Last week, we had a chance to sit down with Mr. Dan Carroll, the Director of Media Engagement for the one and only Dragon Con. In the interview, we picked his brain about all things Dragon Con!
Stay 2uned: So, what can fans expect?
Dan Carroll: ” Well, first off, let me explain what Dragon Con is. It’s so large. It’s fun. (Dragon Con) is the largest fan run convention that has film, comics, games, literature, TV, music, and so much more. All in one place. Five hotels in downtown Atlanta, plus America’s Mart, our convention center next to the hotels, and we’re expecting a lot of fun. 60,000 people plus are expected. And this is our second year back after the pandemic. And we’re just expected to bring that fun throughout all the buildings.”
Stay 2uned: Speaking of the pandemic, what is your policy on that? Because, I have heard you know, the CDC recommends this and there’s a lot of fans who are like very, very concerned about what will and won’t be enforced at this convention.
Dan Carroll: “Well, we have worked with the CDC, we’ve worked with our host hotels and local health officials. And the policy we have come up with is that masks will be required inside all buildings. There will be no need for a certification of vaccines. And there will be no testing done this year. Last year, we were very successful. We had only nine cases out of 40,000 people, which is artistically minimal. And we’re hoping to continue that we will not be having the special cleaning. So, the rooms during the day that was not something we found as really effective in prevention of spreading COVID. And we also will be ensuring that people are wearing masks inside the building at Dragon Con. Outside, free to go without a mask.”
Stay 2uned: I mean that, y’all had a pretty good track record last year. Nine cases out of 40,000 guests. That’s really, really good
Dan Carroll: “We’re very proud of the efforts and we’re also proud of the way everyone really chipped in. And they followed the rules. We had very little problems with people taking their masks off. We did allow masks to come off if you were having a picture taken with a celebrity; but that was only a moment. But for more information http://www.dragoncon.org/updates.”
Stay 2uned: Is it going to be left up to the guest if there’s going to be plexiglass or no plexiglass?
Dan Carroll: “That is a guest-by-guest arrangement. It may be covered in our updates.“
Stay 2uned: And what guests y’all have? I know y’all have a bunch of Star Trek and new guests yet are still trickling in.
Dan Carroll: “Oh, the guests are still trickling in. In fact, one of my favorite writers of comic books was just announced today, Brian Michael Bendis. We also have so many Star Trek guests, as he said, and also many, many guests from the web. I’ll give you some examples. We’ve got the original “Captain Kirk”, William Shatner is coming and Walter Kering, We have folks from the new Star Trek: Strange New Worlds – often praised for its originality and its energy. And we have many other cast members, including Ethan Peck. So, we have Kirk. I’m sorry. We have Captain Pike and Spike. I actually almost knocked James Marsters down the stairs a few years ago. But we have Kirk and Spock coming from that series. And one of the things that we’re really excited about; we have so many folks from the world of animation So many folks from Doom Patrol. And we have so many folks from a show filmed right down the road here called Star Girl, that’s getting all the rage on HBO Max. And it’s on CW. So go to Dragon con.org for the list of all the guests, because if you and I were to go through the guest list right now, Jennifer, we’d be here all night.“
Stay 2uned: And one last question. For newbies like myself, – what are the five top things you would recommend for any new person to check out at Dragon Con? Restaurants, you know like tips and advice?
Dan Carroll: “Well, the first piece of advice, get the app. Go to your app store, whether it’s Android or Apple. Get the Dragon Con app and load it up. Information is updating constantly. It addresses some of the changes that occur as we get closer to the show. But the app will do it. That’s number one. Number two, remember we are at Atlanta, and this is the end of summer. And it is still very, very warm. Be prepared to hydrate. It sounds like a goofy thing. But what I’m giving you are the things that are going to allow you to enjoy the rest of Dragon Con. And three, using that app, go ahead and make a plan of what you want to do each day.
But be willing to throw that out. Because as you walk around during the con, or bump into people, you’ll hear about things that you didn’t realize were amazing, or you didn’t see before, and you’re going to want to follow that. So, that’s a really good rule. Number four is be ready to enjoy those late night parties, especially if you’re staying at Dragon Con. And their parties are going every night from Thursday through Sunday, well into the wee hours of the morning. We’re not in a convention center. We don’t close at 10 o’clock, we say open 24 hours a day.
And if you’re walking through the Marriott Marquis at two in the morning, you will be overwhelmed by both the size of the crowd and how loud it is. And how even at two o’clock in the morning- everybody’s wearing amazing costumes. And this is a bonus this is 4.5. Costume makes it fun. No costume makes it fun. So, if you’re wearing jeans and a T shirt, you can have just as much fun as if you were in a costume. Don’t think you have to wear a costume be at Dragon Con. And number five, I normally only have three.
So, let’s see what I come up with for number five. Number five is the costume contest. If there’s anything at Dragon Con that, that just absolutely amazes me every year, it’s the masquerade. Which is a costume contest where the people in costume also have to act out whatever they’re doing. And it’s just so much fun to watch. But we also have the Friday night Costume Contest, which is 100% judged on technical quality. We have the Hallway Contest, which you can follow online. Where our photographers take pictures of the best costume and put it online and you can vote. All these costume contests have actual prizes attached to it. So that’s number five. And 5.5 are the parades – a lot of fun. You will never see a parade like a Dragon Con parade. It is in my opinion, the best parade in the country.“
Dragon Con begins in just two days! For more information, please visit their official website: https://www.dragoncon.org/