2023/11/28 - Added long overdue information about comic cons and volunteering at conventions, listed organisers in calendar, removed 2023 calendar, updated the localisation files.
2023/11/27 - Added 2024 con list, added segment about for and non-profit conventions.
2023/05/12 - Updated con list.
Table of contents:
- /CGL/ Dutch thread
- 2024 Convention Calendar
- Other Convention stuff
- Thread, Discord and OP things
This convention calendar primarily focuses on Dutch and foreign events popular with the Dutch community. Markets, Fairs and community meetups have been excluded from the calendar as there are simply too many for me to keep track of. If you are interested in these type of events, you can use the following alternative calendars:
- The Sushi Times: online news site with a calendar focused on events related to Japan, Japanese Culture and anime.
- FanCons.com: site that tries to list every convention world-wide, including historical data. Allows for regional filtering.
- LARP Platform: Lists a bunch of LARP events ro some shit idk I'm not historically accurate.
- Convention websites: will have the date of said convention. Some conventions will also list cosplay/community meetups that take place during their convention.
|24-25 Februari||🇳🇱 Heroes Made In Asia||Heroes||A popular commercial anime convention in Gorinchem.|
|1-3 March||🇧🇪 Heroes Made In Asia||Heroes||A popular commercial anime convention in Brussels.|
|8-10 March||🇳🇱 Karaokecon||Asgard Sings & Friends||A weekend filled with karaoke, DDR, board games and such in Someren. Entry price covers food, booze and a bed.|
|23-24 March||🇳🇱 Comic Film & Manga Fest||We Love Conventions GmbH||A comic con in Rotterdam. Organised by We Love Conventions, Comic Con Europe/Showmasters Europe under a new name. Previous attempts in Rotterdam were named Comic Con Rotterdam and were often cancelled or postponed a week before the event.|
|??? April||🇳🇱 NishiCon||Stichting Nishicon||A small anime convention in Eindhoven. Aiming for an April 2024 date after postponing their 2023 edition.|
|6-7 April||🇧🇪 FACTS||Heroes||A popular commercial geek convention in Ghent.|
|13-14 April||🇳🇱 TomoCon||Stichting Tomo||A smaller cheap anime convention in Oss, especially popular with younger visitors.|
|20-21 April||🇳🇱 Elfia Haarzuilens||Stelf BV||A large popular outdoor fantasy event in Haarzuilens.|
|20-21 April||🇳🇱 Comic Con Holland||CCGB||A comic con in Den Bosch, organised by the people from Comic Con Brussels.|
|11-12 May||🇧🇪 Comic Con Brussels||CCGB||A large commercial geek convention in Brussels.|
|7-9 June||🇳🇱 Animecon||J-Pop Foundation||The oldest anime convention of the Netherlands, hosted in Rijswijk. Restructured after a big oopsie and started to appeal more to comic con crowds with large halls.|
|22-23 June||🇳🇱 Heroes DCC||Heroes||The largest commercial geek convention with a focus on dealers. Bootlegs are a common sight. The cosplay competition offers the best prices of all Dutch conventions.|
|28-30 June||🇩🇪 Dokomi DE||AkibaDreams GmbH||A large popular anime convention in Dusseldorf which attracts visitors from all over Europe.|
|??? July||🇧🇪 Atsusacon||Ganbaro VZW||Belgium’s second largest anime convention, taking place in Gent.|
|??? July||🇳🇱 El Mundo Fantasia||Twilight Fantasy Productions||Fantasy event in Mondo Verde, Landgraaf|
|11-14 July||🇫🇷 Japan Expo||SEFA EVENT SASU||One of the largest anime conventions in Europe, hosted in Paris. Has gotten more popular with Dutch audiences. Understanding some French is highly recommended if you wish to attend.|
|1-4 August||🇳🇱 Castlefest||Vana-events||A(nother) large popular outdoor fantasy event in Haarzuilens with tons of great food.|
|9-11 August||🇳🇱 Abunai!||Stichting Abunai!||The second oldest and probably now largest anime convention of the Netherlands, hosted in Veldhoven. There's a heavy focus on content and night programming for the party people.|
|10-11 August||🇧🇪 Elftopia||CCGB||A large fantasy event in Belgium.|
|30 August - 1 September||🇳🇱 Viencon||Viencon||A weekend at Center Parks Limburgse Peel with your friends, where half your neighbours are weebs. Getting a bad trip or OD'ing at Viencon is not advised.|
|21-22 September||🇳🇱 Elfia Arcen||Stelf BV||A large popular outdoor fantasy event in Arcen.|
|??? October||🇳🇱 Gameforce||unlocked.gg||A gaming festival, spiritual successor to Firstlook|
|19 - 20 October||🇧🇪 Heroes MIA||Heroes||A popular commercial anime convention in Brussels.|
|2-3 November||🇧🇪 FACTS||Heroes||A popular commercial geek convention in Ghent.|
|23-24 November||🇳🇱 Heroes DCC||Heroes||The largest commercial geek convention with a focus on dealers. Bootlegs are a common sight. The cosplay competition offers the best prices of all Dutch conventions.|
- 🇳🇱 Animecon Classic: Seems to have been axed, but no official statement has been made.
