[photo credit: Aaron Turkeltaub]
FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. It’s that feeling you get when you know you could be at San Diego Comic-Con International, but you’re not. You are badgeless, hopeless, and filled with FOMO-anxiety.
OK so maybe it’s not that bad, but you would really love to attend the week long event, but for whatever reason, swarms of pop culture fans inside ballrooms and meeting halls are just not in your future. And while you know there are several “No Badge Required” events going on in the city of San Diego, the thought of shifting through event guides makes you break out into a rash.
Luckily for you, I have brought back the new and improved “San Diego Comic-Con Off-Site Cheat Events 2015 Sheet for the Last Minute” (with helpful tips included)!
Note: I am only including events that still have passes/RSVPs available from the time of this posting. For a map of all #SDCC2015 off-site events, I recommend this map created by Dustin Ma: SDCC 2015 off-site map
IMPORTANT TIPS FOR THE NON-BADGER:
- Remember to search social media hashtags for surprise events, event ticket giveaways, and celebrity sightings. Not enough people enter the smaller contests, and you never know what they’re giving away!
- Don’t let “Badge Required” rules stop you from attending events! If more people are needed to fill an event, staff will pull people from the sidewalks. Another option is to be polite and ask. There are friendly people who work the doors and will slide you in.
- That said, arrive to your events early. Maybe not Hall H early, but early enough so you won’t be discouraged when you see a really long line.
- Want in on exclusive parties? If you have the cash, use it! Tip the bouncers and promoters for obvious “exclusive-event” reasons. Tip bartenders well for continued friendly service, they’ll remember your face and won’t spit in your drink. For a list of parties to try your luck on, visit The Hollywood Reporter.
- If it’s a fancy PR team handling the door (no street promoters attached) – good luck trying to pay your way in – AKA NOPE! You’re better off with the security guard.
BEST ONGOING EVENTS:
[photo credit: EXPERIENCE NVE © 2014]
- Nerdist Conival at Petco Park ft/Geek & Sundry and Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls – This is by far the BEST ongoing public event during #SDCC2015. Jousting matches with your friends in a bouncy ring, build-your-own robots, laser tag, and of course photo ops! And if that wasn’t enough, huge stars such as Daniel Radcliffe and David Hasselhoff will be in attendance. Check out the full schedule at the Nerdist.
- Nerd HQ – Nerd HQ at The New Children’s Museum is the place to chill out, play games, connect with other like-minded people, and check out celeb-filled panels (Elijah Wood, Dr. Who cast, Supernatural cast). With a new venue and partnership w/The New Children’s Museum – Nerd HQ will be offering three floors of nerdom! It’s free to hang out at Nerd HQ, but it’s $22 to sit in on a panel (totally worth it and all proceeds go to Operation Smile). Find the panel schedule and more info (including party info) at The Nerd Machine. IGN will be offering live streaming of the panels.
- Assassin’s Creed Experience – The giant Assassin’s Creed obstacle course is back at MLK Promenade (next to Hilton Gaslamp Hotel)! Even if you’ve never played the game, the experience of leaping through London’s industrial revolution is one that cannot be missed. And if being an Assassin is not your thing, cheer and heckle as others bravely take on the course!
- Zombie Attack San Diego Comic Con Season – We’re used to killing our zombies with typical firearms and weaponry, but you’d be surprised what a paintball gun can do! More than just a zombie apocalypse, the TCP Warehouse will be held hostage by both zombies and demons! For more information on how to be a hunter, visit the Total Combat Paintball website.
- Adult Swim – Adult Swim is back with lots of awesome activties like the Feline Fun Hole Slide, panels, carnival, nighttime screenings and more! Visit Adult Swim for more info.
