Phoenix Comicon 2017 will be bigger than ever in downtown Phoenix.
With more than 100,000 fans expected to descend upon downtown for Phoenix Comicon May 25-28, 2017, it’s a time for celebration, camaraderie and geeking out.
Here are tips to make things safe and enjoyable for all, from Phoenix Comicon founder Matt Solberg; Matt Hinds, founder of the pop culture social club the Blue Ribbon Army; Catherine Ayotte, a cosplayer and writer/photographer for several pop-culture outlets; and the Phoenix Convention Center.
Fans who purchased a membership before April 15 will receive their badges in the mail. Those who purchased them after April 15 just need to pick up their badges at Registration in room 120 CD of the North Building. Either print out your barcode or show it on your phone. The entrance is on Monroe Street between Third and Fifth streets. While purchasing online ahead of time is recommended, memberships can also be purchased at the event. Registration hours are listed below.
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Photo ops, autographs and reserved seating
With the solid celebrity guest line-up this year, fans are encouraged to purchase photo-ops, autographs and reserved seating for panels as soon as possible. Some opportunities are already sold out, including the “Daredevil” panel featuring Elden Henson and Jon Bernthal.
Reserved seating is available for certain panels and encompasses only about 10 percent of the available seats, so first come, first served general admission seating is still an option.
Interest is already high for Dick Van Dyke, with Saturday photo-ops and reserved seating for his panel already sold out. General reserved seating for the panel is still available. Remaining seats will be entered into a lottery on May 18.
It’s going to be congested. Consider taking a bus, light rail or taxi; riding a bike; or carpooling. Round-trip on the light rail costs $4 per day, and $2 for a single ride. The closest stops to the Phoenix Convention Center are Third and Washington streets going west-bound, and Third and Jefferson streets traveling east-bound. Parking is free at light rail stops.
A majority of all events will take place in and around the Phoenix Convention Center. The outdoor programming will close Third Street from Washington to Monroe streets.
Con on Third
The outdoor programming area, sponsored by the CW6, is free and open to the public, and will take place on Third Street from Washington to Monroe streets. The popular pop culture car show will return, as well as several food trucks and vendor booths. New this year is a barbecue and beer party tent, and the “Dunkirk” movie trailer truck that will show a preview of the upcoming World War II movie directed by Christopher Nolan.
If you do decide to drive, there are more than 25,000 parking spaces spread out throughout downtown Phoenix. The main parking is available at the north and east Convention Center garages for $20 a day, and the west garage is available on Thursday and Sunday, also for $20. ParkWhiz has limited spots at their Jefferson Street garage for $20 a day. These spots can be reserved ahead of time on the Phoenix Comicon website.
Street parking is available, with more than 2,000 meters, but beware of the time limits. All meters are enforced from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, including weekends and holidays. Electronic meters cost $1.50 an hour, and coin-operated meters are $1 an hour. Parking limits can range from 15 minutes to eight hours, and most meters allow for a maximum of two hours. Download the Pango app to make managing your meter spot easier.
Phoenix Comicon has partnered with seven hotels that offer affordable room rates and are close to the action. Five hotels have already sold out: Hyatt Regency Phoenix, Renaissance Phoenix Downtown, Westin Phoenix Downtown, Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Downtown and Hilton Phoenix Suites. The Sheraton Grand Phoenix and Crown Plaza still have rooms available. Book online here: phoenixcomicon.com/info/hotels-travel.
No firearms or weapons designed to fire a projectile are allowed. Steel weapons must remained sheathed at all times. Costume weapons must be checked by security and peace bonded (a neon tag is placed on the weapon to identify it as a prop). Any weapon deemed unacceptable by security will need to be returned to the owner’s car or hotel room.
- When approaching cosplayers, or anyone, really, ask before taking their picture.
- Practice “Cosplay is not consent.” Speak up if you or anyone else is subjected to inappropriate behavior.
- Constructive criticism about cosplayers’ costumes is welcome when asked for. Don’t snark or body-shame cosplayers. Everyone works hard on their costumes, and it’s all about having fun.
- Costumes must cover at least as much as a swimsuit, and nudity is prohibited.
- If you have a prop or other large item, be careful not to whack people or booths with it.
- Don’t bring signs or amplified music, and dancing is not allowed in the Exhibitor Hall, hallways or walkways.
- Flyers for distribution must be cleared by Comicon staff prior to the event.
- There is no sleeping allowed in the convention space.
- If you attend a panel discussion and seats are available, take one. Not to do so is a fire-code violation.
- Children 12 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
- Disruptive and unsafe behavior, unwanted touching and harassment or staff or attendees will not be tolerated.
- When stopping to observe a celebrity, booth or cosplayer, step out of the flow of traffic.
- Not all vendors accept credit cards. Bring cash.
- Bring hand sanitizer. You’ll be coming in contact with a lot of people, interactive displays and merchandise.
- Drink plenty of water, it’s going to be hot. Dehydration and heat stroke are the top medical calls received from Phoenix Comicon.
- Lines to meet celebrities and attend panels can be long. Be patient. Strike up a conversation with your neighbors. If you are very intent on meeting many celebrities, purchasing the fast pass might be your best bet.
Phoenix Comicon details
Thursday, May 25: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. registration, 4-9 p.m. exhibitor hall, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. programming.
Friday, May 26: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. registration, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. exhibitor hall, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. programming.
Saturday, May 27: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. registration, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. exhibitor hall, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. programming.
Sunday, May 28: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. registration, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. exhibitor hall, 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. programming.
Location: Phoenix Convention Center, 100 N. Third St.
Admission: $75 for full event membership, $299 for fast pass membership, $20 for Thursday only, $30 for Friday only, $45 for Saturday only, $30 for Sunday only. $10 for children ages 3 to 12. Free for children ages 2 and younger. Prices will go up at midnight on May 24.
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