Budding Talent is the newest program to blossom on Sakura Sunday: an all-ages talent show featuring performers from the Greater Philadelphia area. Up to ten local and up-and-coming musicians, singers, dancers, cosplayers, and more will showcase acts that tie to Japanese popular culture and will compete to win prizes – along with the glory of being crowned Best Bud! Come to the Little Akiba Anime and Cosplay Stage to watch the show.

To apply for Budding Talent, please fill out the online application here.


This talent show on Sakura Sunday is open to performers based in the Greater Philadelphia area (Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland). All performers must be able to show proof of residency, including temporary residency such as a school address, in Greater Philadelphia. Performers of all backgrounds and levels of experience are encouraged to apply. Budding Talent is open to performers 18 and older.

Acts may be 2-4 minutes in length and can include individuals, duets, or groups of up to 6 people. Acts should fall within the parameters of the performance types listed, and otherwise be suitable for audience members of all ages. All acts must have an explicit tie to traditional or contemporary Japanese arts and culture. One application per person.

Please note that Sakura Sunday is a family friendly event, and act submissions which include bigotry, nudity, profanity, and/or sexual or violent content will not be accepted. Additionally, we do not accept acts that include fire, aerial stunts, strobes, confetti, liquids, and/or other messy props. All props used in acts must comply to cosplay guidelines, with weapons clearly marked as props, and performers will not be allowed to use props which fail inspection. Acts which include stage combat, elaborate acrobatics, or martial arts will not be accepted.

Acts will be judged in a manner that does not favor performance style or talent.

Applications for Budding Talent will be accepted between February 21, 2019 and midnight of April 1, 2019. Accepted performers will be contacted via email, and will be sent photo and video release forms and liability waivers to sign and return by April 9, 2019. If performers are unable to appear at Budding Talent, they must let producers know by April 10, 2019.

Accepted performers should arrive at Sakura Sunday by 10:00 AM and should report to the Little Akiba stage (located behind the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center) for a mandatory sound check. Please arrive ready to perform, with any musical instruments, equipment, backing tracks, or props on hand. If you are performing with pre-recorded backing tracks or a musical mix, please have it available on a USB drive or a CD.

All performers will receive complimentary admission to Sakura Sunday and 4 complimentary passes to Shofuso. These passes do not expire and may be used at the performers’ discretion. Budding Talent’s winner(s), the Best Bud, will receive a prize and bragging rights.


Sakura Sunday is a family friendly event, open to everyone. Guests are expected to respect each other, performers, event staff, volunteers, and JASGP staff. For our full code of conduct, click here.

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