2023 Tickets & Policy Updates

February 13, 2023

Otafest started as a small event in the halls of the University of Calgary by a group of dedicated friends, eventually blossoming into a full blown non-profit anime convention run entirely on volunteer power. Now, Otafest is a space to meet others with similar interests, catch up with old friends, enjoy cosplay, programming, foods, exhibitors, guests, and more.

At Otafest 2022, we experienced an incredible outpouring of support from the community resulting in an large attendance turnout and consequently, long lines to enter the venue, the Exhibitor Hall, and other events. Understandably, this had an impact on some folks’ experience at Otafest. We also heard about scalping, and even completely fake tickets being sold over social media.

We’re incredibly humbled by the support we’ve seen in the community, however, we also have to continue abiding by fire and safety regulations, so to hopefully improve everyone’s experience at Otafest we have made some changes to our event and policies:

  • We’ve returned to hosting a 3-day event.
    • Otafest 2022 was a 2-day event.

  • We removed the “Single Day Pass” and replaced it with the more specific “Friday Pass”, “Saturday Pass”, and “Sunday Pass”.
    • This will help us better allocate staff and volunteers to ensure that any lines are processed quickly.

  • We are continuing with our early-pickup event on Thursday evening (May 18) for folks who have pre-purchased their tickets.
    • If you have pre-purchased your tickets, you have the option of redeeming them at this event rather than lining up at the Admissions Desk during its opening hours during the festival days.
    • An email with more specific details about this event will be sent in May to folks who have pre-purchased their tickets.

  • New: We’ve extended our Exhibitor Hall opening times by an hour each day.

  • New: We have implemented a ticket limit (a “cap”) on Otafest tickets. The limits apply to the sum of pre-purchases and in-person sales (meaning if they sell out online, they will not be available at the door). They are as follows:
    • 2,000 Friday Tickets
    • 2,000 Saturday Tickets
    • 2,000 Sunday Tickets
    • 4,500 Weekend Tickets

  • New: There will be no at-the-door ticket sales on Otafest Saturday (May 20, 2023) so we can focus our resources on checking in folks who purchased their tickets online.
    • At the door tickets are available for day and weekend passes on Friday and Sunday (assuming we have not sold out). 
    • Pre-purchasing your tickets online this year is highly recommended.

  • New: Effective immediately, Otafest tickets are non-transferable.
    • This was implemented as an official stance to curb scalping and fake ticket sales. Otafest no longer supports attendees selling tickets between each other.

  • New: Otafest is relaxing its no-refund policy on tickets.
    • We now accept refund requests for tickets up to 1 day before the event starts. This decision was made in tandem with making tickets non-transferable to provide an option for folks who cannot attend Otafest due to illness, travel complications, or any other reason, while protecting others from fake ticket sales. Click here for documentation on how to submit a refund request. Please note that the ticket processor’s fees are always non-refundable.

We’re hoping that the above changes and policies will mitigate the overcrowding we experienced in 2022 and help everyone have a blast at our festival!