World’s Largest Drag Culture Convention Sets New Records with More Than 100,000 Total Attendees Between Los Angeles and NYC 2018 Conventions
Tickets for RuPaul’s DragCon Los Angeles, Taking Place May 24 – May 26, 2019, Go on Sale Later This Fall
(NEW YORK, NYC) – Sept. 30, 2018 – Emmy Award winners RuPaul and World of Wonder (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”) hosted close to 50,000 attendees during the second annual “RuPaul’s DragCon NYC” at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center this past weekend. The massively popular convention has experienced rapid growth since its Los Angeles debut in 2015 and NYC debut in 2017.
Created by World of Wonder Productions and RuPaul, RuPaul’s DragCon is a family-friendly event welcoming attendees – of all ages and backgrounds – to kiki with all of their favorite drag queens and stars in a creative, friendly and accessible environment.
The event, expanded to three days for the first time in NYC, included curated panels and live runway performances, talent signings, an Instagrammable photo lounge including a balloon re-creation of the Werkroom from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” 339 exhibitors and 80+ gag-worthy Queen spaces offering attendees the most sickening shopping around.
“My heart overflows with glitter and gratitude to every creative soul that graced us with their magical presence,” explains RuPaul. “From our sponsors, to our vendors, to our Queens and to our extra special guests from across the country and around the world, until DragCon LA 2019, everybody say love – and don’t forget to vote on November 6th!”
“DragCon is a celebration of life, love and laughter…things we need now more than ever,” says DragCon and World of Wonder co-founders Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato. “We are so grateful to all the artists whose talent and creativity spreads a message of love and acceptance.”
The convention featured incredible talent for performances, meet and greets, and panels, with surprise appearances by A-list icons and more, including: RuPaul, Tina Fey, Marc Jacobs, Isaac Mizrahi, Charles M. Blow (New York Times), Michelle Visage, Trixie Mattel, Katya, Alyssa Edwards (Netflix’s “Dancing Queen”), Peppermint, Johnny Bananas, Kim Chi, Dusty Ray Bottoms, Eureka, Kameron Michaels, Mayhem Miller, Miz Cracker, Monét X Change, Aja, The Vixen, Ross Mathews, Todrick Hall, Miss Vangie, Aja, Detox, Carson Kressley, Fashion designer Jason Wu, Asia O’Hara, Bob the Drag Queen, Sasha Velour, Ginger Minj, Thorgy Thor, Yuhua Hamasaki, Peppermint, Bebe Zahara Benet, Aquaria, Blair St. Clair, Kalorie Karbdashian Williams, Nikki Blonsky, Matt Bellassai, Nico Tortorella, and World of Wonder co-founders & DragCon creators Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey.
Badges and VIP Packages for the fifth annual “RuPaul’s DragCon Los Angeles” will go on sale later this fall at RuPaulsDragCon.com.
Highlights from RuPaul’s DragCon 2018 include:
- Nearly 50,000 attendees explored more than 270,000 square feet of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
- The Kids Zone, an interactive space for kids, made its NYC debut with a space fully dedicated to children with Drag Queen Story Hour, face painting, arts & crafts, a bounce house, a lightsaber demonstration by the Padawan Training Institute, more!
- For the first time in DragCon herstory, RuPaul hosted a full slate of 1 on 1 programming for attendees to get up close and personal, including RuTalks with Isaac Mizrahi and Charles M. Blow (NY Times) and three What’s the Tee? podcast tapings with Drag Race judge Michelle Visage.
- Sponsors included VH1, Lime, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Fireball, Mally Beauty, Patchology, The Grand Resort and Spa, 99 Brand, Dermablend, and WOW Presents Plus.
- Panel programming highlights include:
- After hundreds of fans lined up for hours before their panel, Trixie and Katya announced the return of their massively popular online series “UNHhhh” (124M views), with a new season that will premiere uncensored exclusively on WOW Presents Plus, World of Wonder’s premium subscription service, before `making its way 1 week later to WOW’s YouTube channel (1M+subs), WOW Presents.
- In the Beyond the Binary panel, panelists discussed how we can make the world more inclusive of non-binary and gender non-conforming people. Actor Nico Tortorella, Alok Vaid Menon, and Drag Race’s Aja sat down to discuss non-binary identity and its impact on the mainstream media and entertainment.
- In the It Looks Like I’m the Queen: Broadway Stories With the Stars of Frozen on Broadway panel, the stars of the smash hit musical Frozen including Caissie Levy (Elsa), Patti Murin (Anna), Greg Hildreth (Olaf) and John Riddle (Hans) shared video excerpts from the show followed by a magical audience Q&A.
- In the Too Gay to Function: The Cultural History of Mean Girls panel, the Damians (from the “Mean Girls” movie, broadway show, and real life) united to discuss the cultural significance of the Mean Girls story. Tina Fey joined the “Mean Girls” broadway cast backstage after their “North Shore Winter Talent Show” event at The Runway, posing with Taylor Louderman (“Regina George”) and Grey Henson (“Damian Hubbard”).
- Swing Left Presents: The Resistance discussed the democratic resurgence of grassroots energy in the form of art, activism, and political rallying. Featuring Speaker of the New York City Council Corey Johnson, Bob The Drag Queen, and others, the group discussed the most important elections of our lifetime – the midterms!
- In the Susanne Bartsch: Club Legend panel, the audience was transported back to 1980’s New York as Michael Musto spoke with club legend Susanne Bartsch about her new World of Wonder documentary, “Susanne Bartsch: On Top.”
About World of Wonder:
For more than two decades, award-winning production company World of Wonder has introduced audiences to new worlds, talent and ideas that have shaped culture. WOW is home to multi-platform programming from established and emerging talent, provocative documentaries, award-winning specials, and more. Programming highlights include: Emmy® Award winning “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (VH1/Logo), “Million Dollar Listing” LA & NY (Bravo), “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce” (Fuse), and “Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric” (National Geographic); award-winning films and documentaries including “Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures,” “Menendez: Blood Brothers,” “Inside Deep Throat,” “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” “I Am Britney Jean,” “In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye,” “Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking,” “Monica in Black and White,” Emmy-winning “The Last Beekeeper,” and Emmy-winning “Out of Iraq”. Seven of their films have premiered at the Sundance Film festival including “Becoming Chaz” and “Party Monster.” World of Wonder has created a substantial digital footprint with its YouTube channel WOW Presents, SVOD digital platform WOW Presents Plus, along with an award-winning blog, The WOW Report. Co-founders Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey authored The World According to Wonder, celebrating 21 years of production. Randy and Fenton were honored with the IDA Pioneer Award in December 2014, celebrating exceptional achievement, leadership, and vision in the nonfiction and documentary community. World of Wonder creates out of a historic building/gallery space in the heart of Hollywood.