30 May

Angry rant by Stewart Loud

I attended London’s May MCM Expo convention at the Excel center this weekend and, man, it was a fantastic three days! Most of you have probably seen the hundreds of pictures of the wide variety of incredible cosplayers and stalls at the event that I’ve posted on our facebook page, but that’s not what I’m writing about today. No, today I’m writing about how I had my wrist band taken away from me on the final day and got refused entry for the rest of the event. Like so many of the events in my life, the disappointment and sadness has quickly turned to bitter resentment and anger. I didn’t think it would help much at the time if I argued with the apes on security or the MCM official who explained in great detail how it was all my fault so I’ve decided to vent my frustration by writing about it and you lot can make of it what you will.

I bought a weekend pass online which gave me access to the event on the Friday as well as the Saturday and Sunday. The site was relatively quiet on Friday due to it only being open to weekend ticket holders so I quickly had my ticket scanned by the friendly MCM stewards and was given a paper wrist band as proof that I had paid so I could walk in and out of the venue. All day Friday and Saturday morning the wrist band checks were carried out pleasantly by MCM stewards and after a few times through they began recognizing me (probably due to my Punisher outfit) and just waved me through with comments like “it’s ok Punisher I’ve seen yours”

Half way through the Saturday though, someone thought it was a good idea to put a separate team of overweight, bored security guards on the entrance and suddenly the event wasn’t just organized, it was policed! The friendly polite checks were replaced with white shirted goons aggressively Bellowing “ARMS IN THE AIR! WRIST BANDS ON DISPLAY!” at all the mild mannered comic and anime fans as they neared the entrance. These ass holes even started doing wrist band checks outside and kicking cosplayers socializing with their friends off the site.

Anyway, half way through Sunday I was walking in with my wrist in the air when one of the security guards grabbed me by the arm. He’d spotted the tape on my band where, having cut it off carefully each night to shower, I’d taped it back on each morning. He called another guard over who took it from me and explained “we can’t let anyone through with a taped band” I’m assuming in case I’d just picked it up off the ground or something, but this seemed a bit unfair as the MCM stewards had managed to remember me all weekend. they weren’t interested when I tried to show them my ticket and directed me to where I had my ticket scanned in the first place. There I met one of the event organizers (I think. He seemed to have more authority than the other MCM people) who told me that when I was given the arm band I was told numerous times that it had to last me all weekend, I was fine to shower in it and not to cut it off.

I WAS NOT TOLD THIS. I like to think I’m a reasonably intelligent person so if I had been told this I wouldn’t have found myself in this situation.

When I arrived on the Friday the place was almost empty so It’s not like I had trouble hearing what the friendly MCM people said to me as I had my ticket scanned. The guy who gave me the arm band just said “here you go mate”. In fact when I returned on the Saturday I went and asked a member of staff if my arm band was still valid before I went in. But no, even when I presented my ticket and my drivers license to prove I was the ticket holder (after I’d sent a friend in to the venue for me to retrieve my bag and wallet from the cosplay stand) he refused to give me another band saying that my only option was to queue up for half an hour to buy another ticket which I couldn’t have done even if I wanted to because I’d spent all my money. The guy even said he’d just said the same thing to a twelve year old boy.

So what could I do? Well I could probably tell you a few things I wish I’d done but like I said I didn’t think it would have helped so I just sat outside and ate my lunch before I left. While out there I did have an interesting conversation with one of the stewards who having seen the guards collaring me earlier came up and told me how he thought it was bullshit as he’d been letting me through all weekend and that most of the MCM stewards hate the security guys as well because of what a negative atmosphere they create.
His words: “they know we wont cause any trouble so they make trouble.”
I also spoke to a number of other cosplayers who said they hadn’t been told what I was suposed to have been told about the wrist bands.

Don’t get me wrong before all this happened I had a fantastic time and all of the other MCM Expo staff were really nice people I just had to vent a bit on here because it seemed so unfair. But what do they care, they’ve already got my money right?

Please link this article to as many friends as you can! I wanna know if anyone else had a similar experience!


