Otafest Tips & Tricks

Tips for first-timers, returning enthusiasts, or folks traveling from afar for an unforgettable experience at Otafest – where fun, friendship, and fandom thrive!



Maps & Parking

Things to Bring

Water Bottle
Water Bottle
Cash / Cards
Cash / Cards
Cosplayers: Backup Clothes
Cosplayers: Backup Clothes

Take Care of Yourself


Attendee holding their wrist up to display their Otafest wristband

General Rules & Etiquette

Be a Good Citizen

Help us keep Otafest a safe, fun, and inclusive event (and keep the venue happy with us because we want to keep coming back).

Here are some examples of what you can do:

  • Please treat each other with kindness.
  • Please throw your trash in the appropriate bins.
  • Please consider that others may face different challenges than yourself and may require more time or assistance.
  • Please refrain from actions that could endanger yourself or others.
  • If you’re able, please offer to help someone if they appear lost or confused.

Bringing Cosplay Props

All props must be checked and tagged by Otafest’s Policy Enforcement team to ensure that they comply with Otafest’s policies, the venue’s policies, and is safe.

If you bring a cosplay prop to Otafest, please visit a Policy Enforcement booth when you arrive.

If a volunteer or staff member cannot see the tag on your prop, they may ask you to show it to them. If it is untagged, they will escort you to the nearest Policy Enforcement booth to have the appropriate tag applied.

Not sure if your prop is allowed? E-mail photos and a description to props@otafest.com and the team can help!

Information Icon

No Solicitation

Unauthorized solicitation is prohibited at Otafest. This includes signs and/or advertising any form of service (e.g. memes such as "will step on you for $__" signs, promotional coupons for food delivery services, etc.) and will result in your expulsion from the event.


Age-Restricted Panels

Most of Otafest’s content is all-ages.

If a panel has an age restriction, it will be indicated on the schedule as well as the banner in front of the room itself. You will require photo ID containing proof of age to enter these events.

Examples of valid identification:

  • Driver’s license
  • Learner’s license
  • Government identification card
  • Passport

Please note that temporary licenses are not valid as they do not have photos.

Sitting on the Floor

Have Fun!

Yes. It’s a rule! DO IT!

Actually, though, Otafest is a celebration so please remember to enjoy yourself. If you need any help, ask a nearby staff member or volunteer.

Please note that all of our organizers (“staff” included) are volunteers who dedicate their time on top of their busy lives and jobs to put on this event. Please be kind. We will always do our best to help, and sometimes that may require some patience.

Many Otafest attendees are keen to make new friends, so feel free to start some conversations if you’re comfortable!

Interacting with Cosplayers


Always ask for permission before taking someone’s photo.

Give them the chance to strike a cool pose.

If they say no, respect their boundaries and refrain from photographing them. They may be taking a break or are simply uncomfortable with their photo being taken.

Please note as well, per our policies you may not bring any photography equipment that is self-supporting (e.g. light boxes, tripods, etc.).

Physical Contact

Respect the Prop & Costume

Always ask before handling a cosplayer’s prop and if they say yes, be careful when handling it.

Always ask before touching a costume, even if it’s super sugoi cool and huge!

Cosplayers have worked weeks, months, or more on their costume and all of its components. Some of those parts may be fragile. Please treat all props delicately and with respect.

Be Kind

Out of Town Attendees



International Attendees

Canadian Visas



Frequently Asked Questions

The Festival

Only service animals are allowed in the venue. Please leave any other pets at home!

You may freely enter and leave the venue any time on the days your wristband is valid.

There are food options within Otafest, but also many restaurants and cafés around the building so feel free to leave for a snack or lunch. You are also free to bring your own refreshments to Otafest but no alcohol.

All children 12 and under must have a responsible person with them while attending the event.

Yes. Otafest offers free admission to licensed caregivers who are accompanying a patron who requires their assistance.

