Comic-Con 2018: THR's Guide to Parties (and Activations) in San Diego

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The late-night scene at the fan confab continues to shrink as more film and TV outlets opt to skip pricey parties and the event as a whole. Meanwhile, Amazon, Hulu and USA, among others, look for eyeballs beyond the convention center with elaborate activations.

After the convention floor closes and the sun sets at Comic-Con, stars and industry insiders alike escape the crowds and cosplay for San Diego’s party scene. Only it isn’t as burgeoning as it once was as several film and TV outlets are again opting out of the pop culture confab.

Here’s The Hollywood Reporter‘s full guide to parties at Comic-Con International, set to kick off Wednesday, July 18, with Preview Night. THR will continue to update this as more events are announced.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 18 (PREVIEW NIGHT)

2 Blog 2 Furious, the San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog’s annual party. 6-9 p.m., McFadden’s Pub, 731 Fifth Ave. Free and open to all.

• Rotten Tomatoes Press Mixer. 7-10 p.m., Bar 207 at the Hard Rock Hotel, 207 Fifth Ave. Invitation only, RSVP required.

THURSDAY, JULY 19  

• Wired Cafe. The annual industry and party lounge returns to San Diego. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Free.

FRIDAY, JULY 20

• Warner Bros. TV cocktail media mixer. 7-9 p.m., Float Rooftop Bar at the Hard Rock 207 Fifth Ave. Invitation only, RSVP required.

• IMDboat Party. Sponsored by Atom Tickets. Kevin Smith hosts the executive-heavy, invitation-only party. Fifth Avenue landing, behind the Convention Center. 7:30-10:30 p.m. RSVP required.

• IGN party. Sponsored by Amazon Studios’ Jack Ryan. 8 p.m., Andaz Rooftop, 600 F St. Invitation only, RSVP required.

SATURDAY, JULY 21

• TruTV’s Impractical Jokers block party. Third annual event will feature the Tenderloins overseeing a day of special appearances, a zipline 3D photo experience, White Castle food truck, DJ and more. 1-9 p.m., the Park at Petco Park. Open to the public, first-come, first-served.

• Bill Prady’s annual League of Extraordinary Nerds party. 3-7 p.m., Pool Club at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel. RSVP required.

• NBC party. Time, attendees being kept under wraps. Gaslamp Square. Invitation only. 

• 20th Century Fox TV, FX and Fox cocktail reception. 7 p.m., Craft + Commerce, 675 Beech St. Invitation only, RSVP required.

• Entertainment Weekly‘s annual star-studded closing night celebration. 9 p.m., Float at the Hard Rock Hotel, 207 Fifth Ave. Invitation only, RSVP required.

ACTIVATIONS

Castle Rock activation | Tour the town of Castle Rock’s bed and breakfast and explore its vast forest, with surprises around every corner. Visitors will question what’s real and begin to understand why Castle Rock is called the unluckiest town on earth as they journey through the multi-room experience. A Hulu campsite lounge will also serve as a refuge from the chaos of Comic-Con while also offering a preview of the Hulu series. Intersection of Front Street and Island Avenue, Thursday-Sunday.

Cloak and Dagger activation | Freeform and Marvel bring “The Experience” to Petco Park with two different interactive events. Features a re-created moment between characters Tyrone and Tandy when their powers interact in which a bungee will propel fans backwards and a slow-motion recording will capture the moment. Thursday through Sunday at Petco Park starting at 10 a.m. daily.

FXhibition | Cable network FX sets up camp again on the lawn of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront for its annual activation featuring installations from shows including Legion, American Horror Story, Mayans MC and Archer. Includes the Legion Chamber and AHS “Eccentricities Gallery, Mayans deconstructed bike zone, Archer sound boxes and more. Register in advance at FXSDCC.com. noon-6 p.m., Thursday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sunday.

Jack Ryan Training Field | Experience the world of Amazon’s forthcoming drama with a VR experience at the park at the corner of First Street and Martin Luther King Promenade, across the street from the convention center. The 30-foot-tall facility uses Optitrack 4D and Oculus Rift tech to create experiences ranging from rappelling from a helicopter and ziplining. 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Thursday-Saturday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday.

Mr. Mercedes Immersive Experience | Be the first to play the VR escape room game Mr. Mercedes: Lair Escape on the HTC Vive Pro, the next generation of VR headsets. Play Mr. Mercedes: Finders Keepers, the augmented reality adventure game to collect clues to unlock never-before-seen content and special prizes. 643 G St., Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Pre-registration details: att.com/MrMercedesSDCC.

The Purge‘s Purge City store | The immersive experience transport shoppers into the world of USA Network’s The Purge with a tongue-in-cheek, one-stop shop for the perfect Purge Night where “Purge City” staff will help visitors stock up on emergency candles, masks and energy drinks. Shoppers can also take part in product demos, photo ops and get a glimpse of the TV series based on the Jason Blum feature of the same name. Free. 215 Tony Gwynn Drive, Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Walking Dead‘s “Dead Quarters” | The activation returns for its second year as the immersive experience features a curated walk through settings (the Sanctuary) on both the flagship drama and spinoff Fear the Walking Dead. Plus a 22-foot zombie slide, photos with Negan’s “flaming Lucille” and other activities. Martin Luther King Promenade in front of the Hilton Gaslamp Hotel at Fourth Avenue and L Street. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Thursday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday.

Want to be included in this guide? Send submissions to Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com.



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