About AVCon

AVCon is an annual Anime & Video Games Festival held in Adelaide. AVCon celebrates the world of anime, gaming, cosplay, pop culture, art and more in one big community-based event for all ages. AVCon was the first anime and video game convention in Australia and prides itself on being Adelaide’s premier anime and video game festival while still remaining 100% volunteer-run and not-for-profit.

The History of AVCon

After 22 years, some things have changed, and others have stayed the same (different venues, a load more events and activities, but the same passionate volunteers running it). Our team have broken into the AVCon archives and created this AVCon timeline to highlight AVCon’s rich history.

July 20th and 21st, 2002 – Adelaide University

AVConnection 2002

Originally known as ‘AVConnection’, the first event was held at the University of Adelaide’s Union Building. As the president of both the University of South Australia’s Adelaide Japanese Animation Society (AJAS) and the Adelaide University Video Gamers Association (AUVGA) were the same person, and looking across to Melbourne Uni’s successful anime convention ‘Manifest’ (itself a copy of US college anime club conventions), the idea came up to do their own event with the unique twist of combining and focusing equally on anime and video games. The name was a play on AV cables (audio/video connections) and because AV can stand for anime/video games. The organisers hoped that the event could bring together like-minded fans and strengthen the cultural understanding bond between Australia and Japan.

The original mascot was Ayvee (full name Ayvee Averson), an anime-inspired humanoid female character with long green hair and angel wings. Ayvee also had a koala sidekick, Sprite, who was her confidant.

The event was sponsored by local businesses Adelaide Comic Centre, Borders Bookstore, Movie Maniacs, and Shin Tokyo.

The first event featured many things that would still remain around today, including
– Anime screenings,
– Video game competitions and free play,
– Role-playing,
– Cosplay Ball,
– Quiz Night
– Art Competition
– Stalls
– AMV Competition

The event was also supported by Madman Entertainment, who blessed AVConnection 02 with the official Australian launch of the anime series Cowboy Bebop and Love Hina, released by Madman Entertainment.

July 19th and 20th, 2003 – Adelaide University

AVConnection 2003

After a successful 2002 event, AVConnection returned for another year at Adelaide Uni. Tickets were sold at the door and through Shin Tokyo and Tea Tree Plaza arcade ‘Tunza Fun’.

The logo for this event features 3 small icons. A smiling girl’s face, a crosshair, and a legally distinct ‘space invader’ sprite. Little did anyone know the invader would soon be AVCon’s most prominent branding asset.

The event was sponsored by Tamarket, Madman, Mantaray, Activision, Borders, and Anime Anytime. Mantaray was a brand of video projector shaped like Stingrays and was used for video games and anime screenings. Activision donated copies of new games for use in free play and to be given away.

As a pre-event, the J-Rock band ‘reset0’ played Friday night at the Governor Hindmarsh.

Popular events from the first event were brought back, as well as a few new ones, such as the ‘Ultimate Gamer Decathlon’, a Legend of the Five Rings TCG competition, the first-ever auction and a DDR machine that hosted the ‘Odoru 5’ DDR comp.

Patrons were offered a special deal to stay over AVConnection weekend at the Blue Galah hostel.

A sausage sizzle was held for AVCon, where you could buy anime sausages, aka just regular sausages.

Madman provided more premier screenings with the first Australian screenings of Full Metal Panic and Onegai Teacher.

Art by Connell Wood.

July 17th and 18th, 2004 – Adelaide University

AVCon 2004

AVConnection, due to being a mouthful, officially rebrands as simply AVCon, a popular name for the event. Although there is still debate on if it is ‘ay vee con’ or ‘ah vuh con’.

AVCon registers the ‘avcon.org.au’ domain that has been used since and (after using various other sites in the past) creates its own forum.

AVCon won the ‘Best Club Event of 2004’ for Adelaide Uni clubs.

A new mascot was introduced this year, an anime-inspired humanoid male with grey hair, red eyes and devil wings. A competition was held on the official AVCon forum to name the new character, with ‘Switch’ as the winner. The pair begin to star in weekly AVCon comics. With Switch in the picture, Sprite would take a backseat, appearing only in the odd AVCon comic (where he was grumpy about being replaced) until he disappeared altogether until 2024.

