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Queen City Anime Convention (QCAC), held August 20-23rd, is in their second year as one of Charlotte, NC's most popular anime conventions. Last year—their first year—QCAC was a 1-day convention and had such an amazing turnout that this year the convention expanded to a full 3-days.
Over the course of the weekend, QCAC had an estimated 2,000 attendees with ticket sales hitting over 1,800 sold passes. Their programming schedule was filled with unique panels and amazing late night activities with both a burlesque and drag show. For location, QCAC couldn't have picked a better spot with an amazing area for pictures, a lake, food and ATM within walking distance of the hotel and ample parking. The hotel even came with FREE wifi throughout the building! QCAC wasn't perfect - there were some hiccups, but nonetheless this isn't a con you should pass up.
Photos from the hotel and immediate area
QCAC opened their doors to pre-con mixers and pre-registration pass pick-up on Thursday night. The line for pre-registration was out the door and some attendees came fully dressed up in cosplay for the evening. Vendor and artist alley wasn't open yet—Thursday night was set up for them—but there was a scheduled "pre-con" dance for attendees to enjoy and mingle with other cosplayers.
Day 0 (Thursday)
Friday was the official "Day 1" of the con and everyone came dressed their best in outfits from Teen Titans, My Hero Academia, Steven Universe and more! Friday their artist and vendor hall was opened—noon till 7pm—which is fair especially considering most people would be getting off work or coming home from their first week of school between 2-5pm. Attendance was strong throughout the evening and many stayed late for karaoke. Friday night they held their Drag Show and Cosplay Pageant. Unfortunately, I only saw a small part of their Drag Show, but the crowd was Here. For. It.
The performers were amazing! Stunning and absolutely beautiful and QCAC should definitely bring them back next year. Their Cosplay Pageant was interesting—a nice twist between both cosplay skill and talent—contestants were definitely having fun and it was a nice twist to your normal cosplay contests.
Saturday had even better turn out with their registration line out the door again. The halls were crowded and it seemed like many came out and bought Sat. only badges and treated QCAC like it was a 1-day show. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - it shows that many remember QCAC from last year but probably didn't know that the show grew to 3-days this year. Saturday evening I went to their burlesque show and rave and both were great. The burlesque show turnout was amazing with the room practically filled. The performers were amazing - some a bit cringe worthy (if you were there, there was a Walking Dead act and it was both arousing and triggering, lol. The crowd wasn't ready) but overall A++++ show.
Their rave was small but pretty good. The DJ had some great hits and also, some terrible mixes. I couldn't tell if the DJ had some technical issues or if they were just knew but transitions between songs were rough. There was a lot of people waiting for a song to either pick up or just change so they could dance. It panned out in the end, but it was a rough experience for everyone.
Sunday was the last day and almost as busy as Friday, but with many either showing up for pictures, karaoke or last minute shopping. Sunday morning QCAC held a Cosplay Sell and Swap event for attendees to bring and sell their old or semi-used cosplay items. It was only open for 2hrs but it started at the same time the vendor/artist alley was open and many vendors felt that the Sell and Swap could have been scheduled for a different time or day.
Overall, QCAC is a great show and I look forward to see what they'll do in the future. It would be great to have more cosplay guests, more activities on Thursday - either have their artist alley and vendor hall opened OR schedule their Swap and Sell while vendors/artist set up, and have more links on their website for their performers, artist, and vendors so people can follow-up after the show is done. Check out photos from the weekend here and give Queen City Anime Convention a follow to get updates for their 2019 show!