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Wollongong City Council

Comic Gong 2023 keeps things novel

Tuesday 7 February 2023

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Wollongong’s premier pop-culture festival is marking its 10th year in 2023, with a community-focused twist.

Wollongong City Libraries is excited to announce that Comic Gong will be returning in 2023 with some tweaks to the program that will see two, more streamlined events on Saturday 13 and Friday 19 May.

The refurbishment of the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre and changes to access in the Arts Precinct have led Comic Gong organisers to think about a new way of bringing Wollongong’s favourite pop culture festival to our community in 2023.

On Saturday 13 May, it’s a family-focussed affair at Corrimal Library. Taking things back to where Comic Gong began, this free half-day event features many of the elements that have made Comic Gong a special experience for families. Visitors will enjoy live entertainment, face painting, cosplaying, and craft activities for a younger audience.

On Friday 19 May, our mature age cosplayers are invited to dance the night away at the inaugural Comic Gong Cosplay Ball. We’re anticipating some jaw-dropping costumes as Wollongong Town Hall opens its doors to a social evening of cosplay competitions, photobooths, dancing, live music, and more. Tickets to this event will be on sale in March.

Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said the organisers took the opportunity presented by the closure of the Arts Precinct, which is traditionally used for the event, to celebrate the 10-year milestone with an event from its past, and something brand new.

“The Comic Gong team was so impressed by the record-breaking turnout at Comic Gong 2022 and as our Comic Gong regulars know, the highlight of the day is the cosplaying. So, it’s with great excitement we’re able to host our first ever cosplay ball in Wollongong Town Hall,” Cr Bradbery said.

“It’s also important to acknowledge that families really love this event. The first ever Comic Gong was held at Corrimal Library so it’s great to go back to that space and offer a family-focussed event that promises to be a fun day out for parents, carers and kids.

"This is the first time we are delivering two distinct Comic Gong events. It’s an exciting chance to do something special for both the young – and the young at heart.”

Cr Bradbery said that while some features of Comic Gong will be absent from this year’s celebrations, they would be back in 2024.

“While there won’t be an artist alley or stallholders for 2023, we are delighted to confirm that Comic Gong 2024 will be returning to the familiar single-day event format.”

“Right now we’re focussed on planning for Comic Gong 2023 but once that’s done, attention will be turned to another great event in 2024 and a return to the Arts Precinct.”

For more information about Comic Gong follow the Wollongong City Libraries and City of Wollongong Facebook pages or visit the Comic Gong webpage.