Tag Archive for: dragon con

NETHERWORLD HAUNTED HOUSE JOININGTHE ANNUAL DRAGON CON LINEUP THIS LABOR DAY WEEKEND

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 9/1/22

Kicking off the start of the official haunt season, NETHERWORLD Haunted House will once again bring its terrifying monsters, elaborate costumes, and an over-the-top parade float to the annual Dragon Con. Known as the largest multimedia pop culture convention in the world, Dragon Con draws thousands of fans of comic books, sci-fi, cosplay and gaming to Atlanta each year for a five-day event that brings their favorite characters and fantasy worlds to life. This year’s Dragon Con will take place from Thursday, Sept. 1 through Monday, Sept. 5, spanning through Labor Day weekend.
 
NETHERWORLD has played a significant role in Dragon Con every year since its creation in 1997, including acting as a sponsor for the official Dragon Con Parade broadcast on WUPA-TV, Atlanta’s CW-69. Taking place this Saturday, Sept. 3 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., this will be the first time the parade is operating without Covid restrictions since 2019, and the excitement is high among fans and regular spectators.
 
In addition to sponsoring the televised broadcast of the parade, NETHERWORLD is also bringing the element of horror. Fans can expect multiple vehicles, including an elaborate float, and over 50 NETHERWORLD characters fans love to fear! The Dragon Con parade will also mark the public debut of many terrifying creatures from its upcoming 2022 haunts, PARASITIC and THE UNDYING HORROR.
 
Additionally, the highly acclaimed haunted attraction is proud to once again sponsor Dragon Con’s horror track, the convention’s home for tales of terror and dark fantasy with a nightmarish lineup of panels, topics and guests. NETHERWORLD will have a booth set up in the Atlanta Marriott Marquis for the entire weekend where patrons will have the opportunity to talk to NETHERWORLD team members about the latest haunts and take photos with a few famed monsters.
 
Following Dragon Con, true horror lovers can look forward to NETHERWORLD’s official opening weekend on Friday, Sept. 23, and Saturday, Sept. 24. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at FearWorld.com.

DRAGON CON IS FOR FANS

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 8/28/22

More Than 60,000 Cosplayers, Gamers, and Pop Culture Enthusiasts Return to Atlanta for

Annual Celebration of Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Gaming

http://www.dragoncon.org/

Dragon Con, the internationally known science fiction, fantasy, and gaming convention, returns to downtown Atlanta for Labor Day weekend, bringing with it some 60,000 pop culture fans.

Dragon Con 2022 runs from Thursday, Sept. 1 to Monday, Sept. 5 with events and activities across five host hotels – Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Atlanta, Westin Peachtree, and Sheraton Atlanta – and AmericasMart Buildings Two and Three.

Dragon Con attracts fans from all 50 states and several foreign countries who come to Dragon Con to meet their favorite actors, artists, authors, creators, and experts, show off their latest cosplay, make new friends, and revel in the joy that is Dragon Con.

Guests – Two members of the original Star Trek television series, William Shatner and Walter Koenig, lead a long list of celebrity guests who will appear at this year’s convention. Joining them are Emmy-nominated actor Morena Baccarin; Once Upon a Time’s Jennifer Morrison; Lauren Ridloff, Tony-nominated deaf actress from Marvel’s Eternals; and David Ramsey and Emily Bett Rickards at the head of a long list of actors representing the Arrowverse.

Other top guests from television and movies include Charmed’s Holly Marie Combs; Stargate Atlantis’ Joe Flanigan and Rachel Luttrell; Encanto’s Diane Guerrero, Mauro Castillo, and Adassa; and The Boys’ Laz Alonso, Nathan Mitchell, and Tomer Capone; as well as voice actors Kaitlyn Robrock (Disney’s Minnie Mouse), Jim Cummings (Disney’s Winnie the Pooh), and Nolan North (Superman).

Joining Shatner and Koenig, Star Trek fans will have a chance to meet Anson Mount, Anthony Rapp, Michelle Hurd, and many other cast members from the latest installments of the beloved franchise, Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

Fans will also recognize guests from Georgia-filmed productions including Doom Patrol (Joivan Wade, Matthew Zuk, Riley Shanahan, and Mark Sheppard); Stargirl (Brec Bassinger, Yvette Monreal, Trae Romano, and Anjelika Washington), The Walking Dead (Chad Coleman, Laurie Holden, Katelyn Nacon, and Chandler Riggs), and Fear The Walking Dead (Lennie James and Danay Garcia).

For the MTV Generation, Sam J. Jones and Melody Anderson from the cult classic movie, Flash Gordon, will be on hand. Jones played star quarterback Flash Gordon while Anderson played ally Dale Arden who helped save planet Earth from the wicked Ming the Merciless. 