When picking up your wristband, please explain to the volunteer that you require admission for your caregiver. Your caregiver will be asked for proof of their profession (work id, etc.) and after it is verified we will give them a wristband and grant them access to the same areas of the festival as your pass. The caregiver is expected to stay with and assist you while you are at the festival.

Your admission has almost all aspects of the festival built in.

There is an exception here and there, such as our Maid & Butler café requiring a separately paid ticket to cover food and drink materials, but for the vast majority of Otafest your regular admission is enough!

Yes you do! Whether you need to pre-register online or can register in person depends on the contest. See the cosplay contest page for details.

Yes, you will need valid, government-issued identification with your photo so that we can verify your age (license, passport, etc.). Your wristband or badge is not sufficient proof-of-age. Temporary licenses are not valid as they do not have photos.

Nope! You are free to cosplay as whatever you’d like as long as it complies with our policies (such as public decency, wearing shoes, etc.)

Yes! Though per our policies you cannot bring anything that is self-supporting (e.g. light boxes, tripods, etc.).

You must ask for permission before taking photos of anybody.

Yes. Our concerts are included in your admission as long as your wristband is valid for the day they’re happening.

To keep the festival safe, we need to be able to see whether you’re an attendee at a glance.

Yes, Otafest has a designated gender neutral washroom. It can be found on the festival map once released.

You are free to bring your bag to Otafest, however we do not offer bag check services at this time.


Entering your legal name (or whatever name is on your ID) is needed to prevent fraud (for example, in case you lose your ticket). It is not printed on any materials.

For Angel Pass holders, there is a field in the ticket purchase form where you may choose a name that differs from your legal name. If that field is left blank, we will use your legal name.

The person must physically be present to receive a wristband. Otafest staff must put their wristband on your wrist at the time of redemption.

Can’t make it to the early pickup event? No worries! You can redeem your pass at the Pre-Order Ticket Pickup desk during Otafest! Please note that single day passes can only be redeemed on the day they were purchased for.

If you purchased a single-day pass online and want to change it to another day or upgrade to a weekend pass, you can do so as long as the pass you want hasn’t sold out. Follow the instructions at https://otafe.st/changemyticket

Only if we have not sold out online.

We have a ticket limit on Otafest tickets to keep the festival accessible and enjoyable for all (and our venue told us we had to). If we sell out of a particular ticket online, it will not be available for purchase at the door.

All of our ticket prices are listed on our tickets page, there are no additional discounts available. Otafest is a non-profit organization run by volunteer (unpaid) staff. We price tickets as low as possible while still enough to keep the organization afloat, and our admission fees are directly invested back into the organization. We truly appreciate your support.

You can, but we recommend having it on your phone to be more environmentally friendly. Be sure to have your ticket ready and your phone brightness on high.

Otafest provides an opportunity to beat the morning rush by offering early wristband pickup for weekend pass holders (Angel passes, weekend passes, youth passes, child passes) on the evening before Otafest officially begins.

We will not have single-day wristbands available at the early pickup event. If you have a friend or loved one with a single day pass, they can get their wristband on the day their pass was bought for.

More information for the early pickup event will be emailed to ticket holders once the details are confirmed with the venue.

We offer refunds up until 1 week before Otafest (that is to say, 1 week before the festival starts regardless of the type of ticket you’ve purchased), after which all sales become final.

You can request a refund by following the instructions here.


Our guest listing is available on our home page.

Yes! You can request a specific guest, though please be aware that there are many factors to inviting guests and we may or may not be able to act on your request.

You can submit a guest request here.

Generally speaking, our guests have programming on all festival days. Once our schedule is released, you can check for specific dates and times for guest panels and autograph sessions.

Pricing varies by guest. We may have that information ahead of time and it’ll be on their page if we do, otherwise a price list will be available at their table.

Many guests take cash or credit, but this also depends on the guest.

It is up to each guest whether they will take a selfie or not. It doesn’t hurt to ask!

More questions? Please check our policies. If your query is not answered there, please email info@otafest.com.