AkaiCon: The Six String at Wilson County Expo Center

Last updated on August 2nd, 2019 at 11:43 am

Meet Cosplayer Kay Bear at AkaiCon.

AkaiCon: The Six String runs Friday, July 27 through Sunday, July 29 at the Wilson County Expo Center in Lebanon. This is their sixth annual venture as the greater Nashville area’s hottest new Anime Convention. AkaiCon is one of the greater Nashville area’s finest new destinations for fandom entertainment. The staff strives to offer an event for all ages, a safe place for all fans, and an outlet to express all varieties of interests, all while giving back to the community through charity and volunteer efforts.

“AkaiCon wants to be Nashville’s bridge to the fandom industry by bringing attendees the best entertainment in a safe, friendly environment where we all feel like family,” Tina Moore, Director of Industry Relations, has said about “The Akaicon Experience.”

AkaiCon: The Six String strives to offer everyone a weekend getaway with people they consider family and friends. They want everyone to feel a togetherness with others in the community and that they are not alone. They will offer a place for all to come and be themselves, or be someone else for the weekend. They are a family, a community, and will do everything in their power to make sure your weekend is full of fun, laughs, excitement, and togetherness. If you’ve always wondered what an anime convention is like, this is the one to try.

“Of course we have a packed dealer’s room and artist’s alley,” Dee Powers, Programming Director of AkaiCon has said. “The cosplay contest will be running on Saturday with plenty of prize giveaways… 50% Dangerous will be bringing their new fashion line to us in a show on Saturday… Cosplay guests will include KayBear Cosplay.”

“My name is Kay Thomas and I am an Atlanta based cosplayer, freelance artist and model,” says Kay Bear. “Art and design has always been my one true passion. I have recently found a new way to express myself and show off my artwork…cosplay! I have always been a nerd when it comes to video games, fanfics and comics. I have been cosplaying for just over a year now and I am 100% addicted. I hope you enjoy my content!”

Panel discussions are always a big part of the weekend, and the AkaiCon panel schedule should be available online the week of the convention. Guests for the weekend include Cosplayers Crochet Cosplay, Kay Bear, Phil Mizuno, and TinaKinz: Voice Actors Leah Clark, Tara Sands, Chris Patton and Carrie Keranen; Photographers Solita Delacruz, Amanda Swanson, and Stardust; Comedian Steven D’Onofrio; and Fashion Brand 50% Dangerous.

Crochet Cosplay is an African-Caribbean cosplayer who’s taken crochet to a whole new level. All of her cosplays are completely crocheted by her and she has yet to find a cosplay she couldn’t make. On top of being handy with a crochet needle, Crochet Cosplay is an avid voice for POC (people of color) issues in the cosplay community. She discusses how to talk about color, race and politics in the POC cosplay community while still having fun cosplaying.

“Other events will include an AMV Contest that had our biggest number of entries in the history of AkaiCon, a formal on friday night, our first ever lip sync contest, idol festival, and of course a Saturday night electronic dance party,” says Programming Director Dee Powers. “Our charity this year is Gayme & Rose which is brought to us by Steven D’Onofrio. It is a 90 minute charity event to benefit the True Colors Fund, an organization co-founded by Cyndi Lauper to end LGBT youth homelessness. We are really looking forward to working with this organization.

“Here are some other panel highlights … beginner sewing techniques/ wig styling/ cosplay makeup tutorials; Q&A sessions with voice actors and cosplay guests; J-Rock, J-Pop, K-Pop dance parties and games; Zelda, D&D, LARP, Pokemon, Persona 5 (video games); and just about everything in between! There will be photoshoot stands, interactive games, plus dealers room and artist alley of course. Both analog and digital gaming.”

AkaiCon was formed by fans interested in a corporate quality show without the corporate feel. Their staff is a family of friends with over 500 fandom conventions worth of attendance and staffing experience. AkaiCon One rocketed off beyond their wildest expectations in 2013 and building momentum year after year from 1,500 fans in the beginning to over 4,000 last year.

Registration hours for the convention and ticket price details can be found on the official website or through their Facebook page. Enjoy a convention, they come in all sizes, as this report by Kossie Gardner explains, based on his convention experiences in Atlanta, Chicago and Nashville:

Geek conventions are of all sizes and AkaiCon and C2E2 are unique and should be experienced first-hand. Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center was the epicenter for everything comics, cosplay, and pop culture. Thousands of passionate fans converged on the Windy City for the 9th Annual Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo April 5th-8th. Convention goers were treated to a bevy of exciting options of things to see and do. C2E2 was four days packed with celebrity guests, vendors, exhibits, speakers, panel discussions, an artist alley and of course, plenty of cosplay.