As an event, AVCon hires a set of sumo suits. Suits that allow you to ram and throw each other without (much) injury.

The event was sponsored by Madman, Atlantic DVD, Anime Anytime, Shintokyo and Mercury Cinema.

Although not totally official, this is the first time a theme was used. Most of the branding and imagery of AVCon 04 carried a ‘wacky Japanese’ feeling, including the iconic ‘Drink AVCON!’ animation, featuring a flash cartoon of a Japanese man drinking a can of AVCon and then exploding.

July 16th and 17th, 2005 – Adelaide University

AVCon 2005 – RPG

Now that AVCon is an established event that has grown beyond the bounds of the anime (AJAS) and video game (AUGVA) clubs that spawned it, a new organisation known as Team AVCon is created within the University of Adelaide to handle the running of AVCon.

AVCon adopts its first OFFICIAL theme, RPG. All art, website and promotion takes on a classic role-playing game feel.

AVCon has an official launch party at Mercury Cinema on Friday night featuring drinks and a screening of Steamboy.

A special events sub committee is established to help create and run events of AVCon. One of the first events was a live ‘Super Happy Game Show’ event; the event quickly gained the nickname ‘The Train Wreck.’

The event is sponsored by Madman, Pulp Fiction Comics, Shin Tokyo and MRC.

Art by Daniel Fielding.

July 15th and 16th, 2006 – Adelaide University

AVCon 2006 – Pirates vs ninjas

AVCon’s theme this year is Pirates vs Ninjas, which many people consider the best theme AVCon would ever have. Lore is built around the fictional land of Avconia, where a clan of Ninjas fight a crew of Pirates (played by Ayvee and Switch, respectively). Attendees were given the option at the door to throw their support behind either side, and any achievements over the weekend would go towards that team’s tally, except for one lone staff member who was team Cowboy.

This is also the first use of the AVCon logo that will remain the base of all AVCon logos until 2016.

This year added a mature gaming area with a Halo 2 tournament, and anime premieres included Gundam Seed Destiny, Ouran High School Host Club and Tsubasa Chronicle.

The Train Wreck Game Show returns and is even wackier.

The traditional ordering of Australian Pizza House pizzas for Quiz Night did not go to plan as the city store was not prepared for the bulk order. AVCon staff sent to pick them up ended up helping the overworked Pizza House staff make the pizzas (or did they?!?)

Sponsors included Mercury Cinema, Shin Tokyo, MRC, Pulp Fiction Comics and Tokyo Night Train, a very short-lived player in the Australian anime DVD distribution scene.

July 20th, 21st and 22nd, 2007 – Adelaide University

AVCon 2007 – rock show

Due to the popularity of games like Guitar Hero and Rockband, AVCon’s theme for 2007 was ‘Rock Show’, also known as AVCon 07: The Massive Damage Tour.

Leading up to the convention weekend, an 11-page comic is released on the AVCon website and forum to promote the theme with Ayvee and Switch (like before, some are available on our Facebook).

Apart from the usual anime screenings, 2007 featured some live-action Japanese dramas and episodes of YuGiOh the Abridged series.

Not just for cosplay anymore, the first Fruits fashion parade runs at AVCon 07.

Members of AVCon’s sister event, Manifest, come over from Melbourne and run AVCon Idol, an anime karaoke competition.

Vorpal Con, a tabletop gaming convention created by original AVCon staff, runs on the university grounds and is complementary to AVCon. Vorpal Con staff also run an event called ‘Baron Munchausen AVCon Remix’; the exact specifics of the event are lost to time.

Australian monthly compilation graphic novel OzTaku runs Iron Artist. In this event, AVCon attendees make live art against professional artists on stage.

Cosplay Chess runs, an event where cosplayers gather and act as chess pieces while two players play against each other.

A live ‘Thank God You’re Here’ type stage event called ‘It’s Dangerous to go Alone, Take this!’ and goes about as well as the Game Show.

A Rock Band competition is held called Rock Out!