  1. Anonymous May 30, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    Me and my friends went on friday, saturday, and sunday. Friday and sunday went great. saturday, not close. on saturday my and my friends were kicked off the grass outside the excel becuse we dident have a wristband. i told the security that we was not entering the expo we are only outside in a public area surrounded by hotels and restrunts to spend time with ur friends and he replied with that even the outside bit is privite property and we were escorted off. only to just sneak back in later.

  2. Anonymous May 30, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    I went on the friday, Saturday and Sunday too. I also had my band checked on a number of occasions, however I also go to a number of festivals and events and must admit that when we have wristbands I know I have to look after it because if it comes off they will make us buy new ones. I have had this happen a few times at concerts. I also had a security man come up to me by steps saying outside was private land I disagreed and he asked another guy with a piece of paper that stated the rules of the event that did say excel property was outside too and now part of the mcm expo and wristbands were required anywhere on site. I guess they only doing what the rules state. Great cosplay event I enjoyed it.

  3. Nachtangel May 30, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    We were never told that the wristbands were waterproof or whatever, I tried really hard to not get it wet at all and was scared that it would come off in my sleep.On the Saturday my friend had organised a Naruto photoshoot as they do every expo and we check at the beginning that everyone had wrist bands. Half was through this women walks right into our group demanding to see wristbands, when I very politely told her I had checked at the beginning she was really f'ing rude to me about it. I know why they have to check but they are just so mean and rude about it, they also almost broke my friends prop too.Sorry you got kicked out they really are ass clowns.

  4. Stewart Loud May 30, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    The way I see it, the odd cosplayer without a ticket posing for pictures and having fun with their friends outside the venue isn't gonna hurt anyone so it's a rule they don't need to enforce for events like this. They just see geeks like us as soft targets they can treat like shit and throw their weight around to make up for whatever's wrong in their lives that week.If it was some sort of sporting Expo then I could fully understand them ejecting any drunken football supporters without tickets from the premises but I'd bet my balls they wouldn't go out of their way to confront people like that.As for the guy who refused to replace the band the security guys took from me. I showed my ticket and drivers licence as proof that I was the ticket holder. In any sane situation you'd think that would be enough or meaybe the guy could have just used his disgression and given me another one. He just enjoyed saying no to much.I know I shouldn't have cut the band off but I thought that was a better option than it getting destroyed in the shower as I didn't know they were suposed to be water proof which the MCM official insisted I had been told. I also wasn't sure if they were gonna give us different colored bands each day like at Kapow! (They gave us a different color stamp each day) I even went up to a member of staff on Saturday morning and asked if my Friday band was still valid. That's how little I knew.

  5. Stewart Loud May 30, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    Oh, and yes you're right, second anonymous poster, it was a great cosplay event. All the MCM guys apart from the people I've mentioned here were great and I had a fantastic time apart from the wrist band debacle =) I'll definitely be going to the next one in October!

  6. Anonymous May 31, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    I had a griefing from one of the stewart telling me why I didn't have a wrist band even though I went in on the Sunday to prove with the paper I had an E-online weekend ticket. I politely explained that before when it was plastic it was fine, but something in the paper and glue irritated my skin to the point I had an allergic reaction, so I had to cut it off. The stewart then said to me in disgust and complained why I didn't keep it, to which I reply with common sense that if I am allergic to such a thing why would I want to keep something that by touch could kill me! It really could happen to me only DEATH by WRIST BAND! Eventually, I got the wrist band again to the point of irritation only because an angry Chinese and a Scouse girl started shouting as loud as possible at the Expo in the queue! Next time I shall just get a contract paper drawn up for them to take full responsibility in case of any legal action that needs to be taken – Death by WRIST BAND!Elegy Rant!

  7. Em June 2, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    I only went on the saturday but I found that they placed the wristbands way too tightly round mine and my cousins wrists. They were so itchy and they were annoying me all day. I couldnt swivel the bands around either (as the itchy part was at the base of my hand) It was horrible. I ripped it off when I left and my wrist was bright red. Cant wait for october though ^^

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