Time to Say Goodbye

Yesterday the MAFI committee met to decide the future of Manifest. After much discussion and a painful vote, I am sad to say that MAFI is closing its doors. This means that Manifest will not be running again.

Please note that some other events that have previously fallen under the MAFI umbrella are independent groups and will therefore continue. This includes Mani-Midnight, who have a Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/manimidnight

When Manifest began, it wasn't trying to be an anime convention; we just wanted to watch some decent anime and maybe talk about Japan. There was no reason why it should have taken off as it did except that people really wanted it to. They believed in it, devoted time and energy and money to it, and grew to love it.  Attending Manifest each year was like a family reunion - some of the people there might drive you bonkers, but there's still love on both sides. The affection and support shown to us is immeasurable. I value each of your friendships and the dedication that helped grow Manifest into the giant it became. Lack of an annual Manifest is going to create a void in my life which will be hard to fill.

The MAFI committee decision to end Manifest was not made easily. Over the last few years, Victoria has gone from having one anime and pop-culture convention to having four, with others in development. Wider Australia went crazy with conventions and somewhere along the way, it became a competition: who could have the largest crowds, the newest games, the coolest guests? It was only a matter of time until people chose to save their money for the biggest conventions, leaving funds spread too thinly to allow all the Australian conventions to run well. As a fan-run convention, unfortunately Manifest's time has now come.

'Goodbye' is a simple word with a complicated meaning. I believe that the best way to remember Manifest is with smiles and stories, and hope you do too. Some of the committee members will be sharing their experiences via the #ManiMemories tag on twitter, and I hope that you will add your own positive comments. You can also share your photos on our Facebook page.

This is definitely a very important break in 14 years of history, but we cannot say that this is the end. Manifest will live on in all of your hearts, in the friendships that were formed, and the experiences that were had together. The memories that I will take with me are something money cannot buy. All in all it has been quite a satisfying and exhilarating journey, and I wouldn't trade that for anything.

Love and peace,
Cari-An
(Last) President of Manifest

Apologies

Dear Sponsors, Traders, Attendees and Support Staff at Manifest 2013,

As the result of an incident, certain traders were asked to leave Manifest on Sunday 18th August 2013. It is with great regret that we write to you today to apologise for the way their removal was handled.

Whilst this particular incident didn't immediately affect all of you, we feel that the breakdown of procedure is significant and needs to be addressed. We are sincerely apologetic and embarrassed by the way the situation in question was handled, as well as how events have transpired since.

While we have already started to contact those directly involved, we feel that a public address is the best way to show that we are very concerned and are actively working on the problem.

Again, we apologise for the grievances caused by this ongoing issue and hope to come to an agreeable solution as soon as possible.

Cari-An
President of Manifest

Today's Emergency Evacuation

This is an update regarding today's emergency evacuation.

Someone let off an incendiary/pyrotechnic device in Building 1 today. This is being treated as attempted arson, with Victoria Police and Fire Brigade already notified. We will provide a Gold Pass to Manifest 2014 and Manifest 2015 to any person who provides information that leads to a conviction. Please send all relevant information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A reminder to all attendees that incendiary/pyrotechnic devices are illegal to have and use unless you are covered by a relevant licence, and have received written permission from the organisers of the event in question before it takes place.

We at MAFI take the safety and care of our attendees very seriously, and are extremely disappointed that one of our attendees would risk the safety of both themselves and others by setting off an incendiary/pyrotechnic device inside a closed, non-ventilated area.

Such behaviour is completely unacceptable, and will always be dealt with accordingly.

Cari-An
President of MAFI

Screenings Schedule

We can finally release the screenings schedule for Manifest 2013! Please note that a printed version of this schedule will also be included inside the showbags, available from Friday at Registration in Building 4.

No 'Free Hugs' Signs

'Free Hugs' signs at Manifest 2013, and any other events held under the Manifest name and/or brand in the future, are now banned unless written permission is obtained from MAFI before the event takes place.