Cosplay – Dragon Con is well known for the quality of its cosplay – or costume play – and that tradition will certainly continue. The nation’s top cosplayers will show off their best work during the show, participating in costume contests every night of the convention and promenading throughout the five host hotels and the streets of downtown Atlanta.

Cosplay competitions remain a mainstay of Dragon Con, including the queen of competitions, Dragon Con Masquerade, the oldest continuously-run competition in fandom, the craftsmanship-focused Friday Night Costume Contest, and the low-key and fan-voted Hallway Costume Contest.

Gaming – New this year,Dragon Con is moving a large part of its ‘round the clock gaming programming one block up and one block over, from AmericasMart Building One to Building Three.

While the move was necessary because of renovations to Building One, the new space is better laid out and quite roomy – offering nearly three acres of games and gaming, from the latest and most popular video games to rarely seen board games.

The popular Artemis Bridge Game, in which eight players man the bridge of a USS Enterprise-like starship through its galactic adventures, is also expanding. First offered in 2016, the Artemis will now have two dedicated installations to allow cooperation or head-to-head competition. 

Joystick Gamebar will once again offer a pop-up experience at 161 Peachtree Center, featuring dozens of classic American arcade games. No need for quarters, these games will be free to play for the full convention.  

Overall, Dragon Con is one of the largest gaming conventions in the nation. From the latest video games to the most popular tabletop games, plus Japanese and classic American arcade games, ‘round the clock gaming is free to Dragon Con members starting Thursday, Sept. 1 at 4 pm.

Parade – The always popular Dragon Con Parade steps off on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 10 am. After a year in which only badged Dragon Con members could attend, the parade is once again free and open to the public.

The parade route remains the same as in past years. Beginning at the intersection of Peachtree Street and Linden Avenue, the parade will head south on Peachtree, east (left) on Andrew Young International Boulevard and north (left) on Peachtree Center Avenue. It will end on Peachtree Center Avenue between John Portman Boulevard and Baker Street, in front of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

The route is convenient to three MARTA stations – North Avenue, Civic Center, and Peachtree Center. Parking downtown is expected to be tight. Dragon Con encourages parade spectators to ride MARTA.

The 2022 parade will once again be televised and streamed live on Atlanta’s CW69 and our own DCTV. CW69’s live coverage will begin at 10 am and will remain on air through the entire parade, with a time-edited rebroadcast on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 11 p.m. 

There are a number of live streaming options. DCTV will broadcast the parade live on a closed circuit to the convention’s host hotels, with rebroadcasts throughout the weekend. Parade coverage will also be available through the Dragon Con Goes Virtual streaming app.

Official Charity – Open Hand Atlanta is Dragon Con’s official charity for 2022. Through auctions and other charity events, plus a dollar-for-dollar match up to $100,000 from Dragon Con, the convention will raise money to support this important organization.

Since 2013, the convention has consistently raised more than $100,000 for each of its annual official charities. In 2021, Dragon raised more than $140,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta.

Open Hand’s mission is to help underserved individuals prevent or better manage chronic disease through tailored nutrition interventions, which include a variety of therapeutic meal plans as well as nutrition counseling and coaching delivered by an experienced team of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.  With the dedicated support of over 14,000 volunteers, they currently prepare, pack, and deliver over 5,500 meals per day in Metro Atlanta and rural Georgia.

In addition to fundraising, Dragon Con conducts the largest convention-based blood drive in the nation. In 2021, some 3,000 fans donated more than 6,000 units of blood and blood products in the annual Robert A. Heinlein “Pay It Forward” blood drive, benefiting LifeSouth, which serves more than 40 hospitals in the Atlanta area and 110 hospitals in the Southeast.

DRAGON CON 2021

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 9/26/21

The moment you look up the elevators have contorted creating a horror sci-fi scape looming down. Below beings have morphed into a range of monsters, aliens, prehistoric creatures, all caught in a sea of cosplay. Dragon Con can be whatever you make it, from Sci-fi horror scape to herds of bubbly t-rexes to living as a fairytale princess. The best part is you decide. What would you be?

