COSPLAY BEACH PARTY August 16th & September 7th, 2008
Location: Revere Beach
Event Year: Third
Attendance: 16 total
Shiva's Costumes Worn:
Red XIII, Final Fantasy VII
The annual Cosplay Beach parties were created by several Boston cosplayers on Cosplay.com who wanted to both organize social gatherings outside of conventions and take advantage of the emergence of the swimsuit cosplay trend. The 2007 Cosplay Beach Party had succeeded far beyond the organizers’ expectations, and it was assumed that planning for the 2008 event would go just as smoothly. Unfortunately, however, conflicting summer schedules among some of the party’s creators were unable to be resolved as summer approached. Instead of compromising on a date which worked for the majority, the party was split down the middle, with some attendees showing up to celebrate in mid-August, and others choosing to attend a second event in early September. Some couldn’t navigate the ever-shifting dates and arrangements and simply chose to forgo attending altogether. Attendance dwindled at both parties, and most found the entire situation so discouraging that no one attempted to revive the event the following summer. As a result, 2008 marked the end of the Cosplay Beach Party.
Shiva's Event Breakdown:
I had a wedding to attend during the August date for the event, so I planned to I attended Boston Beach Party Part II the first weekend in September. Though I'd worn my Rinoa Heartilly swimsuit to the gathering for the past two years, this time I decided to do something different. Red XIII was my favorite character from Final Fantasy VII, and while I never planned on making a mascot costume to cosplay the red lion-like creature, I could manage a humanized swimsuit version. I found a base orange bikini and made ears and a tail to go along with it. I also made Red XIII's bracelets and styled a brown wig with beads and feathers to try and replicate his hairstyle. Finally I painstakingly painted his signature tattoos on my arms and legs; using my left hand to paint my right arm was a particular challenge but I think it came out pretty well!
The remnants of Hurricane Hanna battered Revere Beach just outside of Boston on the day before the gathering, but Sunday dawned warm and cloud-free and turned out to be a perfect beach day. I packed up all of my beach supplies and sandwiches to bring to the party and was excited to head up to Boston for the event. Unlike the previous year in which you couldn't miss our gathering, which pretty much took over the section of Revere Beach near the Wonderland T stop, this year with the two party dates, we only had about eight attendees for our September date - about the same number of guests who showed up for the August date from what I'd heard on Cosplay.com. It made for a much more subdued atmosphere, but at least those who did attend were cosplayers I was good friends with at this point, so we had a great time despite the sparse turnout.
Starlightslk had decided to join me in the Final Fantasy VII theme, wearing a swimsuit version of Tifa Lockheart. We had fun discussing our swimsuit designs online prior to the event and spent much of the afternoon taking lots of fun photos together. Also joining us for our mini beach party were Sephygoth dressed as Axl Low from Guilty Gear and Gale as Misa from Death Note. Mesoian, PatrickD, and Crazy Flower also showed up to the event, and one of Sephygoth’s friends served as our photographer. He got some fantastic shots of everyone, which I received in the mail on DVD after the event, complete with a little drawing of myself as Red XIII courtesy of Sephy. So cute!
We had an enjoyable afternoon eating sandwiches and snacks and hitting around beach balls. Someone brought an inflatable monkey with a palm tree which was involved in some amusing shenanigans. The boys also made a show of all trying to fit on a single raft with a dubious amount of air in it; they repeatedly failed miserably to hilarious results. The beach was pretty deserted since Labor Day had come and gone, but did experience some issues with several creepy people who were attempting to get cellphone photos of Starlightslk and I and who kept hanging around harassing the boys. Sephygoth and Mesoian chased them off, but it was interesting that after several years of attending the party without issue, the year that we had a smaller group we got flak from passerby. I wonder if we seemed less intimidating or made less sense without the context of a larger group.
After spending the entire afternoon on the sand, we got back into regular clothes and walked along the boardwalk, grabbing a great dinner from a seafood stand and hanging out until dark. We ended up staying so late PatrickD offered to drive me back to South Station so I didn't have to take the long MBTA route by myself at night, which I was grateful for. Although it was a small group, it consisted of a great bunch of friends. I was hopeful the larger event could be revived in 2009 and recapture some of the fun I had experienced in the past, but unfortunately it never happened again.