As 'Free Hugs' signs have frequently led to, or been involved in, past incidents of sexual assault and other kinds of harassment, they will no longer be tolerated. Please respect and follow this rule, as it is for the safety and comfort of all attendees. Any person with a sign of this kind will be asked to put them away immediately. Failure to comply may result in expulsion from the event.

Manifest Timetable

Please note that full details of the 2013 schedule will be included inside the showbags, available from Friday at Registration in Building 4.

Items on this schedule are subject to change with little to no notice, however this overview should remain unchanged.

Public Transport Information

PTV have released a statement about the extra public transport services scheduled for Manifest 2013. We've made it into an easy-reference chart:

  MANIFEST 2013 PUBLIC TRANSPORT SCHEDULE
(http://bit.ly/manitransport2013)
 
         
  TRAIN SCHEDULE¹   TRAM SCHEDULE  
  (Flinders St to/from the Showgrounds)   (Elizabeth St to/from the Showgrounds)  
         
  Friday   Friday - Route 57  
  No trains running direct to the Showgrounds.   Every 10 minutes between 7:00am and 6:00pm  
  Take a Craigieburn line to Newmarket Station   Every 15 minutes between 6:00pm and 8:30pm  
  then catch a route 57 tram to the Showgrounds.   Every 20 minutes between 8:30pm and 11:00pm  
         
  Saturday   Saturday - Route 57a  
  Every 40 minutes between 9:00am and 8:30pm   Every 15 minutes between 8:30am and 8:30pm  
  The first train from Flinders St leaves at 8:50am   Every 20 minutes between 8:30pm and 11:00pm  
  The last train leaves the Showgrounds at 8:30pm      
         
  Sunday   Sunday - Route 57a  
  Every 40 minutes between 9:00am and 8:30pm   Every 15 minutes between 8:30am and 8:30pm  
  The first train from Flinders St leaves at 8:50am   Every 30 minutes between 8:30pm and 11:00pm  
  The last train leaves the Showgrounds at 8:30pm      
         
  ¹All trains travelling to the Showgrounds will leave from Flinders Street, stopping at Southern Cross and North Melbourne before running express to the Showgrounds. All trains returning to Flinders Street will leave from the Showgrounds, stopping at North Melbourne and Southern Cross before running express to the Showgrounds.  

We recommend that you either print the above information, or save the image version onto your smartphone for easy reference during the weekend. Please call PTV on 1800 800 007 between 6am and midnight if you have any questions (for TTY, call 03 9619 2727).

Cosplay Etiquette

Cosplayers are a huge part of most conventions and the anime/pop culture communities. They are just like you and me in every way, come from all walks of life, and are of all ages and builds. You should not drastically change they way you interact with them because of what they're cosplaying; remember, we're all people here.

As we want to make the Manifest experience both enjoyable and safe for everyone, we've assembled a list of etiquette guidelines for interacting with cosplayers at Manifest.

Always Ask First

Cosplayers are really friendly people; if you'd like a photo of or with them, want to have a chat, maybe ask for a hug or just want to give them a big high five for being awesome, all you need to do is ask. If they refuse for any reason, please respect that! They have reasons for not wanting photos or any kind of physical contact. Remember, if someone doesn’t say YES, it means NO.

Cosplay Is Not Consent

Most cosplayers will be fine with having their photo taken, however, always make sure what you’re doing is okay with the cosplayer BEFORE you do it. For example, if you’re taking a photo of a scantily-clad cosplayer, keep in mind that showing some skin isn't the same as allowing people to touch it, or take invasive photos of select areas of their body. Ask yourself “would I be comfortable taking this kind of photo of my grandmother?” If the answer is no, you should probably double-check with the cosplayer that they’re comfortable with what you’re doing.

Sometimes we like to get photos of us with cosplayers. This is evidence that you met some seriously cool people at Manifest, and all your friends will be totally jealous of you. Sometimes however it’s not appropriate to put your arm around the waist, shoulders, or other parts of a cosplayer. Make sure to always ask the cosplayer if this is okay. A simple “May I put my arm around your waist?” is all you need to make sure you aren’t making someone uncomfortable.