 

One thing we focused on this year were the panels and getting to engrain ourselves in a fantasy world of vampires, superheroes, and zombies to escape for a little while. First, we attended the What We Do in the Shadows with Harvey Guillen who is just as funny and pleasant as his Guillermo counterpart. He mentioned he is very pleased with the trajectory of his character in What We Do in the Shadows, it’s more unexpected for sure! He really loves working on the show that’s 50/50 improv and scripted. We think laughing all day and enjoying going on set says everything. Plus, did you now he does 99% of his own stunts? He’s really fun to listen to talk about his journey as an actor. Some of the highlights were that he loves vampire movies like Interview with the Vampire and is a huge Buffy fan. Plus, he shared the story about how we got the part. Guillermo is supposed to be 20 years older than him, but when they found him he didn’t even have to do a read with the cast, they called him and told him he got the part when he was on the way to the mall with his sister. He said there was a lot of happy screaming. Can you be our friend, Harvey?

 

Another panel that was probably MY favorite of all time was the Smallville Reunion with Tom Welling, Sam Witwer, Michael Rosenbaum, and Laura Vandervoort. Don’t know if this is the case, but we could have sworn they were tipsy during this panel as we’ve never seen a cast of a TV show have so much fun on a panel! First, it is readily apparent that Tom and Michael and the entire cast are very good friends. They have a unique banter, and we could have watched the panel ALL DAY. The absolute highlight of Dragon Con for me was the Smallville Theme Song Sing-Along. Michael Rosenbaum started playing it and the entire cast asked us to stand and sing along to it! The sound of the actors and the crowd gave us goosebumps. Sam stood on his chair and turned around like they did in the opening credits, it was hilarious. We also enjoyed hearing about how Tom Welling was the force against Superman putting on the Superman suit. He said if they did that, it was basically the end of the show, because it was about a small-town guy becoming Superman and not ABOUT Superman. We totally agree with him and loved they waited until the very end. It really was the right decision. Some of the fun tidbits on this panel were Michael Rosenbaum wants to be a stand-up comedian, you can tell because he moderated the forum himself and brough a Golden Girls towel to the panel with him. Did you know Michael and Tom have a buddy comedy coming up? We don’t know if that was a joke or not, but we’re sold. Plus, Sam Witwer is a master face actor and does a mean Tom Cruise. We left the panel with a huge smile on our faces.

 

We also attended a Walking Dead panel, and with the final season in full stride, we enjoyed hearing what Ross Marquand (Aaron) and Gabriel Stokes (Father Gabriel) had to say about some of their favorite moments, grossest moments, and challenges of the Walking Dead set. They mentioned that some of the most challenging parts of the show are the working outside in all of the elements. We also got to hear Ross’ funniest moment was that he couldn’t throw a fake rock at a walker. It was too light and everyone made fun of him and they all laughed for hours. Gabriel said his grossest moments is when he and Negan had to dig into the guts of a zombie and spread it on them. It was sticky and gross. Ross mentioned his grossest moment was to watch his arm come off! It must have been surreal and odd.

 

Beyond the panels, this year was definitely a different year with less attendees, but with all that time to think about cosplays, the costumes were bigger and better than ever. We enjoyed the lighter crowds, it was easier to move around, get your favorite costume photos, and enjoy panels. But don’t forget the FUN. From the stunning Beauty and the Beast duo to the flood of hilarious and genius Loki Variants, to the never-ending heard of T-Rex herds, it really was a spectacle to behold. We’ve put up a photo gallery of some of our favorite costumes, cosplays, and snaps! You can go through and see some of the best! Enjoy!

A LITTLE DIFFERENT BUT STILL A LOT OF FUN, DRAGON CON RETURNS TO DOWNTOWN ATLANTA

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 8/24/21

Dragon Con, the internationally known science fiction, fantasy, and gaming convention, returns to downtown Atlanta for Labor Day weekend, balancing the awesome joy of a large pop culture gathering with significant efforts to reduce the spread of COVID.

Fans wearing the latest cosplay will be seen in downtown Atlanta for the first time since 2019. Cultural icon William Shatner, Oscar nominees Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell, and a host of other celebrities from the worlds of television, movies, comics, literature, and gaming will be on hand to greet fans, lead discussions, and sign autographs during this year’s convention.

An estimated 40,000 people are expected to attend Dragon Con, now in its 35th year, over the five-day Labor Day Weekend – Sept. 2 to Sept. 6 – with events and activities across AmericasMart Buildings One and Two and five host hotels – Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Atlanta, Westin Peachtree, and Sheraton Atlanta.

Still, Dragon Con has implemented a series of protocols to help reduce the spread of COVID, including a requirement that all attendees show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of arriving at the convention in order to pick up their badges.

Only badge-holding Dragon Con members will be allowed to watch this year’s Dragon Con Parade from city sidewalks along the parade route.  Instead, we encourage people to stay home and watch the parade on CW69 or YouTube.

Other changes include requiring all fans to wear a mask while inside a convention venue and a 50 percent reduction in the number of memberships sold for this year’s convention.

