, and use the following format: Category_ContactName_costumeName.mp3 (Example: NoviceSallySmithBabyYoda.mp3)
3. If Audio is not able to be downloaded by Phoenix Fan Fusion staff due to security, format, or method of uploading into the email, Phoenix Fan Fusion Staff will contact the contestant to re-send in an appropriate format. If an appropriate format cannot be found, the stage manger will select an audio track for the contestant’s performance.
4. If an entrant does NOT provide any audio content, our Phoenix Fan Fusion staff will select generic music to play during the entrant’s presentation. This music may not be exactly what you are looking for so providing audio files is HIGHLY recommended.
5. For all pre-recorded audio: The Masquerade Costume Contest is open to all ages and there will be children in the contest and the audience. We work very hard to present an event that is family friendly. The audio will be screened to ensure that it adheres to the following rules. The tech crew has been instructed to immediately cut off sound and lights if any of the following happens:

  • Any obscenity or swearing.
  • Any derogatory references to other contestants.
  • Any innuendos or off-color jokes.
  • Anything that sounds like it could be offensive based on (but not limited to) race, gender, orientation, religion, etc.


Prizes will be presented to the first, second and third place winners in the following categories: 1. Novice
2. Journeyman
3. Master
Additionally, we will also present “Best in Show” single entry and “Best in Show” group.


While no changes to these rules are foreseen, certain circumstances may require the rules or times be changed. Any changes will be noted in bold and all capitalization.