ATLANTA - If you’ve ever been in Downtown Atlanta during Dragon Con, you know the annual celebration of pop culture results in a sea of people, many dressed in colorful costumes and patronizing local hotels, restaurants, and bars.
This year, of course, will be different.
“Originally we looked at what we could do. What we could do that made sure that we were working within the city and state limits, what we could do that was working within the CDC and other health guidelines,” says the convention’s director of media engagement, Dan Carroll. “We also looked at the impact that postponing Dragon Con in person for a year would have for our partners.”
Considering the event usually draws more than 80,000 people downtown, the impact is big; but due to the ongoing pandemic, convention organizers decided an in-person event just wasn’t possible this year. So, instead, they’ll offer four days of digital activities in what’s they’re called Dragon Con Goes Virtual. The event will be broken up into three channels of programming, available to viewers through platforms including Vimeo, Roku, and streaming online.
Channel One is dedicated to classic Dragon Con content: “They have all the recordings of some of the best panels we’ve ever had,” says Carroll. “They’ve got their original content that they’ve always created. They’ve got those little bumps that people know them for, and their parody songs.”
The second channel will feature original programming from the convention’s thirty-plus fan tracks. And Channel Three is the virtual convention’s Main Channel, featuring new guest programming along with a virtual version of the famous Dragon Con parade. Says Carroll, “We had costumers dress up and walk up and down the street to record themselves, and we’ve stitched it together into a singular parade. How that’s going to come out — besides amazing — I don’t know yet, but I know there’s going to be commentary and a lot of humor through it.”
All of this content is being offered to viewers for free — but organizers say they hope their fans will continue to support the convention’s 160 vendors through the virtual Vendors Marketplace, Art Show, and Comic and Pop Artist Alley. “Our vendors have been hurt,” says Carroll. “They have gone all year without being able to go to conventions.”
For more information on scheduled programming and how to watch, click over to the Dragon Con website here.