Calling all sci-fi and fantasy fans everywhere! CONvergence 2019: The Next Celebration will be held this weekend, July 4-7, and will offer something for every kind of fan.
Launched in 1999, CONvergence has grown to be the largest convention of its kind in Minnesota and beyond. Celebrating science fiction and fantasy in all media (books, games, movies, television, etc.), the con draws more than 6,000 fans annually. The party never really stops during the four days—since the convention never completely closes down, events and activities are offered at all hours for attendees.
Just like how we’ve seen more than our share of Spider-Man reboots over the past decade (but is anyone complaining, really?), this year’s convention is dedicated to celebrating reboots and re-imaginings of science fiction and fantasy, and its new location at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Minneapolis perfectly fits this theme. Upon arrival, guests can get their bearings at The Bridge before being set loose to enjoy three floors of room parties, panels and guest speakers, live music and dances, open gaming, and more. (Art auctions. Book swaps. Poetry slams. Costume contests. Movie rooms. Pretty much anything you could think of.)
As for the people, you’ll find fans of all kinds at this aptly named convention, from the bigger fandoms (we’re talking classic Whovians and non-Cursed Child Potterheads to Tolkien purists and ultra-devoted Trekkies) to some welcome newcomers (looking at you, Stranger Things and Good Omens). From Fairy Tail wizards to MCU superheroes, you’re pretty much guaranteed to walk away with a new friend, some merch, or, at the very least, a new obsession.
But newbies, don’t let the cosplayers intimidate you. Whether you’re a casual fan (or the ultimate obsessive fanboy/girl, let’s be real), there’s bound to be something you’ll enjoy. For example, not sure how to initiate conversations with fellow fans? There’s a panel for that—11:30 a.m. on Thursday: “How to Talk to People at Room Parties.” Or maybe you’re looking to learn how to (properly) wear a kilt? Well, you’re in luck—7 p.m. on Friday: “So You Want to Wear a Kilt.” Can’t decide which hot book to read next? 3:30 p.m. on Saturday: “Books to Read Right Now.” Don’t know how to…go outside? There’s a panel for that as well, at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday: “Geeks Guide to the Outdoors.”
Since the full lineup of activities, events, gaming ops, guest speakers, panels, photo meet-ups, and signings can be a bit overwhelming (it’s also awesome, so check it out here), we’ve included some highlights to keep an eye out for during your time at the con:
Thursday, July 4
- 12:30 p.m. Anime 101; Creating a Good RPG Party; Embracing Your Inner Geek
- 3:30 p.m. Renaissance Dance Lessons
- 5:30 p.m. The Fandom Menace
- 6 p.m. Game of Thrones: Photo Meet-Up
- 7 p.m. Anxiety, Depression, and the Creative Life; Importance of Editors; Non-Medieval Fantasy
- 8:30 p.m. Brooklyn Nine-Nine Fan Panel; Doctor Who: After the Regeneration
- 10 p.m. Fan Fiction as Revitalization; Getting it On in Gaming
Friday, July 5
- 9:30 a.m.Super Hero Training – Parkour for Everyone
- 11 a.m.Bromances in History; Great British Bake-Off Fan Panel; Star Trek: Photo Meet-Up
- 12:30 p.m.Historical Costuming 101
- 2 p.m. Studio Ghibli Retrospective
- 3:30 p.m.Bringing Fandom to Work; Geeky Dates; The Last Jedi was Awesome and Other Unpopular Star Wars Opinions
- 4 p.m.Marvel: Photo Meet-Up
- 7 p.m.Game of Thrones Completion; I am Iron Man? Identity in Iron Man 3
- 8:30 p.m.Detoxifying Fandom; What to Watch with My Kids
Saturday, July 6
- 9:30 a.m. Improv for Cosplayers; Live Action “Super Smash Bros.”
- 11 a.m. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald; Star Wars: Photo Meet-Up; Super Natural Pie Eating Contest
- 1 p.m. Disney: Photo Meet-Up; Classic Video Game Tournament
- 2 p.m. Captain Marvel Fan Panel, My Hero Academia Fan Panel
- 3 p.m. Wizarding World: Photo Meet-Up
- 3:30 p.m. Avengers: Endgame Fan Panel; Books to Read Right Now; K-Pop & You; Supernatural Fan Panel; Slytherpuff
- 7 p.m. Marvel on Netflix; Star Wars After Episode 9; Let’s Play D&D 5th Ed. (21+)
- 10 p.m. Best Nintendo Switch Games
Sunday, July 7
- 9:30 a.m. Live Action Disney Remakes
- 10:30 a.m. Run Away with the Circus
- 11 a.m. Reboot Failures; Weathering a Hiatus
- 12:30 p.m. Dr. Who Series 11; Everyone is Canceled; Unsung Heroes of Potter
- 2 p.m. Cosplay for All; Good Omens Fan Panel; Lesser Known Geeky Careers; Star Wars Counseling; Tea Me Up, Doctor!
- 3 p.m. Doctor Who: Photo Meet-Up
- 3:30 p.m. ’90s Fan Panel; Choosing Your Own Adventure
Intrigued yet? Membership badges can be bought here (the price is the same to attend one or two days as it is for all four days), and, in partnership with Metro Transit, CONvergence members can also get free bus and train passes for Friday and Saturday.