An interactive game called ‘Capture the Guitar’ runs throughout the convention. A giant paper mache guitar prop was made and carried by a person. If someone challenged and beat that person in ‘rock, paper, scissors’, the guitar would change hands. The winner would be the person who carried it around the longest. During the event, the guitar is lost and is later found damaged and abandoned in a bathroom stall. 

The event is sponsored by Shin Tokyo, Madman, Easy Games, Pulp Fiction and HYPE>> Magazine.

Logo by Julian Austin, art by Erin McGregor.

July 20th, 26th and 27th, 2008 – Adelaide University

AVCon 2008 – Space Opera

AVCon was referred to as a ‘convention’ up until 2008 when it began to refer to itself as a ‘festival’ because of the size it had grown to and the new content (and because it could apply for specific festival grants).

This year’s theme was ‘Space Opera’, a callback to anime like Captain Harlock and Robotech.

AVCon became the first event in the country to highlight and demonstrate a new phenomenon, indie game development, with the first appearance of the Indie Game Room presented by Adelaide TAFE. Many games that are shown off are part of the Adelaide TAFE curriculums.

Game development panels are hosted by now-defunct Adelaide game developer ‘Ratbag’, who at the time was the only large developer to have ever existed in South Australia. Their talks inspired a whole generation of would-be game devs.

In 2008, AVCon opened the Facebook page we still use today.

The event was sponsored by Madman, Shin Tokyo, Pulp Fiction, Game Traders and Adelaide TAFE.

July 24th, 25th and 26th, 2009 – Adelaide Convention Centre

AVCon 2009 – Heroes and Villains

After the success of the biggest Uni event yet, AVCon knew it could no longer stay as it was. Team AVCon officially separated from Adelaide Uni and became an Incorporated entity and not-for-profit organisation.

But removing the organising body from the Uni wasn’t enough; to continue growing, it was time to find a new home, and AVCon found it at the world-class Adelaide Convention Centre.

The theme for 2009 was Heroes vs Villains. AVCon city (capital of Avconia) is threatened by ‘A Worldwide Evil Syndicate of Minor Exploits’ (A.W.E.S.O.M.E) led by the villainous Switch. He steals the ‘Dolorean Diamond’ to power his doomsday device ‘The Azurean Crusher MkII.’ Only Ayvee, a mild-mannered librarian turned hero, can stop him!

AVcon 2009 was supported by Network 10, TAFE SA, Madman Entertainment, Pulp Fiction Comics and Gametraders.

The larger space featured many more free-play games and game tournaments like Ultimate Gamer, Smash Brothers Brawl, Halo 3, Soul Calibur IV and Pokemon Diamond and Pearl.

Tournaments weren’t restricted to consoles; PC LAN tournaments ran all weekend, like Team Fortress 2 and Starcraft.

Of course, a full selection of Anime screenings ran over the weekend.

Other content included the Lolita, Fruits and Kimono Katwalk, a new game show based on ‘Spicks and Specs’ called ‘Tentacles and Mechs.’ Panels on Asian ball joint dolls, going to Japan, Warhammer 40k, popular anime website Anime News Network, AMVs and AMV editing, live ‘Iron Artist’ drawing and even Yaoi and Yuri panels.

For the first time, Adelaide held a leg of the Madman National Cosplay Championship.

Interstate’s sister events, SMASH! from Sydney and Manifest in Melbourne, ran content in the form of SMASH Karaoke room and Manifest Cosplay Chess.

The IGR returned bigger than ever, supported by – TAFE SA, Flinders Uni and Holopoint Interactive.

You could stop for a bite to eat with cute maids at the ‘Ichigo Ke-Ki’ (Strawberry Cake) Maid Cafe.

Achievements were all the rage, and the AVCon 2009 booklet listed several that could be accomplished by doing certain tasks around the festival.

The new and improved AVCon at the convention centre doubled the attendance of the last AVCon held on Uni grounds and established AVCon as the biggest anime and gaming event in the Southern Hemisphere.

AVCon hoodies for this year were accidentally printed at a 90-degree angle, while hoodies with the correct orientation were printed after the event. The original ‘sideways hoodies’ are now a collector item.

Art by Serio555

July 23rd, 24th and 25th, 2010 – Adelaide Convention Centre

AVCon 2010 – Into the Woods

The theme of AVCon 2010 was ‘Into the Woods’ (based on fantasy and fairy tales). It was sponsored by Network 10, Madman Entertainment, Gametraders and SA Government Creative Industries.

