Any previous Gallifrey One attendees can tell you that one of the coolest reasons to attend is to check out or participate in the growing cosplay scene. Whether you're 9 years old or 900 years old, a long term fan or someone who just discovered the Doctor, everyone is welcome. Cosplay has been a staple of Gallifrey One since it began, but over the last several years the hobby has been steadily expanding from a handful of cosplayers wandering the halls to several hundred cosplayers in recent years! Seeing a Dalek or Cyberman stalking the hallways, or various pairings of Doctors and companions running down corridors is a common sight.
If you're looking to be part of the fun or take photos of some of the awesome characters in costume, then the best place to find them is the Cosplay Hall. Since 2009, this has been the gathering spot for all cosplayers throughout the weekend. The Hall includes a costume repair station as well as large scale Classic & New (Tennant era) Era TARDIS wall backdrops for pictures. On Saturdays (volunteers willing) we usually have a small photo studio set-up in this room specifically for Cosplay portrait photography. Those wishing to participate only need to sign up and preferably bring a USB flash/jump drive for their photos.
In addition to the Cosplay Hall, there is a full Costuming Panel track throughout the convention covering beginners basics, intermediate tips, all eras of Doctor & Companion wardrobe, prop making and monster/robot creation for the more ambitious folks. These are informal, but informative and fun panels where any and all questions are welcome for your costuming projects! As an added bonus, whenever Gallifrey One welcomes guests from the Doctor Who Costume or Make-Up Department, we often host a smaller one-on-one Q&A with them so you can get advice from the experts.
The centerpiece of the cosplay scene at Gallifrey One is the Saturday Night Masquerade of Mandragora where anywhere from 20-40 entrants show off some very impressive costumes and compete for prizes. Awards are given to various categories including beginners, advanced, presentation, workmanship, and young entrants. There is more information available at the Masquerade page.
It doesn't matter if you are a newbie, or an advanced costume designer, it's all about sharing the love of this hobby, representing your favorite Doctor Who universe characters and getting creative. Most of all it's just plain fun. Most cosplayers will tell you that it's a great way to experience the convention and become a more active participant. We hope to see you in your scarves, pinstripe suits and bow ties in the future!