No badges will be sold on site. If badges are available, they will be available through www.Growtix.com.

For fans who are not comfortable attending a live convention, Dragon Con Goes Virtual is a live-streamed version of the convention with live convention coverage as well as exclusive pre-recorded content and highlights from past conventions that fans can enjoy from the comfort of their own home in the company of close friends and family.  A Dragon Con Goes Virtual subscription is $10.

Guests – In addition to Star Trek’s Shatner and Battlestar Galactica’s Olmos and McDonnell, Doctor Who’s Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper, Star Trek Discovery’s Sonequa Martin Green and Mary Wiseman, and a brace of Supermen – Smallville’s Tom Welling and Superman and Lois’ Taylor Hoechlin – lead a parade of stars from some of the best-known television and movies of the last 40 years.

More than 200 guests – actors, authors, artists, and creators of all kinds – will lead panel discussions and meet with fans, who will recognize guests from Shazam!, The Boys, American GodsThe Walking Dead, the Harry Potter franchise, and Supernatural, as well as voice actors from animated series The Animaniacs, Star Wars the Clone Wars, and Steven Universe, and video games OverwatchDuke Nukem, and Mass Effect.

For an older generation of fans, the convention also welcomes Kathy Coleman and Wesley Eure from the Sid & Marty Krofft-produced Saturday morning television series Land of the Lost.

Hall of Fame professional wrestler Diamond Dallas Page will appear at Thursday Night Wrestling and meet with fans during the convention.

Gaming – One of the largest gaming conventions in the nation, Dragon Con offers a basement full of games, from the latest and most popular video games to rarely seen board games, along with discussions with the game designers responsible for the games people love to play.

Overall, Dragon Con offers more than 140,000 square feet of gaming, featuring the full array of gaming including PC and console games, board games, miniatures gaming, role-playing games, collectable card games, and even LARP games. ‘Round the clock gaming is free to Dragon Con members starting Thursday, Sept. 2 at 4 pm.

In addition to all the gaming in Americas Mart Building One and Westin Peachtree Hotel, Joystick Game Bar will hold an American arcade experience with tons of favorite – and free to play for Dragon Con members – cabinet games at 161 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303, from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. each day.  A $10 cover is required for non-members.

Cosplay – Dragon Con is well known for the quality of its cosplay – or costume play – and that tradition will certainly continue. The nation’s top cosplayers will show off their best work during the show, participating in costume contests every night of the convention and promenading throughout the five host hotels and the streets of downtown Atlanta.

Cosplay competitions remain a mainstay of Dragon Con, including the queen of competitions, Dragon Con Masquerade, the oldest continuously-run competition in fandom, as well as the craftsmanship-focused Friday Night Costume Contest and the low-key and fan-voted Hallway Costume Contest, which will also have a virtual component for those fans joining the convention from home.

Parade – The world-famous Dragon Con Parade will be broadcast live on CW69 (WUPA-TV) and YouTube beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4.

Only badge-holding Dragon Con members can watch this year’s Dragon Con parade from route, a health and safety measure adopted to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Official Charity – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta is the official charity for 2021.

Since 2013, the convention has consistently raised more than $100,000 for each of its annual official charities, including a dollar-for-dollar match from the convention up to an additional $100,000.  Funds are raised through convention-based auctions, special merchandise sales, special events, and the convention match.

In addition to fundraising, Dragon Con conducts the largest convention-based blood drive in the nation. In 2019, some 3,000 fans donated more than 6,000 units of blood and blood products in the annual Robert A. Heinlein “Pay It Forward” blood drive, benefiting LifeSouth, which serves more than 40 hospitals in the Atlanta area and 110 hospitals in the Southeast.

About Dragon Con

Dragon Con is the internationally known pop culture convention held each Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 2 -Sept. 6, 2021) in Atlanta. Organized for fans, Dragon Con features more than 3,500 hours of comics, film, television, costuming, art, music, and gaming over four days. For more information, please visit www.dragoncon.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

WILLIAM SHATNER, EDWARD JAMES OLMOS, MARY MCDONNELL, AND DAVID RAMSEY LEAD AN ALL-STAR CAST OF HEROES AND VILLAINS AT 35th ANNUAL DRAGON CON

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 8/11/21

Olmos, McDonnell Lead a Meet-up of Colonists and Cylons; Superman Tom Welling Squares Off with

Lex Luthor Michael Rosenbaum in Smallville Reunion; Sonequa Martin-Green

Captains The Star Trek Discovery Into Atlanta

 

William Shatner and Oscar-nominated actors Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell, plus David Ramsey, Alex Kingston, and Zachary Levi lead a long list of celebrity guests headed to Dragon Con, Atlanta’s internationally known pop culture, fantasy, science fiction, and gaming convention, for Labor Day weekend.

