It’s a wrap for Day 1 of RuPaul’s DragCon 2016. First and foremost, I want to give props to the organizers this year for doing a great job! Even with the huge turnout for the opening day, coupled with the ribbon cutting frenzy – mainly as a caused by some aggressive members of the Press doing aggressive things, though not shocking, it’s LA – everything was orderly. The overall energy was very festive and positive.
Ginger Minj came to the lobby and did some press work, joked around, and did a little bit of pep talk to the attendees, on camera. As if everyone wasn’t pumped already. A few minutes later, Michelle Visage joined Ginger Minj in the lobby to inform everyone that the ribbon cutting ceremony has been moved half an hour later from the original schedule nine thirty in the morning l. And said that VIP badge holders will be let in anyway at nine thirty. She gave a brief opening speech and then they opened the flood gates.
The convention hall is twice as big compared to last year. It does gives that false half-empty feeling, mainly because of the wide aisles and big open spaces. But it gave attendees plenty of space to freely wonder around. It’s also very helpful in managing areas with heavy foot traffic, especially around exhibitors who are very popular – like Kim Chi and Naomi Smalls, Raven and Jujubee, Michelle Visage, Queens managed by Producer Entertainment, Robbie Turner, Derrick Barry, Raja, Trixie Mattel, Detox, OCC makeup and Willam, and guests like Jeffrey Star, Julie Newmar, and Debbie Gibson, etc. The World of Wonder booth also had a long line, but very well managed. So yes, the floor area gave more than enough breathing space for everyone.
The exhibitors this year are quite interesting. From wigs, to body painting, to wigs for dogs – that booth too was very popular. There were also great attractions, aside from from the exhibitors, like muscles and attendees in full amazing drag. There were performances held in front of the convention red carpet.
All in all it was a fun day. I also have to acknowledge the attendees. Everyone was very orderly and gracious. I think people were more relaxed because there’s enough breathing space.
It’s great to hear people say good things about the convention, like this one person who said that, “(DragCon) is a safe place for people to come and be themselves.” Now, isn’t that something?
There were all sorts of people too – young, not so young, families, kids, etc. And so many are very creative too. DragCon encourage attendees to come in their best drag. And oh boy do they listen. Some of the drag I’ve seen were super polished and amazing.
And speaking of “encourage,” the power of RuPaul is something to be reckoned with. A short PA about a photo op or autograph signing, sends the Drag Race army that way. Case in point, RuPaul’s own autograph and photo op line was merely a couple of dozen people long when I found it… but a after a brief announcement, a hoard of people immediately showed up. It was borderline freaky. Like they’re on remote and the controller beckons. It’s a testament and solid proof to RuPaul’s charisma.
Tomorrow is the second and last day of DragCon. And I’m looking forward to simply “socialize” (with my camera) with anyone. Everything that I needed to do I accomplished yesterday. Thanks to Friday’s preview. All that’s left is check out some panels and attend RuPaul’s keynote speech.
Check out some raw photos (unretouched) I took from day 1. Full and officially complement to follow.
DragCon 2016 Day 2 here we go! It’s an event not to be missing.