Ready to get back to conventions this year? A lot of sci-fi and fantasy readers, filkers, cosplayers, gamers and other creators and fans are looking at the second half of this year and looking to make plans to safely enjoy their favorite con experiences. The question is, who’s putting on their cons, and how are they happening?
With 2020’s pandemic complexities, virtual events became more common. And with this year’s uncertainties, online cons are to be expected. But some folks are braving the attempt to plan in-person experiences alongside of (or even instead of) virtual ones. So, where do things stand right now? Here’s a quick look at some popular cons for 2021.
Comic-Con San Diego – July 23-25
The grandmama of them all, ComicCon International is not happening in-person until 2022. This year, there will likely be a virtual event, ComicCon@Home, with details still to be announced. And the production team is also planning a smaller, supplemental event they’re calling Comic-Con Special Edition, taking place on November 26-28, 2021. Again, details to be forthcoming.
Dragon Con – Sept 2-6
Known as the largest multimedia, pop culture convention around, Dragon Con plans to be live and in-person this year—September 2-6, 2021. For those who aren’t ready or able to be in-person, Dragon Con Goes Virtual will also be back to stream tons of Dragon Con goodness to a platform near you. It’s a hybrid approach that lets every fan choose their own adventure, according to the convention’s website.
Ahead of the con itself, the annual Dragon Awards are currently underway. These sci-fi & fantasy awards are by the fans, for the fans—inviting you to support those who have made contributions to SFF books, games, comics, and shows. There is no qualification for submitting nominations or voting—no convention fees or other memberships are needed. (full set of rules can be found here.) The nomination deadline for the Dragon Awards is July 19, 2021.
GenCon 2021 — Sept 16-19
Everyone’s favorite gaming convention, GenCon, is also happening this year, though it’s been postponed to later than usual, September 16-19, 2021 as of right now. Like DragonCon, their planning team is making adaptations to suit a variety of needs in a post-pandemic world.
GenCon fans can expect a hybrid of virtual and in-person opportunities to choose from, including the pop-up GenCon experience at local game shops across the country on Sept. 18. And as would be expected, the actual details of how the con is run will depend on current health guidelines and situations closer to September. That means likely limited seating for live gaming, among other things (more details on GenCon’s 2021 format here.)
New York Comic Con – Oct. 7-10
The East Coast juggernaut that is New York Comic Con is currently slated to happen in-person this October, but with limited capacity to balance fans’ eagerness with necessary health and safety restrictions. Normally, October wouldn’t seem too far away at this point of the year, but with COVID-19, things get complex. Right now, the con team still expects to need to require masks and screenings, pending state and local regulations.
Stay Tuned for More
Fans can certainly expect details for all these cons and others to be subject to change as the year continues. There’s a great list of 2021 cons and their details here.