Is it time we skip Saturdays for Anime conventions and comic cons?

If you’ve been attending Anime conventions and Comic conventions for a while now, then you know that Saturday’s are always the busiest days of a convention weekend. But if you haven’t been to a convention yourself, then the reason why Saturdays the most crowded is mainly because it’s the longest day of the weekend (in terms of schedule) meaning more stuff is happening. So most people opt to attend on the Saturday, if they have to choose between Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

But I think that’s going to change in the future.

In this post, I’ll go over why it may be time we skip Saturdays for Anime conventions and comic cons. While Saturday’s are by far the most popular to attend a convention, they are also the most crowded and expensive. By skipping out for other days, you can enjoy the convention without the big crowds. I’ll go over reasons why you should or should not in this post.

Without further ado, let’s get started!


Back then, this would be the crowd levels for a Saturday. But now I see way more people than this!

There were a few things that inspired me to write this post and get some thought-provoking questions discussed.

I don’t know about you. But I’ve been noticing in the most recent times, both Anime and Comic cons have been getting really crowded, especially on Saturdays. I remember going to a comic convention not too long on the Friday and even on a “shoulder” day, it was pretty packed. I didn’t go on the Saturday, but at this Comic Con, there were numerous complaints about the overcrowding. I had one of my friends tell that they didn’t want to go to that local comic con because of how extremely crowded and uncomfortable it was.

Another thing I remembered last year. My friend who lives in a different province told me she attended Otakuthon (click here for my guide on Otakuthon) for most of the weekend. But she actually skipped the Saturday, which I found really intriguing at the time because I never heard anyone doing that. I asked her why. She said she wanted to avoid the large crowds of Otakuthon on the Saturday. She must be psychic because indeed, Otakuthon in 2023 was very crowded on Saturday! Otakuthon had so many attendees, it arguably is the largest Anime convention in Canada now.

But also something I noticed with myself when I attend Anime or comic conventions; I unconsciously skip out on walking around the conventions on Saturday afternoons. Like maybe I’ll walk around for a bit in the afternoon. But I’m often finding myself doing other stuff around the convention area rather than congoing (e.g. working out, eating at a local restaurant, hanging out with friends). I myself find the big crowds to be very mentally exhausting. And it’s only compounded if you’re wearing a sweaty wig and heavy costume. No thank you!

So while I don’t skip out on Saturday’s entirely, what I end up doing is coming back to the con later in the day when it’s less crowded. So for me, I’m subconsciously skipping out on the prime hours of Saturday afternoon, without even knowing it!

Alright, so let’s go over some reasons why you may want to skip out on Saturday’s of a convention.

Reasons to skip Saturday of an Anime or Comic convention

Protagonist cosplay
It’s nice when the convention isn’t crowded!

Okay, so here are the reasons why you may want to potentially skip out on the Saturday of a convention:

  • Way too crowded. The first and biggest reason why you want to avoid Saturday is to avoid the large crowds. Trust me, if you haven’t been to a con on Saturday, it can be EXTREMELY crowded and uncomfortable. Sometimes it can be shoulder-to-shoulder! And while Friday and Sunday can also be busy, they are usually nowhere near the levels of crowdedness that Saturday can bring.
  • Most expensive day. Not only is Saturday’s crowded, they are the most expensive day to attend if you’re buying a single-day pass. If you compare prices with the other days, Saturday’s will always be the most expensive day. Although we’re talking perhaps $20-$30 more which to me isn’t that big of a deal, if you want to save a few bucks, you can opt to go on a Friday or Sunday instead.
  • Can be a stressful day as well. I find that attending a convention on a Saturday can be stressful as well. You have a ton of programming and activities going on, all sorts of people hanging around the convention and big crowded hallways…it can be mentally draining. If you prefer a more relaxed pace, then go for the other days.

Reasons to stick with Saturdays

However, I have to be fair and give you reasons why Saturdays may still be a better option for you, despite these negative things:

  • There’s something you want to see that’s only available on Saturday. Put simply, there are tons of activities and shows that only happen on the Saturday of a convention, including the Masquerade, celebrity meet and greets, concerts, cosplay meetups, and more. Not only that, many cosplayers save their best cosplays for the Saturday. It’s just something we do. We know that most people will show up on the Saturday, so we want people to see our BEST cosplay when they are mostly there. So if any of these reasons are for you, then you will want to attend on Saturday, regardless of the crowds or expense.
  • It’s your only day off. Saturday is also popular because most people are off from school or work on that day. Friday’s can be tough for people to be at a con because they’re still working that day. And Sunday may be a day where parents and students need to prepare for the workweek or for school on Monday. So if attending on Saturday is more convenient for you, then go for it.
  • You want the most value for your money. While Saturday is the most expensive for single-day passes, it’s for good reason as well. It’s usually the longest day filled with the most programming. At least in Canada, conventions don’t open until 5 p.m. or so on the Friday, and on Sunday the convention is usually closed by 6 p.m. That means Friday and Sunday are really only half the day. Meanwhile, Saturdays can start as early as 10 a.m. and go all night until 2-3 AM for some Anime conventions!

Solutions for Saturday crowds

Okay, so I’m not a convention organizer so maybe it’s not my place to do this. But as a congoer myself, I thought I’d give my two cents on what convention organizers can possibly do to help with the issue of overcrowding on Saturdays:

  • Use more of the convention building. I know for some conventions, they don’t use all of the building space. Maybe they’ll only use half the building instead of the whole building. So an easy solution is to use up more space so you can accommodate more attendees during the convention. Yes, easy for me to say from my office chair, cause it probably costs a ton of money to use more building space. But I think it’s a good solution.
  • Attendance cap. I’ve seen a couple of conventions do this. Instead of letting people buy as many tickets as possible, conventions will put a limit on how many people can buy and attend the convention, especially on the Saturday. And after a certain point, the convention will be “sold out.” I guess from a business perspective, this isn’t ideal since you want as many customers as possible. But if budget is a limit and you can’t accommodate more attendees, then an attendance cap may be the best solution.
  • Have multiple conventions at different times of the year. I’ve only seen like 2 conventions do this and it makes sense cause cons are very difficult to run. But if we can have the same convention happen twice a year but at different times, then perhaps it could spread the attendance out and allow conventions to generate as much revenue as they want. For example, have 1 convention in the Spring and then another one in Autumn. I would imagine a lot of people would pick one or the other, especially if they’re coming from out-of-town. Again, I know how difficult this would be for convention organizers. But if this becomes more common, then that would be awesome!

So will skipping Saturdays be a thing?

I can honestly see skipping Saturdays of a convention becoming more common in the future. While there will always be crowds at a con, there may likely be more attendees who will skip Saturdays and come back to the convention when it’s less busy (e.g. Friday, Saturday, evening). Like I mentioned earlier, I sort of do that already! I’m okay with it too; I already get a discount by purchasing a 3-day pass, so missing out on part of Saturday isn’t that big of a deal to me.

So that’s my take on things. I’d like to hear from you! If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to contact me. 🙂

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