It is never okay to try and ‘sneak’ physical contact with any private areas of a cosplayer’s body. Private areas include - but are not limited to - a cosplayer's face, breasts, thighs, buttocks and the groin area. This is sexual assault and will be dealt with accordingly. If something of this nature does happen to you, or you witness it happening to someone else, please report it to a staff member or security guard as soon as it occurs. If you don’t see one of these people, grab a volunteer and ask them to fetch one for you. Reporting an incident is very important, as it allows us to talk directly to the person who committed the offence. If this is not possible, or if you are injured, shaken or otherwise require a quiet place, you can also report assault at the First Aid station located in Royal Block.

Photos and Photoshoots

We all want to get some great shots of the beautiful and talented cosplayers throughout the weekend. There is a zone marked out on the Manifest map where cosplayers are able to display and pose with props that would otherwise need to be cloaked. Make sure that you are not blocking any walkways or emergency exits, and remember to always ask a cosplayer for their permission before you go snap-happy.

If a cosplayer is eating, drinking, on the phone, about to head into the toilet or otherwise seem to be having a break of some kind, they probably won't want you to take their photograph as they are 'out of character'. It’s probably best to wait to ask for a photo until they have finished what they are doing. You'll make the cosplayer feel respected, and are much more likely to get a great photo.

It should also go without saying, but do not follow and/or 'stalk' cosplayers around the Showgrounds until they ‘seem ready’ for a photo. Even if your intentions are totally innocent, this can easily be interpreted as an invasion of privacy and personal space, and can cause attendees to become alarmed.

If someone else is taking photos of someone posing, please do not jump in or try to hijack the shoot in any way. It's very rude and can be upsetting for those involved. (Getting that perfect shot can be time consuming and requires focus and timing!)

If you want to get photos of your cosplay but don't have a photographer, we have a professional photo booth running this year for all attendees. It will be located at the back of the Traders Hall in Building One, next to the Guest Signing tables.

Respect Their Costume and Personal Space

Nothing makes a cosplayer smile more than someone complimenting their hard work. That doesn't mean that you should touch their costume or any accompanied props/weapons without asking first; the costume and/or prop could be very fragile, and you don't want to damage what they've worked so hard on - especially before the cosplay competition!

If you see an amazing cosplayer you wish to speak with or take a photo of, but they seem to be busy/preoccupied - be it on the phone, eating or speaking with someone else - remember to be patient and wait for your chance. A simple 'Excuse me, can I please take your photo?' goes a long way and is always very appreciated. If they refuse for any reason, please respect that! They have reasons for not wanting photos or any kind of physical contact. Remember, if someone doesn’t say YES, it means NO.

No Surprise Hugs or 'Glomps'

This is one of the worst things you can do to a convention attendee. Surprising a cosplayer with a hug or 'glomp' is a big no-no. This is not only a violation of their personal space, but you could very easily break or damage their costume without knowing. And there's nothing worse then having the living daylights scared out of you.

Physical contact of an unwanted nature can be interpreted as assault or sexual harassment, with all the legal penalties that apply. Please be respectful of cosplayer’s personal space. Always ask before touching them, even if you think you’re not touching a ‘personal area’.

Be Kind and Considerate

As we know, cosplayers are all different in terms of age, build and skill level. We all start somewhere, so please do not criticize someone else's costume. This is a form of bullying and will not be tolerated. We all cosplay for many reasons, but mostly because we love it; it's an art form we want to share with everyone. What you think may be helpful might be interpreted as meanness, so it’s best to not offer advice unless you’re asked for it.

Here at Manifest we want nothing more than to host a great event that's super fun, safe and harassment free. We have a zero tolerance for any form of harassment during our event, and hope that everyone can enjoy themselves in a safe and mature manner. If at any time during the event you feel uncomfortable or wish to report a form of harassment, please don't hesitate to speak with security or one of our staff members. If you can’t find them, ask a volunteer. We will do everything in our power to help you feel safe and comfortable, and will always take you seriously.

Remember to Report

If at any point during Manifest someone makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, or you see someone else invading other people’s space, breaking our code of conduct or deliberately making others uncomfortable, please let a staff member know. It’s okay to tell someone, and all complaints will be treated seriously and confidentially. We at Manifest want our attendees to enjoy the event in a safe and fun environment, and we will do everything in our power to make that happen.