- 🇳🇱 Imaginarium Festival: A fantasy event that's currently undergoing a takeover to restructure themselves into a (non-profit) foundation with the goal to expand. Have stated they will return in 2024. (source).
- 🇳🇱 OpaTullyCon: Exclusive convention for boomers.
|I want lots of quality content to do||I want to cosplay and/or compete in competitions|
|For anime fans I can recommend Abunai! and Animecon (classic). They have the largest focus on content and most of it will be included with your entry ticket or requires a cheap additional event ticket. Sadly, geek and fantasy events cater more towards merch and ambience.||Beginning cosplayers can pretty much visit any convention they want but Abunai! is known for beginner friendly competitions and lectures. If instead of a competition you want to participate in a catwalk you can find those at most conventions including Abunai!, Animecon, TomoCon, Nishicon and Heroes Dutch Comic Con. Experienced cosplayers looking for serious competition or price money are better off at Animecon and Heroes Dutch Comic Con.|
|I just want to hang with friends||I want to buy merch|
|Hanging with friends is something you can do at any convention. If you're looking for something cheap TomoCon and the many TomoFairs will be perfect to hang and entertain each other. Heroes Dutch Comic Con usually has a lot of geek culture fandom/cosplay meetups.||Anime fans are best off at Animecon (Regular) which has the largest dealer room. Heroes MIA and TomoFair also offer plenty of dealers which is great if you aren't looking for anything specific. If you are looking for artists Abunai! is definitely the place to go with their large artist alley. Geeks are best off at Heroes Dutch Comic Con, but beware of bootlegs. Fantasy fans are best off at Castlefest and Elfia.|
As geek culture took off, multiple groups have been trying to make a profit by hosting geek culture related conventions. While in the US the term “Comic Con” is a registered trademark, the EU deemed “Comic Con” to be too generic. Because of this everyone is allowed to call their event a comic con. This often leads to confusion with visitors thinking 2 different comic cons from different parties are somehow related.
As of writing this segment, there are 3 parties active in the Netherlands who host conventions with “Comic Con” in the title:
- Heroes, by EasyFairs: Company active throughout Europe. They took over Dutch Comic Con after the original founder passed away in 2016. Heroes currently organises Dutch Comic Con, Made In Asia and FACTS. Their reputation is decent with visitors, but declining among dealers and artists due to rising costs and rampant bootleg sales competing with legitimate dealers.
- We Love Conventions, (previously Comic Con Europe and originally Showmasters): Active in the Netherlands and Germany, their events originally started as Showmasters events, mostly known in the UK for MCM. Later, likely due to Brexit, they went under the umbrella of Comic Con Europe and now We Love Conventions. Their Dutch events have a poor reputation due to guests not showing up, having little dealers and flat out cancelling conventions a week in advance. Events they organise include Amsterdam Comic Con, Comic Film & Manga Fest and several German comic cons.
- Comic Con Group Belgium: CCGB branched out to the Netherlands in 2023 with Holland Comic Con. The community response was positive, but only time will tell if they can keep their reputation up. Conventions they organise include Holland Comic Con, Comic Con Brussels, Elftopia and Japan Con Brussels.
Non-profit conventions are run by foundations that consist entirely of (unpaid) volunteers. These foundations are not allowed to make any profit and as such every euro they receive has to be spent on their convention and/or foundation goal. Foundation goals will typically include the promotion of Japanese or geek culture and investing into the weeb or geek community. As a foundation, they are also required to be transparent about their finances, especially if they have a (cultural) ANBI status.
Commercial (for-profit) conventions on the other hand are run by a professional team of paid employees. Their main goal is to make a profit to keep their investors and shareholders happy. These conventions often use large halls with a focus on dealers and special guests. They also use unpaid volunteers for lesser tasks, but offer better volunteer compensation for their time when compared to non-profit conventions.
There is no "good" or "bad" or real competition between them as they both focus on offering a different experience. But just to compare and help make you decide which you prefer to visit or feel alright volunteering for:
|Lower entry price||Higher entry price|
|Focused more on content, community and culture||Focused more on size, dealers and special guests|
|Not allowed to make any profit, required to invest all income into their convention||Active focus on making a profit|
|Cheaper dealer and artist tables||Expensive dealer and artist tables|
|Fewer visitors (usually up to 12k)||More visitors (usually up to 60k)|
|Fully organised and executed by (unpaid) volunteers||Organised by paid staff, executed with help from unpaid volunteers|
|Little compensation for volunteers||Better compensations for volunteers|
In my personal experience, volunteering is an excellent way to experience conventions in a different way. Not only that, but contributing to the success of a convention offers you a lot of pride and fulfillment. It also grants you a way of meeting new people. If that sounds like something you would enjoy, try volunteering as one of the following functions at conventions:
- Staffing/Crew: The people working year-round to organise a convention and spend the convention hard at work.