To generate hype, Team AVCon vowed to dye current convenor Tom Baker’s hair pink if they reached 2000 pre-reg weekend ticket sales. This is met, and the results can be seen here.

A special promotions team that includes cosplayers acting as real-life versions of AVCon mascots Ayvee and Switch is assembled.

Friday night kicked off with a screening of the Initial D movie. It featured content similar to 2009, only bigger and better. A special kids’ area was put on the floor where parents could take their kids to enjoy AVCon without worrying about the older kids.

The official AVCon merchandise shirt was designed for the first time via the t-shirt design comp. Artists were asked to submit designs, with the winning entry printed on hundreds of AVCon t-shirts!

Art by rosiecoleman.

July 22nd, 23rd and 24th, 2011 – Adelaide Convention Centre

AVCon 2011 – Retro

AVCon 2011 was officially the 10th AVCon event. It was celebrated by making the theme ‘Retro’ featuring pixel art a plenty.

The official AVCon forums running on PHPBB that had been running since 2004 had to be wiped as the new forum would be built on vBulletin 4. Many memories are lost. (Though you can check out an archive here through the Wayback Machine!)

AVCon creates the short-lived AVCon Podcast.

Like 2010, Team AVCon bought a pretty pink dress for then (and current as of 2024) promotions coordinator Dustin Wilson to wear at AVCon if they make 3000 pre-reg ticket sales. The results speak for themselves. The dress then sells for $2500.

AVCon’s principal sponsor this year was Australian ISP iiNet. Other sponsors include Eleven (digital channel of Network 10), Madman Entertainment, Siren Visual, Alchemy E-Coustics and the return of Shin Tokyo.

This is the first year AVCon officially has guests attending that do panels and attendee meetings. Hosts of the popular Australian kid’s show ‘Cheez TV’ Jade Gatt and Ryan Lappin, talk about their time hosting and how cartoons on their show (such as Pokemon, Digimon, Yugioh and Dragonball Z) helped create the current anime fandom.

Popular internet personality Martin ‘LittleKurriboh’ Billany, creator of YuGiOh The Abridged Series (and the whole Abridged Series phenomenon), had funds raised via crowdfunding to fly from the UK to talk about his experiences.

July 27th, 28th and 29th, 2012 – Adelaide Convention Centre

AVCon 2012 – Neon Future

AVCon costumiers participate under the AVCon banner in the 2012 Adelaide Fringe parade.

The principal sponsor this year was Adelaide ISP Internode. Other sponsors include Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australian Chinese Weekly newspaper, Shin Tokyo, Pulp Fiction Comics, Gametraders and a special Crunchyroll sponsorship where AVCon got a small cut of all Crunchyroll sign-ups using AVCon’s own special link.

To help promote AVCon and show more behind-the-scenes action that goes into running a big festival, AVCon TV is started and can be seen.

AVCon takes on more of the Adelaide Convention Centre floorspace and picks the theme ‘Neon Future’, which is suitable as all panels and events are live-streamed to the world. For the first time, AVCon had a Guidebook app on smartphones that worked alongside the physical paper booklet.

For the first time, the AVCon Opening Ceremony includes a performance as well as the usual introductions and announcements.

In the video game space, the retro gaming website Retrospekt debuted its retro game museum.

On Saturday night, AVCon hosts its famous Quiz Night but also hosts the anime dance party Neko Nation alongside it for those who prefer a dance to anime trivia.

One of the most famous AVCon moments occurred in 2012 with a marriage proposal between AVCon staff members.

AVCon takes a step up with its guests in 2012 with famous international voice actors Cassandra Lee (voice of Kyubey in Madoka Magica and eventually Morgana in Persona 5) and Crispin Freeman (voice of Alucard in Hellsing, Itachi Uchiha in Naruto and Kyon in Haruhi Suzumiya).

Again, real-life cosplayers take on the roles of AVCon mascots Ayvee and Switch, with a tender kiss from Ayvee selling for $400 at the closing ceremony auction (check out the Auction here).

Art by StolenStars.

