We’re 2 weeks away from Dragon Con 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia and while the Southeastern fan convention isn’t as widely known for horror as other genres, there is still a powerful presence to be found. From cosplay and vendors focusing specifically on themes and entertainment to haunted attractions such as Netherworld which is one of the event sponsors, horror fans can find a bit of everything there. This year is no exception so it's important to start planning your trip out as early as you can.
Dragon Con, unlike SDCC and other large conventions, is fan centered with the focus being on creators and fans getting a chance to meet and share their passion for the genres they represent. In horror, there are a lot of big names that are going to be on panels and signing autographs including:
Mark A. Sheppard (Supernatural), Matt Ryan (Constantine), DJ Qualls (Z Nation), and Robert Englund (Freddy f’ing Krueger!) just to name a few. Several cast members from Farscape including Ben Browder, Gigi Edgley and Anthony Simcoe will be on hand to celebrate the creature driven sci-fi series’ 20th anniversary and, true, while it isn’t horror it’s still a show that featured some great practical effects and animatronics and what horror fan can’t appreciate that?
Meanwhile, musical performers like Aurelio Voltaire and Jess-O-Lantern will be keeping it spooky with songs and entertainment for fans during the 5 day long event as well as Lips Down on Dixie, a nationally recognized group known for their regular Friday night performances of Rocky Horror Picture Show right there in Atlanta. Mayhayley’s Grave, a gothic Southern swing band, will be performing as well as horror rock trio The Tomb Tones. All of this and Talloolah Love presents Dragon Con Burlesque!
Admit it, con fans, you’ve traveled further for less and this is just scratching the surface of what you’ll find.
During the day, Dragon Con is definitely a family friendly event. But at night, well, that’s a different story all together. I’ve already mentioned the burlesque show, but there are so many other incredible events to attend for fans that are 21 and up.
The Dark Crystal Ball, an inaugural dance to help open the festivities, is held at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta and, you guessed it, is themed after the Jim Henson film The Dark Crystal. There are celebrity guests, costume contests, drinks, food, and of course dancing.
And while we’re talking about puppets, the Late Night Puppet hosted by Bob and Carl: the sci-fi janitors, is always a huge hit with fans in the puppet track. Last year the slam had over 900 attendees and was one of the largest audiences in the event’s history.
Video and Film rooms are set up each year, one running a series of mainstream movies in various genres while the other is devoted to Japanese anime. There is also the yearly Dragon Con Film Festival which will host an assortment of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, comedy, and other independent films from makers all over the world.
There are a number of workshops during the 5 day event including topics like acting, writing, voice acting, character design, and more.
The Horror Track
The Horror Track and Apocalypse Rising Track are both exactly what they sound like. They will feature panels, guests, and information about genre entertainment in both of the specialized fields. Unfortunately, at the time of this article, the tracks have not been updated with information yet. Keep and eye on the links and be sure to check back with them soon for updates.
The Blood Drive
Every year Dragon Con attracts more than 80,000 people to the Atlanta area and the convention takes a serious responsibility in partnering with region blood banks to bring in donors. Last year more than 5,000 of those attendees donated blood, plasma, and platelets to help save lives in Georgia and across the Southeast. I’ll be there on my first day to donate again and I’d like to encourage anyone else who can to do the same. Even if you can’t make it to Dragon Con, consider giving to a local blood bank or donation center near you because even a pint of blood can save a life.
Dragon Con is huge and trying to list off all the amazing things you can see, do, and experience there is insane. From the moment you arrive you’ll see the absolute best cosplay anywhere in the U.S. on display for the world to see and you’re guaranteed to meet some of the most genuinely nice and enthusiastic fans that have ever assembled.
Be sure to follow @52weeksofhorror and @dotdblog on Instagram and Twitter for updates and livestreaming of events and be sure to look for the hashtag #dannodoesdragoncon.
Follow Dan's adventures at Dragon Con 2019 on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #dannodoesdragoncon