I wrote last year about why Kitacon is probably my favourite of the many UK based cons, mostly because of its small size, intimate atmosphere, and relaxed, casual style. This year however saw some big changes as the con moved out of its longtime home in the Birmingham Metropole Hilton hotel and into a larger, more event-focused space, namely the arts campuses at Warwick University.
While I was a little torn on this choice at first, it turned out to be a positive move overall. Relocating from a single building to a set of halls that were designed for panels, parties and shows meant better organisation, more space and in general a much smoother experience. The university campus offered much more room both inside and out, while the absence of other guests (and the need to cater for them) meant that the con could more effectively keep up the fun, 24-hour party feel that makes it such a joy to attend. The ability to buy food which wasn’t ridiculously overpriced was a plus as well. While the weekend wasn’t seamless, and I did miss the slightly more busy, intimate atmosphere of the Hilton a bit, I’d say the move was a big success, expanding the scope and scale of the events while keeping the personal touch which is so important.
As ever, the cosplay community came out in force with some wonderful outfits and props, with some people doing up to eight(!) different cosplays across the course of the three days. I’ve collected some of my personal favourites here, but there were far too many outstanding bits of work to fit into just one gallery. As ever, my thanks to the talented men and women who allowed me to photograph them. Disappointingly Kitacon is going to be taking a year off next year, but I can hardly blame the organizing committee – they put together a hell of a show, and I’ll be more than happy to go back for the next one.