- The Art of Comic Con: San Diego Library
- Skeletor’s Lair: Super 7
- Hello Kitty Cafe Truck: Lexus Lot adjacent to the convention
- Game of Thrones: Experience the Realm: Omni Hotel
- FX Fearless Arena: Hilton San Diego Bayfront Lawn
TOP RSVP PARTIES:
[Photo credit: Nerd Reactor]
- YouTube and Google’s Comic-Con Welcome Party @Altitude (5pm)
- Fandango ft/Best Coast @Omnia (8:30pm)
- IGN Bash @Float Hard Rock Hotel (7pm)
- BuzzFeed and The CW’s Super Power Hour @Altitude (5pm)
- Entertainment Tonight, Tumblr and AMC present Fear The Walking Dead party @Reading Cinemas Gaslamp 15 and Starlight Terrace at Hilton Gaslamp (7pm)
- Fox/FX/20th Century Fox TV/Fox International Channels Comic-Con Party at Andaz (9pm)
- Syfy’s Sharknado 3 Party @Hotel Solamar (9pm)
- Playboy’s Self/Less Party @Parq (10pm)
- NBC Digital Network. Featuring talent from Grimm, Heroes Reborn, Blindspot, Hannibal @Andaz (7pm)
- Entertainment Weekly’s Annual Comic-Con closing Night Celebration @Float Hard Rock Hotel (9pm)
TOP PARTIES THAT YOU CAN STILL GET INTO:
- Shell Shocked at Basic Urban Kitchen (Tuesday 7pm) –Who doesn’t like a little pre-game? While Comic Con doesn’t start until Preview Night on Wednesday – San Diego likes to start the party early! And if you love The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this art event is for you.
- Geeks Go Glam at San Diego Public Library Patio (Thursday 8pm) – When Comic Con is in town, the dress code ranges from beachwear to The Hulk cosplay. But what if you stepped up your Hulk cosplay and dressed him up in a chic black tie ensemble? What if you have an ah-maaazingly extravagant cocktail dress that deserves a night on the town, but the most it ever sees is your closet because you’re too busy attending cons? Fear not, The Nerdie Girlie and Being Geek Chic are throwing a party with live music, treats, and gift bags! Get your glam on (or don’t – dress up is optional!) and dance w/your fellow geeks!
- DJ Uncle Blazer at Bang Bang (Thursday 10pm) – As a fan of Workaholics, it gives me great pleasure to present you with an event featuring Blake Anderson as headlining DJ! If you’re as big a fan as I am, head over to Bang Bang on Thursday night, grab yourself an expensive Japanese whiskey, and dance to the hip tunes spun by your favorite Uncle Blazer! And if you’re lucky, you just might get a chance to throw up in the Ryan Gosling bathroom.
- Crave Escape at USS Midway (Friday 7pm) – One of the most talked about parties this Comic Con season is the Crave Escape at USS Midway. This year, Cold War Kids, Bad Suns, and Cathedrals will be performing – and just as last year’s show – space is extremely limited! Get there early, but note you cannot start lining up before 5:30pm. For RSVP and complete information visit tixr.com.
- Super Video Game Land at Mission Brewery (Friday 6pm) – Celebrating the video games of our past, Super Video Game Land is a showcase of video game art by local San Diego artist Anthony Bulcao. Come enjoy cold, delicious craft beer and peruse Bulcao’s art as nostalgic video game music sets the soundtrack for the night.
- Tested.com Presents: “Cinephile” For the Love of Film with Adam Savage at FLUXX (Friday 9pm) – Last year’s party w/Adam Savage was probably one of my favorite events. It was low key enough to not be over the top celeb obnoxious, but hype enough to generate a line (thankfully, my friend and I befriended security and the bartender earlier on). This year, the free event moves to FLUXX as Adam Savage celebrates his love of films – bringing in props, memorabilia, and surprises (so they say). Let’s just hope they bring back the open bar and photo booth – cause those are always drunken good times!
- Lovelife Presents Episode XII: A New Boat and Part 2: Into the Dark Side (Saturday) – The San Diego hip kids love Star Wars just as much as you do – so much so that they’re throwing a two-parter event! The first party, A New Boat will be aboard the Inspiration Hornblower, the second will be a night event at Spin Nightclub. So if you love Star Wars but also want to dance along to house music with Instagram party kids, these parties are not to be missed!
- mtvU Fandom Awards – Petco Park (Thursday – badge requirement has not been determined)
- Digital LA – TBD (Saturday)
- Let’s Get Weird/Nerdioke/Green Jelly/Kung Fury w/David Hasselhoff/Sexy Saviors & Villainous Vixens: McFadden’s (Wednesday – Saturday)
TOP FAN PARTIES:
- Nerd HQ Fan Parties – Free event 18+ at New Children’s Museum
- Orphan Black #CLONECLUB – Free 90s dance party event w/surprise guests, photo booth, tattoo station, eye patch bedazzling.
- Official Dr.Who Meetup – Free dance party event w/suprise guests, game show, photo booth, tattoo station.
- Supernatural Fan Party – Paid event w/open bar, food, door prizes, discussions and more.