Other top guests from television and movies including Doctor Who’s Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper; Smallville’s Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, and Laura Vandervoort; Star Trek Discovery’s Sonequa Martin-Green, Mary Wiseman, and Anthony Rapp; The Walking Dead’s Ross Marquand, Dan Fogler, and Nadia Hilker; Bonnie Wright and Matthew Lewis from the Harry Potter franchise; and Hall of Fame professional wrestler Diamond Dallas Page.

An estimated 42,000 people are expected to attend Dragon Con, now in its 35th year, over the five-day Labor Day Weekend – Sept. 2 to Sept. 6 – with events and activities across AmericasMart Buildings One and Two and five host hotels – Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Atlanta, Westin Peachtree, and Sheraton Atlanta.

While there will be far fewer people at this year’s convention, the footprint remains the same, creating opportunities to reduce crowding and implement other changes and health & safety related protocols. A complete list of the changes can be found here: https://www.dragoncon.org/updates/

Literary Guest of Honor John Scalzi, an award-winning science fiction novelist best known for his Old Man’s War series and his popular Whatever blog, and Artist Guest of Honor William Stout, an artist of exceptional breadth responsible for production design work on 30 feature films, including Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and two Conan films, round out a guest list of more than 200 actors, artists, authors, and other creatives and experts who will meet with fans during the five day convention.

Other television guests will represent The Boys, American Gods, and Supernatural as well as voice actors from animated series The Animaniacs, Star Wars the Clone Wars, and Steven Universe, and video games OverwatchDuke Nukem, and Mass Effect.

For an older generation of fans, the convention also welcomes Kathy Coleman, Philip Paley, and Wesley Eure from the Sid & Marty Krofft-produced Saturday morning television series Land of the Lost.

Shatner is a cultural icon and best remembered as Capt. James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise in the Star Trek television series, the animated series, and seven motion pictures. He will be at the convention on Friday and Saturday only.

Olmos played Adm. William Adama in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica television series. Olmos is one of the best-known actors on television, appearing on Miami ViceDexter, and currently, Mayans M.C. He was nominated for an Oscar in 1988 for Stand and Deliver.

McDonnell portrayed President Laura Roslin in Battlestar Galactica. She is a two-time Oscar nominee, for Dances with Wolves (1990) and Passion Fish (1992).  Olmos and McDonnell will be joined by Tricia Helfer (Number Six), James Callis (Lee “Apollo” Adama), Jamie Bamber (Dr. Gaius Baltar), and Michael Trucco (Samuel Anders) in a reunion of Battlestar Galactica castmates.

Ramsey plays the role of John Diggle (also known as Spartan or Green Arrow), initially on Arrow, which ran from 2012 to 2020, and continues in that role across the so-called Arrowverse programs, including The FlashDC’s Legends of TomorrowBatwomanSuperman and Lois, and Supergirl.  He will be joined by Juliana Harkavy, who played the role of Black Canary across the Arrowverse.

Perhaps best known for her 17-year run on hospital drama ER, Dragon Con fans recognize Kingston as Riversong from the long-running BBC television series Doctor Who. She will be joined by Eccleston, who played the ninth incarnation of the time-travelling title character, and Piper, who played companion Rose Tyler during Eccleston’s run. Kingston and Piper will appear on Sunday and Monday, Eccleston will only appear on Sunday.

Levi is beloved by fans for his portrayal of the title character in the 2019 feature film Shazam! as well as an upcoming sequel, and his five-year run as the nerd next door Chuck Bartowski in the television series Chuck. Levi will be joined by Shazam! castmates Angel Asher and Jack Grazer, who also appeared in both It movies.

Smallville will be well-represented with a four-guest reunion of players from the Superman-based television series that ran for 10 years, including Welling, Rosenbaum, Vandervoort (Kara Zor-El/Supergirl), and Sam Witwer (Davis Bloome). Welling will appear Friday to Sunday and Rosenbaum will be available on Saturday and Sunday, while the remaining cast will be at the full convention.

From Star Trek Discovery, the latest installment in the 55-year-old science fiction franchise, Martin-Green, whose character was recently promoted to the captain’s chair, will be joined by Mary Wiseman (Sylvia Tilly), Anthony Rapp (Paul Stamets), Rekha Sharma (Cmdr. Landry), and Noah Averbach-Katz (Ryn).

