Dragon Con, the largest sci-fi convention in Atlanta, today is joining a raft of other events and music venues by requiring COVID-19 vaccinations or a recent negative test to take part.
“From the start, we have committed to hosting a convention that would help protect our fans from the spread of COVID while staying true to the traditions that make Dragon Con fun and memorable,” said convention co-chair Rachel Reeves. “As the number of COVID related cases continues to climb, it becomes clear that we need to update our health and safety protocols in order to keep that commitment.”
The new guidelines arrive as the delta variant is causing a spike in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, leading Music Midtown and many local music venues, theaters and restaurants to institute similar policies. (AEG’s Variety Playhouse, Terminal West and Eastern starting Oct. 1 is requiring vaccination only, not just a negative test.)
The five-day Dragon Con convention, which takes place over Labor Day weekend, is already capping entry to half of its 2019 attendance of 85,000 and panels will also be limited to two-thirds of normal capacity. There will also be fewer celebrities taking photos and signing autographs.
Two weeks ago, Dragon Con announced a mask mandate along with limiting the popular Dragon Con parade in downtown Atlanta on Saturday morning to just paid convention attendees. Tens of thousands of non-attendees normally go to the parade, which features participants dressed in costumes ranging from “Star Wars” stormtroopers and Wonder Woman to Black Panther and Jack Sparrow. Non-attendees are encouraged to watch the parade on YouTube or on CW69 in Atlanta (WUPA-TV).
For Dragon Con fans who are uncomfortable or unable to go in person, there is a $10 virtual pass, enabling them access to live-streamed activities at the convention as well as exclusive pre-recorded content.