July 12th, 13th and 14th, 2013 – Adelaide Convention Centre

AVCon 2013 – School Days

To bring the hype of AVCon, a month before the Festival, the AVCon Prom launch party happened (check out the photos here). AVCon was opened with an Australian premier first screening of Evangelion 3.0 in Australia. This year also brought various guests, such as Chris Cason, Spike Spencer, and Jessica Nigri.

Early in 2013, AVCon teamed up with Espionage and Retrospekt for an event called ARCADE ALLSTARS!

The AVCon 2013 theme is ‘School Days’ and features art based on slice-of-life school anime. All AVCon hosts and staff wear AVCon High School vests and are called ‘prefects.’

In theme, AVCon hosted an event earlier in the year called the ‘AVCon Prom,’ which was the first incarnation of what would go on to be the ‘AVCon Ball.’

While 2013 featured a performance for its opening ceremony, 2013’s opening ceremony can be called nothing less than a spectacle. Taking more than 18 months to plan (meaning work on this started BEFORE the previous year’s AVCon ran), it was the brainchild of Daniel Thompson-Hoare, who acted as executive producer and brought on a Director, multiple choreographers, costume and makeup staff as well as professional actors and dancers who rehearsed for 4 months before the event. The performance was split into 3 acts with musical tracks from all different game, anime and pop culture worlds. It utilised special stage builds, AV equipment and light shows. The whole opening ceremony lasted for over an hour. A production of a level never seen at a pop culture-based event before or since. The only snag was that during the final song of the finale, someone accidentally kicked a power cable out, causing a catastrophic power loss. Luckily, through the magic of editing, the recording of the event covers this part flawlessly! (We’ll add this up on our YouTube soon!)

The principal sponsor of AVCon 2013 was again Internode with Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australia Chinese Weekly and Shin Tokyo also returning. Digital channel GO! (digital channel on the Nine Network) also took up sponsorship duties in 2013. PC accessories company Razer donated goods for prizes. Nintendo Australia set up on the floor and gave away an epic Monster Hunter limited edition 3DS.

In the video game space, Streetgeek brought PC hardware for LAN and ARENA Internet Cafe brought eSports to AVCon for the first time.

In anime, AVCon 2013 hosted the premiere screening of Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo.

For guests this year, AVCon hosted voice actors Chris Cason (Mr. Popo in Dragonball Z Kai and Gluttony in Fullmetal Alchemist) and Spike Spencer (Shinji Ikari in Neon Genesis Evangelion), as well as internationally renowned model and cosplay Jessica Nigri.

Art by Tarale.

July 18th, 19th and 20th, 2014 – Adelaide Convention Centre

AVCon 2014 – Fantasy RPG

At the 2014 Fringe, AVCon joined Retrospekt at a show called ‘Super Retro Game Trivia Challenge’.

AVCon returns to a previous theme, with 2014 being the second time ‘RPG’ had been done (the first time in 2005). Still, whereas Ayvee was the warrior and Switch the magic-user the first time around, in 2014, the roles are reversed. Switch is portrayed as a Viking-like fighter, and Ayvee a decked-out wizard. To announce this year’s theme, a reveal party was hosted by Adelaide venue The Pad.

The AVCon Ball returned in 2014, this time being referred to as ‘The Fantasy Knight’ (to suit the Fantasy RPG theme).  

Internode returns as the principal sponsor, with major sponsors being the Nine Network, Tuner Software and Adelaide Convention Centre and minor sponsors Shin Tokyo, Madman Entertainment, University of South Australia and the Adelaide City Council.

This AVCon featured content from a record of 4 different anime distributors, including Madman Entertainment, Crunchyroll, Siren Visual and Hanabee Entertainment.

Madman Entertainment and Aniplex of America set AVCon as the Adelaide leg of their worldwide SWORD ART ONLINE Exhibition Tour. This featured art, merch and behind-the-scenes information on the making of SOA.

Card games returned this year with multiple TCG tournaments alongside the usual electronic gaming.

This year’s guests include voice actors Jon St. John (voice of Duke Nukem and Big the Cat in Sonic Adventure) and Cherami Leigh (voice of Lucy Heartgilia in Fairy Tail) and game designer and writer Chris Avellone (senior designer on Neverwinter Nights 2 and designer and writer on Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2).

