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Sunday, 13 November 2011

Dragon*Con

Just for the anonymous who was worried I wasn't going to post free downloads any more (not intentional, I'm just scatterbrained, sorry!) here's a 36-track compilation I recently downloaded totally free from Vampire Freaks (no account required), featuring lots of electronic and Industrial goodness including personal faves Aesthetic Perfection, Angelspit, Heresy Theory and lots more: Cry For Death: Industrial/Electro Edition

Speaking of scatterbrained, I realised this morning I haven't done any event posts in a while, so I thought that for today's post I'd touch on an event that isn't specifically Goth but decidedly Goth-friendly, with a high turn-out from those of us who live life on the spooky side.

Dragon*Con in North America (Atlanta to be precise) is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the US. The 30,000-plus-member convention takes over a six-square block area of downtown Atlanta adjacent to the 1996 Summer Olympics Village on the Labor Day weekend every year, and is hosted by an 850-member volunteer staff.

Dragon*Con has hosted the 1990 Origins Game Fair and the 1995 North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFiC). Like many World Fantasy Conventions, it is operated by a private corporation. It raises thousands of dollars each year for local and national charities and draws over 40,000 attendees in recent years.

Unsurprisingly it's pretty popular amongst Goths.

The 4-day event comprises approximately 850 hours of panels, seminars, demonstrations, and workshops, with over 30 specialized programming tracks that include but are not limited to (deep breath) writing, art, gaming, alternate history, anime, apocalyptic themes, Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, comic books, NASA space science, robotics, film, costuming, Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, X-Files, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly/Serenity, Dr. Who, Ghost Hunters, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Anne McCaffrey's Pern, Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, British and American SF television, New Zealand's The Tribe, the Dark Fantasy track, the Dragon*Con Independent Short Film Festival, and various others.

Derek Tatum describes his programming track at the con thusly, "The Dark Fantasy programming track features panels spotlighting Gothic horror and popular culture. The programming spans from classic monster tales such as “Frankenstein” and “Dark Shadows” to contemporary fare like “True Blood” and the works of Tim Burton. The track has traditionally scheduled interviews with musicians, frequently from the gothic/darkwave/industrial field. Past speakers have included members of Bella Morte, Black Tape for a Blue Girl, The Crüxshadows, Ego Likeness, Faith and the Muse, The Ghosts Project, The Last Dance, Voltaire, and many others."

Dragon*Con featured a track called "Gothic Journeys" in 2004, which was an outgrowth of Storm Constantine's Grissecon. In 2005, the chairman of Dragon*Con asked Derek Tatum if he would like to take over the track; Tatum agreed, but out of respect to Constantine's programming, strived to create a separate identity for the slightly new direction of the track. In 2008, the track was renamed Dark Fantasy, as the programming had grown far beyond its reputation as "just" a subculture and music-oriented track. The Dark Fantasy track now acts as Dragon*Con's outlet for Gothic horror-themed
entertainment.
Since its birth in 1987, Dragon*Con has featured performances by dozens of artists such as Bella Morte, Voltaire, The Crüxshadows, Abney Park, Celldweller, Black tape for a blue girl, Ego Likeness, I:Scintilla and the Misfits, to name some of the most Goth-friendly attendees.

Guests of Honour have included some names you may also recognise, such as Storm Constantine, Holly Black, Lilith Saintcrow, Ted Naifeh and Michelle Belanger. Perkygoth favourites Kynt and Vyxsin are also frequent attendees.

Dragon*Con is a haven for geeks, Goths and cosplayers of all varieties - the good thing about events where many people will be in costume as their favourite characters is that you can either follow suit, or simply pile on your best finery, and either way you won't turn many eyebrows or recieve any unpleasant comments (unless your costume is lazy or sloppy...).

With thanks to Derek Tatum.

12 comments:

Derek Tatum said...

I ran across this just now, and thank you for the kind words. Due to the shifting perception of what "dark fantasy" is (everyone has their own definition), the track's focus is now described as "Gothic horror and popular culture." We will likely continue under the "Dark Fantasy" name, I'm just planning on bringing a more horror-oriented slant to the programming. Our webpage can be found at Dragon*Con Dark Fantasy.

Traicetrak said...

I intend to got to this next year and looking very forward to it. I have a friend who moved away after college, and hopefully this will become the half-way point between us for an annual meetup. Just found several other friends who attend regularly, so it ought to be a blast. Never knew they had specific tracks like you described, though. I'll have to look further into it.

Gothic Faerie Queen said...

You forgot to include Faith & The Muse.

Nox Artemis said...

Great post! Dragon-Con is one of the top ten conventions that I want to go to before - whenever! I love it because it's a convention for ANYONE who's geeky enough (and being geeky is nothing to be ashamed of ;] ) but it also has that darker and edgier, er, edge to it.

Talk about Bats Day at Disneyland next! :D Unless you already made a post on that

Little goth cat said...

I love Dragon*con so much I am 17 and have been going for the last 2 years(I have been to 3 if you count the one when my mom was pregnant with me)! I still think of my self as a baby bat your blog and Dragon*con have given me so much help with what a goth is and clothing and people so many goths who you can just walk up and as questions and they are happy to help! By the time I am 20 I will be one big old GOTH!!

ultimategothguide said...

Nox Artemis - I already did, way back in the mists of time...

http://ultimategothguide.blogspot.com/2010/12/bats-day-disneyland-invasion.html

Derek Tatum said...

Hey Amy, if you want I'll write up a description of the Dark Fantasy track that reflects the current direction of the programming.

ultimategothguide said...

Sure, that would be fantastic! Thank you. :-)

Nox Artemis said...

@Amy: Woot woot!

Derek Tatum said...

Give me a day or so. What e-mail address should I sent it to?

ultimategothguide said...

ultimategothguide@hotmail.co.uk

Thanks again.

Ashlee said...

On the subject of free downloads, there are some songs by j.m. renfield on Last.FM that are seriously great. I can't stop listening to The One In Which He Quits Absinthe.

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