The Walking Dead returns to Dragon Con with Ross Marquand, Nadia Hilker, and Dan Fogler. Marquand, who plays Aaron and joined the cast in 2005, and Hilker, who joined in 2010, have become mainstays of the series as it wraps up its 13-year run in 2022.  Fogler, a recurring character since 2018, is also well known for his role in two Fantastic Beasts movies, with a third in production.

Speaking of the Wizarding World, the Harry Potter franchise will be well represented by Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny Weasley, and Matthew Lewis, who played Neville Longbottom, both in all eight films.  Both will appear on Friday through Sunday at the convention.

About Dragon Con

Dragon Con is the internationally known pop culture convention held each Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 2 -Sept. 6, 2021) in Atlanta. Organized for fans, Dragon Con features more than 3,500 hours of comics, film, television, costuming, art, music, and gaming over four days. For more information, please visit www.dragoncon.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

DRAGON CON PARADE RETURNS IN 2021 WITH SIGNIFICANT COVID-RELATED CHANGES

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 8/7/21

Traditionally Open to the Public, This Year’s Parade Will Not Allow Spectators; Only Dragon Con Badge Holders Will Be Allowed on the Parade Route.

Dragon Con Encourages Fans to Tune-In to the Live Broadcast on

CW69, YouTube, and Other Social Media Platforms

 

The famous Dragon Con Parade, perhaps the best-known event at the annual five-day pop culture, fantasy, sci-fi, and gaming convention, will return to Peachtree Street in 2021, but with significant changes made necessary by the current Covid pandemic.

Now in its 35th year, Dragon Con 2021 runs from Thursday, Sept. 2 to Monday, Sept. 6 with events and activities across five host hotels – Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Atlanta, Westin Peachtree, and Sheraton Atlanta – and AmericasMart Buildings #1 and #2.

Traditionally free and open to the public, the annual Dragon Con Parade usually offers the spectacle of thousands of cosplayers, young and old, dressed as their favorite pop culture characters marching down Peachtree Street. The Dragon Con Parade attracts as many as 75,000 spectators in some years.

This year, however, the Dragon Con Parade will be modified and scaled back. Not only will it be smaller than in past years, with fewer marching participants, spectators will not be allowed on the route.  Only Dragon Con badge holders will be allowed to watch the parade in person.

Instead, CW69 will broadcast the parade (live at 10 a.m., with a rebroadcast ?) with additional feeds available on YouTube and other social media platforms. Fans who purchase a Dragon Con Goes Virtual membership ($10) will also have access to the parade through their subscription platform.

“It was important to bring back the tradition of the Dragon Con Parade as quickly as we could. It’s important to us and our fans, and to the whole city,” said Rachel Reeves, convention co-chair. “But, in the interest of public health, and in consultation with the City of Atlanta, we simply couldn’t allow the kinds of crowds we typically see.”

“We know it will be strange to have the Dragon Con Parade without thousands of kids lining the sidewalks, but the past two years have seen a lot of sensible-yet-disappointing decisions that prioritize public health over sentiment,” Reeves said. “This is just another one of those decisions.”

In addition to a scaled back parade, there will be no Saturday-only badge sales before the convention or during it.  Saturday is always the convention’s busiest day.  In addition, the hours immediately before and immediately after the parade have been the most popular times to purchase Saturday-only memberships, with the effect of swelling convention attendance to its largest numbers of the weekend.

Finally, all five host hotels plus AmericasMart will have stepped up security at all hours to ensure only Dragon Con badge holders will have access to the convention.

DRAGON CON ADOPTS HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 8/1/21

Changes Create a Convention That is Both Fun and Helps Prevent Spread of COVID

 

Masks Are Required for All Fans, Attendance Will Be Capped, Panel Room Capacities Will Be Reduced, and Venues Will Follow Stepped Up Cleaning Protocols

UPDATED: Vaccine Card or Negative Covid Test now required.

 

Updated: Dragon Con, the internationally known science fiction, fantasy, and gaming convention, will require that everyone who attend the live convention show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test before entering the convention.

In order to pick up their badges, all attendees will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of arriving at the convention. The new guidelines arrive as the Delta variant is causing more COVID-19 cases worldwide, including “breakthrough” infections of vaccinated individuals.

Dragon Con, the internationally known science fiction, fantasy, and gaming convention, has adopted a number of health & safety protocols designed to help reduce the spread of COVID while making the convention fun and memorable for all returning fans.

Now in its 35th year, Dragon Con runs from Thursday, Sept. 2 to Monday, Sept. 6 with events and activities across five host hotels – Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Atlanta, Westin Peachtree, and Sheraton Atlanta – and AmericasMart Buildings One and Two.

