Masquerade - Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Worldcon Masquerade. It is one of a number of FAQ pages you will find on this website. To see a full list of the available topics, go to the main FAQ page.

We have included an index of all the questions on this page to help you find the one you want quickly.

Q: When and where will the Masquerade be held?
A: The Renovation Masquerade will be held in the Tuscany Ballroom of the Peppermill Hotel and Casino on the evening of Friday, August 19, 2011.
Q: Will we need tickets to go to the Masquerade?
A: No, there will be plenty of seating at the Masquerade.
Q: Can I reserve a seat?
A: No, there are no reserved seats for the general membership (except for people with mobility issues or disabilities - see below). So you should arrive in good time if you want to sit near the front. In general the doors to the auditorium will open 30-60 minutes before the start of the event.
Q: Will there be good seating at the major events so that I can sit with my friends even though I am in a wheelchair or using an electric scooter?
A: Yes, there will be seating areas set aside for both wheelchairs and electric scooter that are staggered so that you can sit with your friends. We will have a way for you to request such seating in advance, perhaps through Handicapped Services so we can make sure we have sufficient seating reserved. When you arrive at the Masquerade, see the ushers at the entrance to make sure that you get to your seats.
Q: What about seating for visually- or hearing-impaired audience members?
A: Yes, seating will also be set aside for visually- or hearing-impaired audience members. It may be requested in advance in the same manner as seating for wheelchair or scooter users.
Q: Do I have to wear a costume to go to the Masquerade? Is it a formal affair?
A: No. While it is traditionally called a Masquerade, the Worldcon Masquerade is a staged costume contest rather than a fancy-dress ball. While many audience members do attend in costume, it is not required, nor is formal wear. Do wear something which is omfortable to sit in for a couple of hours, and avoid large hats, head-dresses or wigs out of courtesy to your fellow audience members.
Q: Where will the Masquerade be held?
A: In the Tuscany Ballroom at the Peppermill Hotel. There will be a map and signs allowing you to enter the hotel and get to the Tuscany Ballroom without going into any smoking areas.
Q: Will there be Shuttle Buses after the Masquerade so that we can go back to the Atlantis?
A: Yes, there will be extra Shuttle Buses scheduled following the Masquerade to handle the increased demand to return to the Atlantis.
Q: I want to enter the Masquerade. How do I do it?
A: See the instructions on the main Masquerade page. You can enter online, and we will also be taking registrations during the convention itself, as long as we have room left in the show (see pre-registration question below). If you have any questions please email us at
Q: Do I need to pre-qualify to enter the Masquerade?
A: Absolutely not! We encourage costumers to enter the Masquerade, even if you are competing for the first time. Our rules are designed to encourage people to compete with other costumers at the same talent level, so that novices compete with novices, people with some wins compete with those with similar numbers of wins, and professionals and long-time winners only compete with each other.
Q: Do I need to pre-register to enter the Masquerade?
A: Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. There is a practical limit to the number of entries we can put across the stage in the time alotted for the show, so it is possible we might have to impose a cap on entries. Registering your entry early is the wisest choice if you are serious about competing, and it helps us plan the flow of the show more effectively.
Q: Do I need to be experienced to win Best in Show at the Masquerade? Do I have to enter in the Master Division to win Best in Show at the Masquerade?
A: No, it is not uncommon for even Novices who have never competed before to win Best in Show. The only requirement for winning Best in Show is to be the best in this show. It is even possible that no Best in Show will be awarded if no single costume stands out above all others.
Q: I'd like to xxxxx on stage as part of my entry. Can I do that?
A: First, check the Masquerade rules to see if what you want to do is specifically not allowed. There are some on-stage activities which are just plain forbidden. If not, contact the Masquerade Directors at and ask them about what you want to do. If it can be supported by our staging and does not pose a hazard, we'll see what we can do. Remember: surprise the audience, surprise the judges, but don't surprise the Masquerade staff and crew.
Q: What is the schedule for contestants in the Masquerade?
A: Entering the Masquerade requires quite a bit of time. Here are the key points so you can plan the rest of your convention around them:
  • Required: Check in with Masquerade Desk (in the RSCC lobby) Wednesday and Thursday to submit your entry forms (or review them, if you entered online) and make a Tech Rehearsal appointment.
  • If this is your first Worldcon Masquerade, we recommend you attend the What to expect as a Masquerade Contestant panel on Thursday, at 1:00 PM in room A10 at the RSCC. (It may be useful even if this is not your first masquerade!)
  • If you need space to work on your blocking (rehearsing the basic movements of your entry/group), we have a space set aside for doing so. Ask at the desk how and where to use it.
  • Required: Attend the Masquerade Participant meeting at 11:00AM on Friday in the Tuscany Ballroom at the Peppermill
  • Required: Don't miss your tech rehearsal on Friday Afternoon. While you don't have to be in full costume, be sure to bring any problematic pieces (props, shoes, anything you will be manipulating on stage) for rehearsal. Bringing (if not wearing) costume parts that show the major color components of your costume is also wise.
  • Required: The Green Room at the Peppermill opens at 5:30PM. Check in and get your official photos taken. This is also where workmanship judging takes place. Contestants should be checked in no later than 7:00PM if they are not being judged for workmanship. (Note: these times may be adjusted based on the number of entries).
  • The show begins promptly at 8:00PM on Friday. After everyone has crossed the stage, there will be a half-time entertainment which you are welcome to enjoy, followed by presentation of the awards.
  • In the event the judges take more than 45 minutes to deliberate, we may release you all and announce the awards in the convention newsletter, so everyone will be free to attend the dances and parties.
Q: I'd like to photograph/videotape the Masquerade. Can you accomodate me?
A: Visible light (NO flash) photography and videography may be done from the audience if you do not impair the view of your fellow audience members. We also plan to set up a special fan photography area where photographers may take more up-close and detailed photos of all the entries. Sign-up information for fan photography will be available from the Renovation website (and on-site at the Masquerade information desk) once we have more details.
Q: Will I be able to watch the Masquerade live in my hotel room?
A: We are investigating the possibility of live broadcast of the Masquerade and other major events into rooms at the Atlantis and the Peppermill; at present we do not know if it can be done. We will post further information on the Renovation website if and when we know more.