Yorkshire Cosplay Con fans who dress as their fantasy heroes have been told not to bring realistic looking weapons to this weekend's annual event in a security crackdown at Sheffield Arena.
Realistic looking guns, swords, knifes and baseball bats will not be permitted - as part of increased security, to provide a safe environment, following last week's terrorist attack outside Manchester Arena.
Masks, helmets and other head gear must be removed until fans have entered the venue, but face painting is still allowed, says a new post on the event's official web site - read more at www.yorkshirecosplayconvention.co.uk.
Thousands of sci-fi, anime, comic book and video game fans - many dressed as their heroes, from Batman and Captain America, to super villains like The Joker and Harlequin - have bought tickets and for two days of fun, with police advice to turn up to events and enjoy themselves.
But they are told to expect longer than usual entry checks, so to allow time when they set off. Doors are 11m, for Weekend Pass holders and Early Bird Ticket holders; noon for standard ticket holders. Event ends both days 6pm.
Organisers say they have been working closely with the Arena and security staff too ensure it remains a family fun-packed weekend of dressing up with 200 stalls, live stage performances, contests, free face painting, reptile, princess, LEGO nd games areas, BBC Replica Tardis, TV and film props, photo opportunities, workshops, panels games areas, with special guest signers, this Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4.
TV and film guests include Jason Paige, J. Michael Tatum, Lauren Landa, Brandon McInnis and Paul Redfern. Youtube guests feature CDawgVA, Team Four Star's MasakoX, Kelsey Ellison and more.
For full details see www.sheffieldarena.co.uk
TICKETS: Buy in person at the Sheffield Arena Box Office, call 0114 256 5656 or visit www.sheffieldarena.co.uk.
A spokesman on the event's official site - see more at www.yorkshirecosplayconvention.co.uk - said:of the added security measures "Remember these are in place for everyone's security and safety. I know this has come at a difficult time but please remember recent events and why we are putting these measures in place. We want you all to come along and have an amazing day. Both Yorkshire Cosplay Con and Sheffield Arena have worked hard to get the best possible solution in these difficult times.
"We hope you all have a wonderful weekend and please remember that YCC is run by two fans so we sometimes are unable to respond to every message sent but we try. Thank you all for your understanding and support.
"Cosplay props are allowed - the only restrictions we have is that they have to look like props. Realistic looking swords, knifes, guns and baseball bats will not be permitted for this reason.
"Fantasy looking swords, guns, bows, magical staffs and other props will all be fine provided they are not sharp and not made of metal. Items made of wood, plastic and foam are all ok.
"Small bags will be allowed, this means bags must be no bigger than a sheet of A4 paper. If you need to bring a change of clothes please try to fit these into a bag this size. Alternatively Carrier bags will also be permitted.
"The will cut down on the amount of time it takes to search people as they enter the venue, thus cutting down the amount of time people have to queue to get in, so please only bring items that are 100 per cent necessary. The less you have in bags the better.
"Face paint will be permitted as normal. Masks, helmets and other items that cover your face will need to be removed until you have entered the venue, once inside you can put these items back on. The reason we ask this is so we can identify people as they enter the venue, this is for everyone's safety.
Special guests taking part in signings and photo sessions at this year's event include Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them actor Paul Redfern.
Also attending are original Pokemon theme song singer Jason Paige, Japanese anime and video game voice actors, J. Michael Tatum (John Michael Tatum) and Brandon McInnis. BUY
From humble beginnings with the intention of bringing like-minded people together, Yorkshire Cosplay has grown to be one of the largest, most popular, events in the Yorkshire calendar and moved to the Arena for the first time last year, explained co-organiser Jon Higson.
He said: "As well as meeting famous stars of TV shows and movies, the event has a schedule packed with live stage performances, plus a wide range of activities suitable for the entire family, including workshops, card and video gaming events, role play games, with free face painting and balloon modelling for children, who will get a chance to show off their own outfits in a kids’ cosplay competition.
“Cosplaying, or costume play, is for everyone; from children in fancy dress, to adults who want to embrace their alter-ego and pretend to be someone else for a day, or just people who like to dress up. It's a huge, family-friendly convention.
"Yorkshire Cosplay Con is now seven years old but we’ll be celebrating our tenth event this weekend at the Arena. We're promising the biggest and best event yet.
"If you a fan of anime, comic books, sci-fi or video games, or an uber-geek who loves it all, then Yorkshire Cosplay is for you.
"From professional costumers to handcrafted costumes, you are likely to see a whole array of wonderful characters which wouldn’t be possible anywhere else. You don’t have to cosplay, of course. But once you’ve been, you’ll be planning who to come as next year."