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July 24 - July 26, 2015
Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Home  //  Programming and Activities  //  Events: Thursday Matsuri
Events: Thursday Matsuri

Welcome one and all, otaku of all ages, to Otakon's Annual Matsuri!

Once again, we bring you an amazing show for you to kick off the Otakon weekend right, with music, games, awesome food, some of our local anime clubs and groups, even a Yukata contest, as well as a few surprises for all of our attendees, but best of all, it's free to attend! You don't even need your member badge. You can avoid the lines and come hang out with your friends and Otakon family at the Matsuri, then get your badge later, since we run the Matsuri from noon til 9PM.

The Otakon Matsuri will be held on Thursday, July 23rd, 2015, at the Baltimore West Shore Park, down by the Inner Harbor and the Maryland Science Center, just a few blocks from the Baltimore Convention Center at the point marked on the linked map. We'll have staff and signage for everyone to get to the Matsuri, so keep an eye out for them.

2015 Otakon Matsuri Yukata Contest

Hello and welcome again to the 3rd annual Otakon Matsuri Yukata Contest!

We're happy to announce that we'll be holding this contest again this year, and it plans to be bigger and better than before, with more spots for contestants, new guest judges, and bigger prizes! We're opening the contest right now to the first 20 people who want to participate, and we'll have spots for up to 10 more at the Otakon Matsuri on Thursday, July 23rd 2015, at the West Shore Park in Downtown Baltimore, the same place where the Matsuri has been held for the last few years, just a few minutes of walking from the Baltimore Convention Center.

Now, for those of you who are interested in the contest, our judges will be judging your Yukata on the following categories:

  • Most Traditional – How classic and traditional your Yukata is.
  • Most Original – How unique and inspiring your Yukata is.
  • Best Presentation – How well you show off your Yukata to the judges and audience.
  • Audience Favorite - This will be chosen from how well the audience receives your Yukata and presentation.

What we need from all of those who are interested in participating is the following: We need you to fill out the form at this link with your:

  • Name (real name)
  • A nickname (optional)
  • Your hometown.

This contest is open to all ages, it is free to sign up as the Matsuri is also a free event. Again, if you are interested in participating, please fill out the form and send it in to us. The first 20 people who send in their form will be added to the list and expected to show up at the Matsuri for the Yukata contest. We tentatively plan to hold the Yukata contest around 12:30-1pm on Thursday, July 23rd, 2015 at the Otakon Matsuri at West Shore Park.

For those of you who do not make it into the pre-sign up period for the contest, again, we'll have up to 10 additional spots available on the day of the Matsuri. From the time the Matsuri starts, which is 12pm to the time the Yukata contest starts, we'll be taking additional applicants for the Yukata contest.

We hope to see you all there, either showing off your fancy, awesome Yukata, cheering on your friends/family, or hanging out and enjoying the Matsuri! See you all soon! Ganbatte!

Club Booths

If you represent an anime club or other organization and would like to have a booth at the Matsuri, please fill out the application form here:

Booth Application Form


Richie Branson

Richie Branson (born Marcus Brown II) is a music composer and producer who has worked with a variety of notable brands including Marvel Studios and Def Jam Recordings.

As a composer, Richie has worked on a multitude of notable projects, including providing additional score for the hit MMORPG Marvel Heroes, and producing soundtrack for the mobile game Mission: G-ROK, backed by Grammy award winning rapper T.I. and legendary music mogul Russell Simmons.

He is also an accomplished hip-hop artist, gaining notoriety in 2012 after penning multiple songs for Adult Swim and touring with mc chris. After gaining a loyal following as a hip-hop performer, he achieved billboard-charting success with the release of his "From Guardia With Love" album.

After his nostalgia-filled videogame influenced raps went viral on various major gaming blogs (including Kotaku, IGN, Destructoid, and more), Branson began an intense study curriculum in computer programming. Armed with experience coding in C# and Javascript, he began developing his own games in late 2014.

