UniCon (Latvian Comic Con)

UniCon (Latvian Comic Con)
Photo: unicon.lv
In Eastern Europe, there are at least two pop culture conventions named UniCon. One is held in the Belarusian capital of Minsk and the other takes place in Riga, Latvia. To avoid confusion, the latter is also referred to as the Latvian Comic Con.

Just like its American prototype, the Latvian Comic Con is dedicated to all things pop culture including comics and graphic novels, anime and manga, cosplay, crafts, toys, science fiction and fantasy, books and movies, video and tabletop games, traditional and contemporary culture of Eastern Asia, and more. The event can be described as a fusion between a Western-style multi-genre convention and an anime festival common for the former Soviet countries.

UniCon is held at the Kipsala International Exhibition Center in the Latvian capital of Riga. It is the biggest specialized exhibition complex in the Baltic countries, consisting of two large exhibition pavilions (9200 sq m and 5700 sq m) and two conference rooms. There are two types of admission at the convention: a two-day ticket that grants admission to all events and a one-day ticket for either of the days.

UniCon offers an extensive programming that encompasses cosplay, gaming, art, and other aspects of contemporary pop culture. Visitors can attend panels, presentations and workshops, talk to artists in the artist alley and purchase all kinds of fan stuff from the many vendors participating in the event. The program includes sections dedicated to various kinds of games (video games and VR, tabletop games, RPG), K-pop (Korean pop music), cosplay and fashion, eSports and gadgets. In other words, there’s something here for everyone!

For those who want to showcase their skills and talents, there are plenty of contests and tournaments to participate in. They include an arts contest, a cosplay contest, an eSports tournament, a console gaming tournament, a game dev / IT showcase, a fan stand contest, collectible card game tournaments, and more.

Although the Latvian Comic Con doesn’t feature many celebrities yet, its attendees have an opportunity to meet some guests of honor. For example, the cosplay contest is always judged by acclaimed cosplayers and costume/prop designers from Latvia, Germany, Belgium, and other European countries. In addition, UniCon hosts VidFest LV, an online video conference where visitors can meet their favorite video bloggers and creators.

Latvian Comic Con

Photo: Jonas Simonavičius



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