“We are excited to welcome fans back to Atlanta for this milestone convention,” said convention co-chair Rachel Reeves. “While the health and safety of our fans is always a priority, we have worked hard this year to balance the need to protect our fans’ health with our tradition of throwing an awesome convention that fans will remember.”

The protocols include a requirement that all fans wear a mask while indoors in a convention venue, reduced attendance during the convention by reducing the number of memberships available for sale before the convention, reduced room capacities in ballrooms, panel rooms, and other programming spaces, and increased cleaning and sanitation throughout the venues.

Other changes are designed to reduce congestion, improve traffic flow, and increase personal spacing within the convention venues.

In addition, Dragon Con encourages all fans to get a vaccination as it has been shown to offer the most personal protection from illness related to this pandemic. It also encourages fans to stay home if they do not feel well, or have been recently exposed to somebody with COVID.

To help spread the joy that is Dragon Con to fans who are not comfortable with attending a live convention (or who are blocked by international travel restrictions), Dragon Con Goes Virtual, a live-streamed version of the convention, will be available for fans to enjoy from the comfort of their own home in the company of close friends and family.  A Dragon Con Goes Virtual subscription is $10.

The protocols and convention changes are listed below and will be available on the convention’s website: https://www.dragoncon.org/updates/

 

Face masks and reduced attendance

  • Appropriate face masks will be required at all times inside convention venues regardless of vaccination status, in keeping with updated CDC guidelines (link to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html) and City of Atlanta requirements (link to https://www.atlantaga.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/52010).
  • In 2021, Dragon Con will have reduced capacity from prior years. We have worked closely with our hotels and AmericasMart to determine how many people are permitted in the buildings each day and at a given time and taken further steps to reduce capacity to allow for personal spacing.
  • There will be no Saturday-only membership sales before or during the convention. One-day badges will only be available for Thursday, Friday, Sunday, and Monday.
  • Related to that, there will be no onsite membership sales to reduce congestion, increase social distance, and improve traffic at badge pickup in the Sheraton. If memberships are available for purchase, they will only be available online through Growtix.

Room capacity, including Walk of Fame

  • All panel rooms and other programming venues will have a reduced 2/3rds maximum capacity at all times.
  • In the Walk of Fame, we will have approximately 50 percent fewer guests signing to provide for better spacing, personal distancing, traffic flow, and line management. There will be a one-way flow enforced throughout the room and limited capacity at all times. Additional safety precautions may be enforced, including temperature checks.

Traffic flow, congestion, and personal distancing

  • Badge checks will be expanded across the show to support the capped attendance and spacing.  If you don’t have a membership for Dragon Con, we ask that you participate in some of our awesome virtual elements highlighted below, as the hotels will be closed to badge-holding members only.
  • Lines for events and panel programming will be closed once we reach the 2/3rds reduced room capacity to reduce the number of people congregating in an area and to improve traffic flow. As always, ballrooms will be cleared between panels and the existing line policy, #18 described here (https://www.dragoncon.org/about/dragon-con-policies/) remains in effect and will be strictly enforced.
  • Other specific changes to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion include.

o   The Concourse Stages will have longer breaks between each performance, rotating between both locations with fewer bands and performances overall.

o   Fan tables will not be openly available for 2021 to reduce lobby congestion and improve traffic flow.

o   Our traditional arcade partner, Joystick Game Bar will move from AmericasMart to a unique pop-up experience located at 161 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303, with activities going on from 10a – 4a daily.  Dragon Con members get in free.

o   The Chosen Costume Contest, hosted annually at Dragon Con Night at the Georgia Aquarium, will take a hiatus to prevent crowding.

Venue cleaning

  • Our venues have adopted enhanced cleaning protocols and are committed to delivering above and beyond the sanitation standards established.  If you would like details, we encourage you to check with each property individually.
  • All panel rooms and programming spaces will be closed twice a day for deep cleaning – once during the day and once overnight. These closures will happen on a rolling basis, with specific times indicated in the app, so there will ALWAYS be lots of programming options to choose from.
  • Gaming in AmericasMart Building 1 will have limited hours to meet our cleaning commitments and other enhanced safety measures. The building will be closed from 2 am – 8 am daily.  Open gaming will be available in the Savannah Ballroom will be available 24 hours a day, except during daily cleaning periods.

Other changes

 

  • Because children under 12 years old are not recommended for the COVID vaccine, the Kids Track will not host the Kids’ Character Encounter or Family-Friendly Dance.
  • We are excited to again partner with Epic Photo Ops, who has adjusted their policies with the safety and wellbeing of our guests and fans in mind, including limiting the number of individuals in a photo op.  For a detailed listing of additional protocols, visit https://epicphotoops.com/covid-19.
  • We have received our parade permit and at this time will host a modified and scaled back parade. A Dragon Con membership is required to view the parade live and in person for 2021. All others can watch the parade on CW69, our broadcast partner, or on line at YouTube and other social media platforms.