Connect with Richie:

The Game Theorists


You know and love him, it's "Trailer" Drake McWhorter! A member of The Game Theorists and a former member of, TrailerDrake is the creator of Smash History, Unpopular Gaming Opinions, Crossover, and more! He's a connoisseur of everything geeky, a master of useless trivia, and did we mention that he's a snappy dresser?

Connect With Drake:

Gaijin Goombah:

After gaining a degree in International Relations, living abroad, and spending two years in the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, Gaijin Goombah decided to devote his YouTube career to teaching multiculturalism around the world through the medium of video games. From recent to retro, he explains a multitude of cultural references found in these games, and how video games can better educate the world about not only different cultures, but also perspectives and ways of thinking. Together with the other Game Theorists, MatPat, Drake, and Ronnie Oni Edwards, Gaijin pursues something more than just mind-rotting in games; Education and understanding of the world we live in.

Connect With Gaijin Goombah:

Kieran Strange

Aside from being an acclaimed Cosplayer, LARPer, Slytherin, Firebender, Half-Elf Rogue, and self-proclaimed crazy cat mum, Kieran Strange is a quirky, dynamic young artist blending pop sensibilities, edgy guitars, and extremely high-energy live shows into her own personal brand of British pop-rock.

Raised on a variety of music genres above her grandmother's pub in a small fishing village in southern England, Kieran left her family behind at the tender age of seventeen to follow her heart and chase her dream of making music, all whilst singing songs about zombies, relationships gone awry, D&D, and video gaming.

As she stands firmly as a voice for the different and discarded, Kieran's die-hard fans, who are disenchanted with the mainstream sense of mind, have coined themselves the #Strangers; their numbers span across the globe, from all four corners of North America out as far as Europe and Asia. Kieran is fiery, verbal, and passionate when it comes to her beliefs, and some of the causes she fights to help support are feminism and equal rights, autism awareness, cancer research, eating disorder and mental health awareness, and anti-bullying both online and off.

Hot on the heels of her debut EP Adamantine Heart , Kieran will be unveiling her sophomore EP Last Hero Standing in the spring of 2015. She also worked with the cast and crew of transgender television sitcom The Switch to compose a theme song for the show. Amidst multiple convention appearances, art work releases, and costume crafting, Kieran is also currently working on a side-project with Japanese-inspired apparel and accessories company Tasty Peach Studios, which will feature J-pop influenced tunes written by Strange, along with cute animations and designs in collaboration with TPS's talented graphic artist, Ryan Zanfei, who is responsible for the extremely popular characters currently featured in TPS' products.

"I was really anxious about being open with the world about who I am," says Strange, "especially when it comes to how much I love to game and LARP, and my cosplay. I was scared the music industry wouldn't take me seriously. But the strength and confidence I've gained from the incredible con-goers and cosplayers I've met all over North America has inspired me to just be myself, wholeheartedly and unapologetically. And I encourage every single one of my #Strangers to do the same!"

Kieran Strange – Social Media Links

Project BECK

Six Friends – Four Bands – One Love!

American Pop Punk band The Cheyenne Line, Youtube musician Kid Yuki, and long time friend and bassist Houston all shared one thing in common; They LOVED Beck:Mongolian Chop Squad. So, after years of traveling from state to state attending conventions as fans, these guys decided to combine their talents. With the help of voice actor Greg Ayres, and nerdcore rapper Doctor Awkward they formed a band to perform their favorite songs from Beck:Mongolian Chop Squad. Originally meant to be a one performance only project, they were thrilled to find out that so many others wanted to share in the experience as well. Join Sam, Greg, Doc, Peri, Houston, and Cody for their Otakon Matsuri performance full of loud rock music, adrenaline, and celebration of an anime that was made to Hit in The U.S.A.

Featured Food Vendors

Information on food vendors at the Matsuri will be posted as arrangements are finalized.

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