Free Things To Do at RuPaul’s DragCon NYC 2019

If you’re a RuPaul’s Drag Race fan on a budget, you’re not alone. Don’t worry, there are plenty of activities, events, and panels at this year’s RuPaul’s DragCon that only cost the price of admission. From the Kids Zone to the “Cosplay For Your Life” competition, here are some free things to do at RuPaul’s DragCon NYC.

RuPaul's DragCon LA 2019
Yvie Oddly attends RuPaul’s DragCon | Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images

How much does it cost to attend RuPaul’s DragCon in New York City?

Unfortunately, just to get into the convention fans costs fans a little bit of money. The least expensive ticket, a single-day pass, costs $40 plus fees. For superfans of RuPaul’s Drag Race, attendees can purchase a VIP ticket, which includes admission to Friday’s convention and 10% off of merch from the World of Wonder booth. VIP tickets do cost $300 plus fees, but to some fans, the perks are definitely worth it.

“It’s difficult to organize and communicate with a team of people who are brand new, don’t know the queen, and haven’t formulated a line strategy prior to the doors opening. In my opinion, if you see regular ‘staff’ shirts, it’s gonna be a nightmare even if you’re first,” said one Twitter user. “Buy VIP for the guarantee of getting in early, but just be aware it’s not a ‘solve-all’ for the stresses and issues that are part and parcel of every DragCon.”

There is some good news for parents and older siblings — children are admitted to RuPaul’s DragCon for free. Additionally, there are plenty of free activities and events for them to enjoy. That includes a “Story Hour,” hosted by drag queens and a Kids Zone.

There are a few free activities attendees can enjoy at RuPaul’s DragCon, including ‘Cosplay for Your Life’

If you’ve ever wanted to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race, this might be your next best chance. This year, DragCon will host a “Cosplay for Your Life” competition. Attendees are invited to strut their stuff for a chance to win a $2,500 grand prize.

Contestants can either register online or on the day of the convention. Unlike Drag Race’s charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent, the criteria for this competition include construction, materials, design, and originality. Finalists are crowned on the DragCon Main Stage at 4:45 PM on Saturday, September 7, 2019. There are plenty of other events and activities scattered throughout the day that allow for fan participation.

Attending panels is free at RuPaul’s DragCon — kind of

If you’re not into cosplay and dressing up, there are plenty of panels for attendees to enjoy. That includes a live filming of Trixie Mattel and Katya’s YouTube series, UNHhhh, a Sunday service, and RuPaul talking to Whoopi Goldberg. The panels on Friday, however, are only available to those who purchase tickets to all three days of the convention.

For those who want to meet former Drag Race contestants, a few drag artists only ask attendees to purchase some of their merchandise to meet them. Some don’t charge a fee at all.

RuPaul’s DragCon takes place at the Javits Center in New York City from Sept. 6 through Sept. 8, 2019.