LOS ANGELES, May 20, 2015 – The inaugural RuPaul’s DragCon – the first drag convention in HERstory spearheaded by RuPaul and World of Wonder – was successful beyond expectations, and will continue next year at the Los Angeles Convention Center on May 7-8, 2016. Last weekend, nearly 14,000 drag fans brought fierce personality and panache to the Los Angeles Convention Center, and reveled in the cornucopia of personalities, looks, make-up and fashion that DragCon offered.
“Drag is a broad church that welcomes one and all. It is a celebration of difference, diversity and the power of imagination to look how you want to look, and be who you want to be. DragCon preached the word both in person at the convention and online,” said World of Wonder’s Randy Barbato. “Panels on make-up, nightclubbing, parenting and wrestling delivered a broad experience for drag queens, their fans and their families,” added World of Wonder’s Fenton Bailey.
Standing-room-only-crowds were treated to tantalizing panel discussions including “Alyssa’s Secret,” by RuPaul’s Drag Race fave Alyssa Edwards; “Fierce Mother Tuckers: Everything You Wanted to Know About Tucking But Were Afraid to Ask,” with Willam and Gia Gunn; “WOW Presents: Fashion Photo RuView” – a live version of Toot or Boot with Raj and Raven; “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” with Sharon Needles; and “Comedy Queens: How to be She-Larious” with Darienne Lake, Pandora Boxx, Trixie Mattel, Jiggly Caliente, Mimi Imfurst and Kelly Mantle.
On Sunday, RuPaul brought attendees to their feet with his much-anticipated keynote speech, sharing hilarious and inspirational stories. “Until now, we’ve gotten to see each other on Twitter, but here we get to meet each other in person. This is about finding your tribe,” said RuPaul.
And the fans did. All kinds of fans – hailing from six continents and including families with young children – were out in full force. Many came dressed to strut, and all were eager to meet, take photos and chat with their favorite drag queens and icons. Hundreds of thousands of fans engaged online, posting, commenting and sharing photos, videos and stories on social media channels using the #DragCon hashtag, which was trending on Facebook throughout the weekend. The social media activity inspired those who could not attend to find their tribes online, too.
“Comikaze has always been about helping fans of anything find their tribe. RuPaul has the same goal for what we see as an underserved group of fans – so we knew we had to make DragCon happen,” said Regina Carpinelli, founder and CCO of Comikaze Entertainment, Inc., producer of 1 fan-friendly conventions including Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo, and co-producer of DragCon. “We set out to create a positive and life-changing event for the fans, and believe we accomplished that. And the fan experience will continue to be our focus for DragCon in the years to come.”
Announced for the first time in February 2015, and produced by World of Wonder in partnership with RuPaul and Comikaze Entertainment, Inc., RuPaul’sDragCon was billed as a mash-up of Comic-Con, BeautyCon and Hello Kitty Con, and the first ever convention that celebrates “the art of drag, queer culture and self-expression for all.” Fans of all ages and walks of life came out to mix and mingle with more than 100 well-known drag queens and gay icons – including RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Julie Newmar, Jordin Sparks, Ross Matthews, Chi Chi LaRue, Alyssa Edwards and GLOW – those Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, as well as the crowned queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race: Bianca del Rio, Jinkx Monsoon, Chad Michaels, Sharon Needles, Raja, Tyra Sanchez and Bebe Zahara Benet. Fans also attended panel discussions, screenings, autograph sessions and photo opportunities, and shopped more than 100 booths and tables for wigs, makeup, fashion, accessories, artwork, underwear and much more.