The city of Atlanta has hosted many events, from the Olympics to the Final Four and The World Series, but Dragon Con is certainly a highlight on the annual Atlanta events calendar. Dan Carroll, media relations director for Dragon Con, stopped in to speak with our hosts Todd Schnick and Bryan Nonni about the convention and what attendees can expect to see this year.
Dragon Con serves as a convention for people who like unusual things and it certainly has its own culture, as Dan adds, “This started out as a place of refuge for people who liked things that weren’t necessarily mainstream like Dungeons and Dragons comic books. Flash forward 29 years and when you go to the cinema, you’re seeing a comic book movie because that’s what’s out there. We also have this inclusive welcoming concept that we are a safe zone for anyone who wants to come and explore their fandom, no matter what that fandom is.”
Dragon Con is the largest fan-run convention in the world. In existence since 1987, the convention welcomes costumed and non-costumed fans of comics, film, television, music, gaming and just about everything else to celebrate in a non-stop party atmosphere. Last year, the convention was estimated to have bought in more than $65 million in revenue to the city, and more than 65,000 attendees are expected at this year’s show. A wide variety of events are scheduled during the four-day celebration spanning five hotels.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will also have its annual convention included as part of this year’s Dragon Con, and there will be a Dragon Con Film Festival during the convention as well. In addition to the panels, film festivals and other conventions within Dragon Con, there will also be 45 bands performing during the weekend. In the past, Dragon Con has hosted musicians such as Alice Cooper and Jefferson Starship.
With the buzz surrounding the upcoming Star Wars film, the Storm Troopers are sure to be represented this year. The original Chewbacca, Peter Mayhew, will be attending the show this year, an event sure to send fans into a tizzy. Other celebrities in attendance include Edward James Olmos, Karen Gillan, Grace Park, cast members from Dr. Who, Rene Auberjonous and more!
While having fun and catching up on the latest news in the world of comics, film and fantasy, Dragon Con looks to give back to those in need. Each year, a special charity is chosen to be the primary beneficiary from the proceeds raised during the convention, and a blood drive is held during the weekend as well. This year, The Lymphoma Research Foundation of Georgia is the chosen charity in remembrance of two Dragon Con directors that passed away from the disease last year. Dragon Con hopes to raise $100,000 or more, which Dragon Con Incorporated will match up to $50,000. One of the creative ways the convention is raising funds is a Pub Crawl led by Aaron Douglas of Battlestar Galactica.
Events scheduled outside the convention include a one-mile parade featuring attendees of Dragon Con that is estimated to produce 85,000 spectators.
To become part of the Dragon Con family, just come on down to the Sheraton Atlanta on Courtland Street! Membership options are available at the door. There is a lot to do and everyone is welcome. To find out more information on the convention and all of the planned events happening this weekend, visit www.DragonCon.org and download the app. You can also follow Dan on Twitter @DragonConMedia. Also, check out the social media pages:
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