Alongside the quiz night, this year was SOUNDBYTES, an 8-bit and retro-tech dance party.

In 2014, AVCon officially banned the ‘Free Hugs’ sign.

Art and design by Jaimie Wearne.

July 17th, 18th and 19th, 2015 – Adelaide Convention Centre

AVCon 2015 – Detective Agency

The theme is Detective Agency. Ayvee is cast as an old-school detective, while Switch is the nosey reporter. There is a mystery to solve at AVCon 2015, and clues have been left all over the convention floor. At certain times throughout the event, Ayvee and Switch would discover clues and expand on the mystery, acting out interactive events for attendees. There was also the AVCon villain stalking the grounds. Could you solve the mystery before Ayvee and Switch could?

This year’s ball was named the Mysterious Masquerade Ball.

Major sponsors this year were Nine Network, Adelaide Convention Centre, Turner Software, Shin Tokyo, Madman, and UniSA. Minor sponsors were Fresh FM, ASMODEE, VR Distribution, Cosplay Sentinels and Plantronics Gaming.

2015 guests include local cosplayer Eve Beauregard, International Cosplayer Yaya Han and American voice actress Jennifer Hale (voice of female Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect series).

Tabletop gaming is introduced as a major focus of AVCon alongside video games and anime. This year features TCG and board game tournaments and free-to-play and RPG sessions.

AVCon hosted the first-speed running marathon of AuSpeedruns at AVCon 2015. AuSpeedruns would go on to become Australia’s premiere speed running group, putting on their own yearly event to raise money for charity (ASM) and attending events like PAX Australia and Dreamhack.

Art and design by Jaimie Wearne.

July 15th, 16th and 17th, 2016 – Adelaide Convention Centre

AVCon 2016 – Magica Vs Mecha

In the first couple of years of AVCon, a new logo was designed for every event until 2006. The logo used for that year’s Pirates vs Ninjas theme (originally designed by Julian Austin) became the base of all future logos. Each year, colours would change, and other design elements would be grafted onto it to give that year’s version of the logo a unique flavour based on that year’s theme. Other branding elements of AVCon were designed around the logo so that the look and feel differed vastly from year to year. In 2016, Team AVCon Inc. decided to update the event brand and develop a redesigned logo and definitive style guide for all AVCon design assets going forward to give the event a consistent look and feel.

The AVCon ball this year ran as ‘The Technomagic Cotillion’ on the 25th of June at The Adelaide German Club. It featured personalities from Nova 919 radio station.

The theme is Mecha versus Magica. Earth is destroyed, so humanity has moved to the planet AV-CON, where a mysterious mineral called ‘core’ exists. Humanity has learned to utilise this power in two ways; the ‘pure’ who use it to power mechanical suits and the ‘augmented’ who absorb the power to give themselves magical abilities. Ayvee represented the ‘pure’ and came decked out in a mechanical body suit. Switch was the ‘augmented’ and decked a wizard vibe. Once again, two cosplayers acted as the real-life Ayvee and Switch with amazing cosplay this year.

Madman, Shin Tokyo, Hanabee, Adelaide Convention Centre, and UniSA are major sponsors, with Japan Foundation, SMITE, Oaks, Monkeystack, Animelab, Arda Wigs, Eckersley’s, Adelaide City Council, and CDW studios being minor sponsors.

For guests this year, AVCon welcomed voice actor and scriptwriter Caitlin Glass (voice of Winry Rockbell in Fullmetal Alchemist and Cammy in the Street Fighter games).

For local guests, AVCon brought on the whole ABC Good Game crew consisting of Stephanie “Hex” Bendixsen, Steven “Bajo” O’Donnell, Gus “Goose” Ronald, Nich “NichBoy” Richardson and Michael “Hingers” Hing. The Good Game team hosted ‘Good Game Unplugged,’ which covered the Australian gaming industry, the making of Good Game, and its impact over the last 10 years.

Art by Rhonnie Tee.

