DRAGCON NYC: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO SASHAY THIS WAY
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Welcome to RuPaul’s DragCon NYC 2019, the fifth-annual convention celebrating all things drag in and around the world. The glitz and glamor behind RuPaul’s Drag Race will be in full swagger 6-8 September at Midtown’s Javits Center, hosting a sassy slate of daily activities -- from panel discussions and readings, to makeovers and autograph signings, to loads of live entertainment. Here are our top tips to shantay your way to a weekend that werks.
is the prime location for access to DragCon. The Javits Center entrances are on 11th Avenue, between W. 34th and W. 37th Streets. That’s mere blocks from the YOTEL New York’s location on 10th Avenue at W. 41st Street. In other words, no subway needed! DragCon regular and VIP hours are:
- Friday 6 September: 4 to 8pm (VIP hours 2 to 8 pm)
- Saturday 7 September: 10am to 6pm (VIP hours 9am to 6pm)
- Sunday 8 September: 10am to 4pm (VIP hours 9am to 4pm)
Tickets to RuPaul’s DragCon start at $40 for a single day, while a weekend ticket costs $70 (it includes Friday’s preview night, plus all day Saturday and Sunday).
The VIP Experience costs $300, but they sold out fast. However, Miss Congeniality VIP tickets are still available for $200 and its perks overlap with the regular VIP tickets such as extra opening hours, priority lines for meeting stars, some VIP Lounge and Photo Op access, Mix N Mingle sessions and other benefits. You can save $10 on a weekend ticket if you purchase at least four Squirrel Friend Tickets at the same time – and kids 10 and under are free when accompanied by an adult with a ticket.
The calibre of talent is next-level this year, with drag queens and stars descending on Javits like flawless avengers dressed to slay. So cosy up to the buxom , where you’ll be wise to narrow down your routes and timing in advance.
Naturally, Supermodel of the World RuPaul herself will be there, along with a scorching lineup of Drag Race legends including A’Keria C Davenport, Jujubee, Kim Chi, Mimi Imfurst, Trixie Mattel, Yvie Oddly, and so many more. You can count Michelle Visage, Ross Matthews, and Carson Cressley among the celebrity judges to speak, plus other stars from Broadway, TV, fashion, and beyond.
And remember, this is New York City, baby — so make sure you share your love with vivacious local drag queens and kings who put their talent on stages across Gotham all year round.
As the ultimate convention for drag artists and fans, be prepared for throngs of people, long lines, and plenty of walking. The best time will be had if you: remain happy and chill, are respectful of your fellow DragCon dwellers and the talent wear comfy shoes. Allow extra time for waiting in lines and arrive to panels early, because they will reach capacity.
Speaking of panels, there’s a wide array of hot topics, both fun and serious. You can hear prestigious panelists discuss attack plans for the 2020 election; how to invest in everyday activism; and catch RuPaul hold one-on-one kikis with legendary designer Diane von Furstenberg (Saturday) and Whoopi Goldberg (Sunday). But the spectrum of speakers and calibre of entertainment will be fierce.
- Signing fees are part of the program, and usually autographs come with merch prices. Bring cash for speed and convenience. Time your visit to the signing tables with the signing schedule.
- Know who / what you’re in line for.
- Pack your bag for a full day at DragCon (i.e. bring snacks and water and a phone charger).
- Know your hashtags and handles. Twitter and Facebook: @RuPaulsDragCon, @RuPaulsDragRace, @RuPaul, #DragCon, @YotelHQ. Instagram: @rupaulsdragcon, #dragcon, @yotel, #youatyotel.
- Dress up, be fabulous, and play nice with others. After all, the love shared at DragCon is the love you take with you everywhere.
Kelsy Chauvin is a writer and photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. She specializes in travel, arts and culture, food and wine, nightlife, and LGBTQ interests. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @kelsycc.