It’s best to report physical or sexual assault to a staff member or security guard right away, with as much detail as you can. This will allow us to take action and possibly prevent others from experiencing the same thing. If this is not possible, or if you are injured, shaken or otherwise require a quiet place, you can also report assault at the First Aid station located in Royal Block.

Staff members will always try to get both sides of the story before taking any action. That said, possible consequences of harassment include:

  • an official warning
  • expulsion from the venue
  • a ban from future MAFI events for a stated period of time
  • legal charges applied by the assaulted party and/or police

(FUN FACT: This article was written by a cosplayer for cosplayers, drawing inspiration from experience gained during many years of con-going, friendly discussions within the cosplay and convention community, and Anime Expo's 'Cosplay Etiquette' videos.)

Amaranth Announcement

-:¦:- ~DARREN TP~ -:¦:-
-:¦:- ~THE EIGHTS~ -:¦:-
-:¦:- ~DJ JYN~ -:¦:-
-:¦:- ~DJ VELATIX~ -:¦:-

Come to the Amaranth Ball to kick off your Manifest weekend, or just simply to enjoy a unique evening of fine dining and entertainment.

Amaranth offers two options for dining before the events merge together to continue the amazing evening.

Formal Dinner

The formal sit-down dinner will be held in the elegant Port Phillip Room, and will consist of a 2 course meal, with a stunning main course and a delectable dessert. Your ticket will include a free beverage of your choice, vip treatment with extra time at the event, exclusive entertainment and Manifest's special guests. The formal dinner event begins at 6:30pm, and then merging into the cocktail event at 8:30pm. A ticket to the formal dinner is $99.95 and includes a beverage of your choice from our bar.

Cocktail Function

For those who do not wish to sit down to a full meal, we have a cocktail function available. Over the evening there will be a selection of amazing canape’s served for your enjoyment. The cocktail event will open at 7:30pm, with the formal dinner guests joining at 8:30pm. A ticket to the cocktail function is $44.95 (under 18), or $49.95 (alcoholic beverage). Your ticket will include a free beverage of your choice. (Soft drink ticket holders will have the choice of soft drink, juice, etc.).

We're just days away now, so grab your tickets ASAP to avoid missing out! VIP Dinner ticket sales close this Friday at 11:59PM!!! You can still buy cocktail event tickets up until the night!

You can buy tickets online through our cart or from Manifest Registration on Friday 16th of August, 2013.

Manifest Tickets No Longer Available Online

We are no longer selling Manifest 2013 pre-registration tickets through our online cart system, and orders are all being sent out! If you have any difficulties with your order please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We will still have Amaranth and Mani-Midnight tickets available through our cart until 5:59pm on Thursday 15th of August, 2013.

You can still buy tickets from our sponsors over at Critical Hit (377 Little Collins Street, Melbourne).

Please refer to this page for further information relating to on the day sales: http://manifest.org.au/index.php/information/tickets-packages

Guest Announcement: Tiffany Grant and Matt Greenfield!



We are pleased to welcome Tiffany Grant and Matt Greenfield as our latest guests for Manifest 2013!

Best known as the English voice of Asuka in ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’, Tiffany Grant was the first anime voice actor ever hired in Texas [February, 1994]. She has now voiced characters in over 1200 TV episodes, OVAs and movies, including Nojiko in ‘One Piece’, Altena in ‘Noir’, and Ryoko Subaru in ‘Martian Successor Nadesico’.

With over 1000 films and TV episodes to his credit, Matt Greenfield has been writing, directing and producing both animated and live-action programming (plus the occasional comic book) since the dawn of time. He is best known for his work in producing the English-language versions of many popular Japanese anime, most notably ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’.

We are super excited to host Tiffany and Matt at this year's Manifest, and to introduce them to the amazing anime community here. They both cannot wait to meet all of you!

Please note that specific information regarding signing times, appearances and panels are currently being confirmed, and will be released as it is finalised.