July 21st, 22nd and 23rd, 2017 – Adelaide Convention Centre

AVCon 2017 – Winter Festival

The theme for AVCon 2017 was ‘Winter Festival’, and came with a creative short story to explain its lore. The story reads like an ancient Japanese folk tale. It casts Switch as a wandering warrior for hire who is retained to protect a small village in the middle of winter. He comes across a beautiful crane caught in a hunter’s trap but cannot kill it; instead, he frees it. Later, Ayvee is cast as a mysterious young woman who visits the village and weaves beautiful rolls of cloth for the village to sell for supplies and medicine. Later, Switch discovers Ayvee was the Crane he spared and that every night she plucked her own feathers to make the cloth, but upon discovering the truth, Ayvee disappears, never to be seen again. The villagers hold a yearly festival in her honour.

To drive interest, members of Team AVCon write AVCon blog posts before the event to give inside looks into running the event and the people behind it.

Friday night saw a premiere screening of ‘A Silent Voice’.

Major sponsors were Nintendo, Madman Entertainment, UniSa, Shin Tokyo, Hanabee Entertainment, Adelaide Convention Centre, and the City of Adelaide.

Minor sponsors were Japan Foundation, Eckersley’s, CDW Studio, Cosplay Sentinels, Oaks Hotel and Resorts and The Big Game Theory.

Guests this year include international voice actors Quinton Flynn (voice of Raiden in the Metal Gear series and Kon in Bleach), Jen Taylor (voice of Cortana in the Halo series and Princess Peach in Super Smash Brothers Melee) and Steve Downes (voice of Master Chief in the Halo series) as well as Internet personality Chris Pope.

As this was the 15th anniversary of AVCon, the closing ceremony contained a retrospective of the history of the AVCon event.

Art and design by Jaimie Wearne.

July 20th, 21st and 22nd, 2018 – Adelaide Convention Centre

AVCon 2018 – Evolution

The AVCon Ball this year was called the ‘Gatsby Retro Evolution’. It was used to announce the theme and give a few peeks behind the curtain for some new content at AVCon 2018, including a community stage area and dedicated cosplay area with repair and photo booths.

The theme for AVCon 2018 was Evolution.

Major Sponsors are Shin Tokyo, Madman Entertainment, HIDIVE, Crunchyroll, Adelaide Convention Centre, UniSA, and Adelaide City Council.

Minor sponsors include Oaks Hotel and Resorts, Eckersley’s, CDW Studios, and Nintendo.

The maid cafe was temporarily renamed ‘Ayvee’s Maid Cafe’ and, for the first time, had its own merch.

An exhibit of new technology by the SA government called ‘Hybrid World ADL’ featured robotics, VR, Augmented Reality, gaming podcasts and more.

For guests this year, AVCon welcomed back voice actor Spike Spencer (voice of Shinji Ikari in Neon Genesis Evangelion), last seen at AVCon in 2013 and Neil Kaplan (voice of Madara Uchiha in Naruto). Cosplayers were a big draw this year, with Australian cosplayers Major Sam, Vera Chimera, Knitemaya and Beke also attending AVCon 2018.

Art by Rae Harris.

July 20th, 21st and 22nd, 2019 – Adelaide Convention Centre

AVCon 2019 – Join the Party

The theme for AVCon 2019 is ‘Join the Party’, a reference to going on a fantasy journey in a party of adventurers. Unlike previous years with a fantasy theme, both Ayvee and Switch are characterised as magic users; Switch is a pyromancer (descended from a fire demon), and Ayvee is a hydromancer (descended from a water goddess). Ayvee was also canonised as having a pet lizard Switch didn’t like.

Major sponsors include Nintendo, Madman Entertainment, Shin Tokyo, UniSA, Adelaide Convention Centre, and Good Games.
Minor Sponsors were Oaks Hotel and Resorts, Eckersley’s, and Arda Wigs.

AVCon 2019 featured a new program called the AVCon Avengers, local up-and-coming cosplayers to run panels and do promotions.

Guests for AVCon 2019 included International voice actors Paul St. Peter (voice of Wormmon in Digimon and Xemnas in Kingdom Hearts) and D.C. Douglas (voice of Albert Wesker in Resident Evil and Yoshikage Kira in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure).

Art by Alana Plume.

