If you’ve come out to San Diego Comic-Con to see the movie and TV stars, then I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed this year. The writers’ and actors’ strikes mean that the biggest Hollywood guests are skipping Comic-Con for the first time in over two decades. And that means the infamous Hall H will largely be vacant this year. That said, there are a few Hall H panels, and it’s always useful to know what you’re in for.
The first thing you need to know is that Hall H is simply another hall on the San Diego Convention Center floor, at least most of the time. During other conventions, it’s just another place for foot traffic. But in 2003, Comic-Con officials realized that there just wasn’t enough space to host the biggest events of the con. Thus, in 2004, Hall H became the de facto largest panel room at Comic-Con. It can hold 6,500 people, and that still wasn’t enough to meet the demand of fans who wanted to see the biggest previews and the top Hollywood stars.
Most of the iconic Comic-Con moments of the last twenty years happened in Hall H, from the first appearance of The Avengers cast to Andrew Garfield’s appearance in a Spider-Man costume. And when we say it is the hottest room at the convention, we’re not exaggerating. At full capacity, Hall H can be quite hellish, and it pushes the AC to its limits. When the AC goes down, it’s absolutely unbearable in there. And here’s the thing: People will often camp outside of Hall H just to see a single panel that they want to be there for. That’s why it’s so difficult to get in during the day since the vast majority of the die-hard fans waited overnight.
Given the greatly reduced Hall H schedule this year, it’s unlikely to be the same draw at this year’s con and you may have better luck with the lines. Comic-Con has also openly discouraged fans from camping out in line by bringing back first-seating wristbands. These first-seating wristbands are distributed at the beginning of the line on the night before an event. For example, people who want to attend a Hall H event on Friday, July 21 would have to be in line Thursday night when the wristbands are given out.
The wristbands are color-coded, and each color will determine your placement inside Hall H. Once you have a wristband, you don’t have to wait all night for the show. You can crash at your home or your hotel, just be sure to be back in line by 7:30 a.m. the following day. If you really want to stand around all night, you can. However, Comic-Con’s rules clearly state that “tents, canopies, inflatables, cots, beds, furniture, over-sized coolers, space heaters, large fans, large umbrellas, chaise lounges, open flames, or anything of a similar nature” are not allowed. This isn’t Burning Man, people.
And that’s the scoop on Hall H. Save this space for next year when the stars will hopefully return to shine on Comic-Con’s most glorious stage.
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