- Support/Super Gopher: Assistants to staff/crew, performing specialised tasks during the convention and sometimes year-round.
- Steward: The unsung heroes in charge of visitor safety, crowd control, line management and conflict resolve.
- Gopher: The other unsung heroes who carry stuff around, prepare event rooms, assist event holders and all kinds of smaller yet necessary tasks.
Of course, you can also host events or work for a dealer or artist if that's more your thing.
Now, volunteering isn't just all sunshine and rainbows. For example, staffing has you constantly deal with a limited budget, less competent/motivated volunteers draining your energy, ideas not being listened to, and dealing with visitors who are in a dark place or went through a traumatic experience. Stewards are pretty much always understaffed and working overtime. Gophering tends to tougher than most people think and sometimes you are given tasks that just don't fit you at all despite being promised you wouldn't. And of course, your compensation tends to be mediocre at best, especially at the non-profits. Once more, the community and visitors can also be harsh or flat out evil. This is especially true for those with higher functions. I'm not saying you shouldn't care about your visitors, but if you can't compartmentalise or deal with criticism you will have a bad time as staff or crew if your function requires you to deal with visitors.
- For foreigners... Dutch conventions are typically hosted in English and have plenty of English speaking volunteers available. French and German are often also taught to those in high school, but don't expect any "proper conversations" from the average Henk. The public transport system is extremely reliable in the Netherlands, fully integrated with Google Maps and requires the use of loose tickets or a OV Chipkaart. Our infrastructure is also friendly towards cyclists and those walking. And finally, if you walk on the red bicycle paths we will run you over to colour the path a deeper shade of red with your blood.
- Buy your tickets early. Not only do some conventions offer a discount for early buyers, it also helps them out massively with some much needed early cash flow.
- Check the convention hotel situation! Some conventions (ahem, Abunai!) take place inside a hotel or congress center, which has their rooms only available through special sign-up pages or packages. Typically these pages will open to everyone on a specific date and time resulting in what is often referred to as the Hunger Games.
- Book hotel rooms early if possible and share your room if possible to save on costs. If you want to stay at another hotel or there is no special sign-up in place, you do well in booking early. Aside from the obvious early booking discount, a lot of hotels will significantly raise room prices the moment they find out a large event will be held near them. Keep an eye out for announcements
or leaksand book the moment you find out. Most hotels have an option where you can cancel free of charge and don't pay for your room until you arrive anyway, so cost or wrong information shouldn't be an issue.
- Always check convention rules and regulations, especially if cosplaying! Every event has their own set of rules. In general items containing metal/iron will not be allowed, weapons need to follow weapon laws (more info here) and NERF guns will need to have their trigger made unusable. Some conventions will also not allow you bring in your own drinks or food, large bags or recreational nuclear weapons.
- Stay hydrated!!! *This bullet point is brought to you by HydroHomies
- Convention crew and volunteers are there to help you! If you run into any unacceptable behaviour, unsafe situations, bootlegs or think you or someone around you is in need of help, you can always approach them and ask for help or report your findings.
- Bring a small EDC kit along. Powerbank, pain killers, medication, emergency sewing supply, tube of superglue and such are items you can easily fit in your pocket or a small pouch and will save your ass when in a pinch.
Simply put, /cgl/ has always been a niche board even by 4chan standards. Around 2018, the mods started banning all instances of dropping (user)names on /cgl/. This change in moderation rendered the discussion of community drama impossible, despite said drama being the main appeal for most users on /cgl/ and acted as a gateway for new people to discover the board and 4chan as a whole. As such, today /cgl/'s daily posts are down by ~80% when compared to 2018 (source). Many /cgl/ users have also moved their discussions to private chat groups, Discord servers, lolcow and the now defunct Pretty Ugly Little Liars (archive mirror).
We have a Discord server (invite here) which is open to anyone to join. However keep in mind 4chan isn't Discord and vice versa. We like to keep things comfy in our little hangout and access to the Discord is a privilege, not a right. While discussing dramu is allowed, you are expected to keep things civil. Behaving like a toxic prick, manchild, /pol/tard or harassing or targeting members will get you banned. Ban appeals can be performed by email, ban evasion will result in a permaban.
You can contact me at dutchthreadop [apenlul] gmail.com or on Discord.
What happened to the old duthgulls.nl website?
I've had a hosting package for my personal website for over a decade, and said package allowed me to add an infinite amount of additional domains at the cost of just a domain name. Sadly, on January 1st 2023 the hosting company doubled the price for a hosting package and limited each package to a single domain name. This meant I would had to spend 4x the original price just for these 2 websites. As the website was just a glorified convention calendar I deemed it unworthy of continuing.
If you need to retrieve any information, the Internet Archive has a full archive of the website and I made sure to download a full backup of the site in case I ever change my mind. The dutchgulls.nl I kept and simply forwards you to this rentry guide.