Hey, ever heard of AniNite?
This is the biggest fan convention for Japanese youth and popular culture in Austria. Every year, the AniManga Austria association invites all anime and manga fans to celebrate a colorful festival among friends. But how was the idea of AniNite born?
It all started in 2001, when about 70 friends got together for the first AniNite on a small scale to watch some Japanese movies and play video games together. Already the following year there was a second screening room and the number of visitors had more than doubled. In 2003 the first “Austrian Otaku of the year” contest took place and already 900 people participated in the small event – organized by fans for fans.
All this happened under the non-profit association AniManga Austria, which aims to promote Japanese youth and popular culture in Austria and to break down prejudices against foreign cultures. The project started in 2000 with the online portal AniManga, which was expanded a year later with the forum AnimeBoard.
In the same year, the association again succeeded in increasing the number of visitors and expanding the program, providing an exciting and culturally valuable event for Japan enthusiasts. In 2011, for the first time, we managed to present Japanese star guests to our visitors.
In 2011, more than 7,000 fans of Japanese culture have already found their way to AniNite. More and more visitors also come from the Austrian neighboring countries and in this way make the AniNite even more diverse, colorful and exciting!
In 2013, AniNite was held outside of Vienna for the first time. The Multiversum Schwechat (near Vienna) hosted the AniNite 2013 with more than 10,000 visitors. This event set new standards in the quality and attendance of an anime convention in Austria. Never before had we received so much positive feedback from our visitors. For the first time this year, there was also room for a show group at AniNite, as well as several Japanese and German guests of honor from the anime and manga faction.
With 14,000 visitors, AniNite 2014 once again broke the previous year’s record. In addition to interesting lectures on Japan, anime and much more, numerous artists also delighted the participants with their works.
Over 19,000 fans of Japanese youth culture celebrated their favorite characters from anime and manga together at AniNite 2015. Japanese star guests, the Cosplay World Masters, an evening concert and much more filled the halls of the Multiverse to capacity.
In 2016 we broke the limits of the Multiversum with 20,000 visitors, even with a new room concept we could no longer cope with the masses and so a new chapter in the history of AniNite began.
2017 saw the move to the Metastadt Vienna and another record attendance of almost 24,000 visitors over three days. The change of location did not go entirely smoothly, so the team was all the more motivated to put on an awesome convention in 2018. And that also worked despite partly heavy rainy weather. With a steady stream of visitors and a big fireworks display on Friday, new standards were set again.
For 2019, the next big step was on the agenda. We moved on to Lower Austria, more precisely to the idyllic Ebreichsdorf. There, in 2019, we had the privilege of transforming Magna Racino into Manga Racino and hosting a weekend-long event unlike anything this venue has ever seen. Likewise, there was also a novelty at AniNite with the in-house after-con party at the site.
In 2020, the Corona pandemic has made a physicallyheld convention impossible. Instead, diverse entertainment was presented over 3 days via Twitch.
In 2021 a new step has also been taken again. We went into the Eventhotel Pyramide in Vösendorf. This was the first time since 2002 that an “overnight stay in the location” was possible, albeit with a few more amenities such as a warm bed, breakfast and the standards of a hotel.
We are already looking forward to many great program items and ideas.
All this is only possible thanks to the great cooperation of the project team and the more than 250 volunteers who support the event every year free of charge.
The entire AniNite crew is looking forward to seeing you there in 2022!