About Dragon Con

Dragon Con is the internationally known pop culture convention held each Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 2 -Sept. 6, 2021) in Atlanta. Organized for fans, Dragon Con features more than 3,500 hours of comics, film, television, costuming, art, music, and gaming over four days. For more information, please visit www.dragoncon.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

DRAGON CON NAMES ITS 2021 ARTIST AND LITERARY GUESTS OF HONOR

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 7/26/21

Convention Retains Big Brothers Big Sisters as its Official 2021 Charity

 

Dragon Con, Atlanta’s internationally known pop culture, fantasy, sci-fi, and gaming convention, has named American fantasy artist William Stout and American fantasy and science fiction writer John Scalzi as its 2021 Artist and Literary Guests of Honor.

The convention also announced that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta will remain the official charity for this year’s convention. BBBS had previously been announced as the 2020 charity partner, but no fundraising effort was made last year after the convention, responding to the pandemic, shifted to an all-virtual format.

Now in its 35th year, Dragon Con 2021 runs from Thursday, Sept. 2 to Monday, Sept. 6 with events and activities across five host hotels – Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Atlanta, Westin Peachtree, and Sheraton Atlanta – and AmericasMart Buildings #1 and #2.

Since 2013, the convention has consistently raised more than $100,000 for each of its annual official charities, including a dollar-for-dollar match from the convention up to an additional $100,000.  Funds are raised through convention-based auctions, special merchandise sales, special events, and the convention match.

The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. Nearly half a million children in Metro Atlanta live in communities with low or very low child well-being. The organization’s vital mission is to recruit volunteers to become mentors to children facing adversity, with a goal of matching each child with an adult who will ignite their full potential.

“Every kid is a bundle of potential, and we love Big Brothers Big Sisters because they help kids unlock that potential and find their right path. We’re proud to have them as our official charity this year,” said Rachel Reeves, convention co-chair.  “We are equally delighted to have William and John join us as our Guests of Honor this year. Their creative output has fascinated and entertained science fiction and fantasy fans for a generation, even longer.”

Beginning with its first convention in 1987, Dragon Con has recognized an author and an artist whose creative contributions to the realms of fantasy and science fiction are widely recognized as among the very best as Literary and Artist Guests of Honor. Both Stout and Scalzi will be recognized throughout the event for their contributions to their individual fields, and will be on hand to meet fans and participate in panels to provide insight into their success and love of fandom.

Stout is an artist of exceptional breadth, ranging from fantasy-oriented comics, graphic novels, magazines, and movie posters – as well as the longest running Dragon Con logo – early in his career to production design work for 30 feature films, including Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and two Conan films. In the 1980s, he created a ground-breaking reconstruction of dinosaurs leading to a book and six-year travelling paleoart exhibit that served as an acknowledged influence on Michael Crichton’s book Jurassic Park, while also working on the creation of theme park attractions for Walt Disney and Universal Studios as well as rock band ZZ Top’s Recycler tour. In the late 1990s, William dedicated himself to explaining the complex beauty of Antarctica through art, leading to a traveling exhibit, an award-winning book, and ongoing work as a natural history muralist. For more information, see www.williamstout.com.

Scalzi, a multiple Hugo Award winning science fiction novelist best known for his Old Man’s War series of novels and his popular Whatever blog. In addition to 23 novels and novellas, he has written short fiction, non-fiction books, and columns on diverse topics such as finance, video games, films, astronomy, writing, and politics, and served as a creative consultant for the TV series Stargate Universe. His total output has garnered a score of awards, including a 2020 Dragon Award for Best Science Fiction novel for The Last Emperox. Scalzi served as president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America from 2010 to 2013. At 2020’s Dragon Con Goes Virtual, he was one of the most popular guests, leading fan discussions, bringing fans (virtually) into his kitchen to make burritos, and spinning tunes overnight with his deejay skills.  For more information about Scalzi, visit whatever.scalzi.com.

About Dragon Con

Dragon Con is the internationally known pop culture convention held each Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 2 -Sept. 6, 2021) in Atlanta. Organized for fans, Dragon Con features more than 3,500 hours of comics, film, television, costuming, art, music, and gaming over four days. For more information, please visit www.dragoncon.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Dragon Con 2019 Pictorial Journey

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 9/15/19

Check out our Dragon Con 2019 experience in pictures. They say pictures are worth 1000 words!