For those of you who don’t know what Dragon*Con is or why everyone is raving about it, we’ll fill you in. Dragon*Con is the world’s largest fan-run popular culture/multi-media convention and this year marks their 25th year!
What’s so special about Dragon*Con? The answer is simple. The fans. This convention is run by the fans FOR the fans. Everything about this con caters to the fans and the fan experience which sets it apart from other conventions out there, take, for example, San Diego Comic Con (SDCC).
How is Dragon*Con different from SDCC you might ask? They’re both large conventions that draw fans from all over the world, but there’s one huge difference between the two. SDCC is an industry convention, which means it’s run by a company and caters to industry professionals. This doesn’t make it any less cool, but if you’re a fan looking for the ultimate fan experience, you might be disappointed.
Dragon*Con brings you up close and personal not only with other fans, but with your favorite stars as well. Good luck riding an elevator with William Shatner at SDCC, or running into Eddie McClintock (Warehouse 13) in the food court. Things like that happen all the time at Dragon*Con! You never know when you’ll spot a star. Dragon*Con leaves you with moments you’ll never forget.
Programming at Dragon*Con doesn’t stop when the convention center closes. Why not? Because Dragon*Con is held in five centrally located hotels. Having the convention in a hotel rather than a convention center gives Dragon*Con the freedom to cater to the fans all night long! Tracks include: writing, costuming, alternative history, Stargate, Filk, British Sci-fi, anime, paranormal and so much more.
If programming isn’t your thing, Dragon*Con offers late night concerts by some of your favorite performers including Abney Park, Voltare, Jonathan Coulton, the Cruxshadows and more. With over 400 guests, artists, authors and performers on the roster it’s impossible not to find something that will interest you!
There are, of course, smaller events too that newbies often miss. Make sure you read your program completely before you decide what you want to see and do. Smaller fan-run panels can sometimes be tons of fun! Or check out a panel on a topic you know nothing about. It may surprise you. Here are some things we recommend you check out:
Dragon*Con TV (DC*TV). Available right in your room, provided you’re staying at one of the host hotels, DC*TV is your #1 source for fan TV. During the con you can watch the major panels you may have missed, catch some great fan-made movies and commercials, watch never-before-seen music videos and don’t forget about everyone’s favorite sci-fi janitors Bob & Carl! DC*TV makes waiting for a panel to start more hysterical by airing Adult Swim style bumps, answers to pressing fan questions and character face-offs. DC*TV is something you CAN’T miss!
Find Adam Savage! Mythbusters’ Adam Savage often makes an appearance at Dragon*Con, though sometimes he’s not on the “official” guest list. Follow Adam’s Twitter account (donttrythis) for clues on what his costume is and where he is. If you find Adam you’ll often get the rare opportunity to get your picture taken with him!
The Masquerade. Take time out of your schedule to either watch this on Dragon*Con TV or see it live. It’s worth it. Costumers from all over the world assemble to show off their latest creations. You never know what you’ll see but you’re sure to be amazed!
Kaleidescope. New for this year, Kalaidescope is the new kids programming track. Are you a closet Wizards of Waverly Place fan or are you an iCarly fan? Stop in to this track to see how the media is shaping the geeks of tomorrow.
The Gonzo Panel. A point/counter-point panel that always features an interesting combination of guests. Past favorites have included a face-off between Adam Savage and Doc Hammer which forced Adam into defending the existence of UFO’s…something he loathed to do! Check your program guide for time and location.
Virginia Hey’s Meditation Panel. A 2 hour panel that includes one hour ofdiscussion followed by one hour of meditation. The cost is $100 but well worth it. You’ll leave feeling more relaxed and refreshed like never before! Virginia takes the time to listen to each person and offers advice on how to rid yourself of unnecessary stress in your life through various meditation techniques. You can buy your ticket online or from Virginia at her table in the Walk of Fame. Virginia will also have a selection of her exquisite soy candles and perfume for sale as well!
What if you can’t make it to Dragon*Con? Don’t worry! SpaceGypsies will be there to give you great coverage on all your favorite panels, guests, and events.
Are you planning on going to Dragon*Con? Don’t forget to check out the Dragon*Con Live Journal to connect with other fans, find carpools and rooms, get costuming ideas, and get a glimpse at what Dragon*Con is all about…the fans!