CANCELLED – July 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2020 – Adelaide Convention Centre

AVCon 2020

As the process of organising AVCon 2020 began, the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the world, and lockdowns halted all AVCon activities. Although plans had been put into motion, it was not to be.

Art by Rae Harris.

CANCELLED – July 9th, 10th and 11th, 2021 – Morphettville Racecourse

AVCon 2021

It was not clear going into 2021 how much the COVID-19 pandemic might affect South Australian life during the year. Although lockdowns loomed, the process of organising a 2021 event began, although in a limited capacity.

The AVCon Ball was run successfully in 2021 at The Gallery in Adelaide.

The main AVCon event was to be run at the Morphettville Racecourse, and the theme was Ultimate Fighter, a tribute to tournament fighter video games and battle anime.

Guests would be popular Australian Youtubers ‘The Boys’ consisting of JoshDub, Mully and SmashingVR. Adelaide special effects wizard and stop motion animator Michael Cusack had planned talks on his company ANIFEX and the history of animation in South Australia. Andy Trieu (host of SBS PopAsia) was going to talk about the sudden rush of KPop popularity. Local cosplayers HenchWench and Scrap Shop Props were going to do presentations on prop building.

Mere weeks before the event, Adelaide again went into lockdown. Even if restrictions might have been lifted in time, the logistics of precautions and other factors caused Team AVCon to be forced to call it off.

This year, though, a new mascot joined Ayvee and Switch. Design Coordinator Rae Harris created a petite pink-haired, anime-inspired humanoid female to represent the AVCon Maid Cafe. Like for Switch 2 decades earlier, a competition was run to name the character, resulting in the moniker ‘Juliette’ (an Australian breed of Strawberry).

Art and design by Rae Harris.

2022, No Event

AVCon 2022

Battered and bruised by the COVID years, Team AVCon decided to lick its wounds in 2022 and run smaller events like a Fringe Artist Market and After Dark event at local bar/restaurant, ‘The Gatsby Lounge’.

July 21st, 22nd and 23rd, 2023 – Adelaide Convention Centre

AVCon 2023 TV Close

AVCon 2023

With the worldwide lockdowns in the rearview mirror and AVCon having spent a year recuperating, the event finally returned to the large-scale festival it had been before COVID.

Although a few AVCons were missing, 2023 marked the 21st anniversary of AVCon’s first event in 2002. Thus, the theme for 2023 was 21st Birthday.

Ayvee and Switch were now joined by Juliette, but instead of taking up roles or characters, the mascots took on a more casual vibe, finally getting to be themselves instead of warriors, mages, robots, pirates, ninjas, cranes, detectives, reporters, rock stars or space adventurers. Official art depicted the trio holding a birthday cake and balloons.

Although back at the convention centre, the scale of the event had to be brought down. AVCon was without its popular Quiz Night event for the first time due to lack of space, and the main stage was only utilised for the cosplay competition, guest panels, the auction and the closing ceremony.

On the flip side, 2023 had the largest Artist Alley ever with over 100 artists, featured a manga library to relax and read, and a tattoo section to get inked with nerdy tattoos.

For the first time, even AVCon featured American and Japanese talent as guests. Lisle Wilkerson (voice of Nina Williams in the Tekken series and Joy in Shenmue) and Japanese animation director Hiroshi Nagahama (director of the Mushishi anime series) attended in person.

Virtual guests were featured this year, including online panels by Japanese voice actor (seiyu) Toshio Furukawa (Japanese voice of Piccolo in Dragonball Z and Portgas D. Ace in One Piece) and Shogo Sakata (Japanese voice of Aki Hayakawa in Chainsaw Man).

A special virtual AstroBoy panel ran with original cast members from the 1980s English dub Patricia Whitely (Astro), Becke Wilenski (Uran), Bob Gonzalez (Daddy Walrus) and Jay Rath (Skunk).

The major sponsors were Shin Tokyo, UniSA, Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide City Council, Good Games, Lumin’s Workshop, and Team Cherry.

Art and design by Faewisp.

June 28th, 29th and 30th, 2024 – Adelaide Showgrounds

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AVCon 2024

What will AVCon 2024 hold? Explore this website to find out more!!

Art by MangaXai. Design by Vy Phan.

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