The ultimate guide to partying in San Diego during Comic-Con 2019.
Comic-Con is fast approaching, and the buzz for the 50th annual affair is already here. Though attendees have likely already mapped out their daily schedule of panels and exhibitions, where is one to go after the Convention Center doors close? From nerd karaoke to booze cruises to a Star Wars Cantina replica, here’s the ultimate party guide where fans can continue the fun when the lights go down.
Please note, as of publishing, parties that are invitation-only or sold out are noted.
Wednesday, July 17
Marvel Comics Trivia Night
Sunset Trivia invites locals and visitors alike to show off their knowledge of the MCU with a themed trivia night at American Junkie. Only one $16 ticket necessary per team, with a maximum of six players.
7 to 9 p.m., American Junkie, 628 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, americanjunkiesd.com
San Diego Throne of Jokes Contest
Looking for laughs? The Comedy Palace presents Throne of Jokes, its ongoing comedy contest that offers a show the Wednesday during the week of Comic-Con to kick off the festivities. Eight to 10 comics will perform six minute sets to win prizes, respect and the throne. The 18+ show is free cover with a two item minimum purchase. $10 VIP booths are also available.
8 to 11 p.m., The Comedy Palace, 8878 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Kearny Mesa, thecomedypalace.com
Ready Party One at Fluxx
Ready to play? Fluxx Nightclub transforms into The Oasis for Ready Party One. Dance the night away with the official Back to the Future band, The Flux Capacitors. And be on the lookout for Prospero and Calypso — rumor is the mercenaries may challenge guests for valuable items they have acquired. All players must be 21+ for this $35 event.
8 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Fluxx Nightclub, 500 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp, fluxxsd.com
Almost Famous Entertainment brings its ninth annual nerd karaoke to Sign of the Whale — a new downtown restaurant that opens its doors on Friday, July 12. Come by to sing nerdy songs to a supportive crowd. RSVP online to score $5 cocktails and $2 domestic drinks.
9 p.m., Sign of the Whale, 672 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, signofthewhaleca.com
Thursday, July 18
Pop Insider’s Fan Lounge and Rooftop Pop-Up Party
Get the party poppin’ at this free, four-day experience hosted by Pop Insider, who will take over Theatre Box for Comic-Con. Chill in the Chocolate Lounge with a charging station, photo booth and scavenger hunt, or head up to the rooftop for dancing, karaoke, drinking and cosplay. Plus, the YouTube series Cosplayers Getting Coffee will record an episode every day of the convention, giving spectators a chance to become the characters.
Noon to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday
Theatre Box, Chocolate Lounge and Rooftop Bar & Lounge, 701 Fifth Ave., downtown, thepopinsider.com
The Reddit group r/comiccon unites offline at Trailer Park After Dark for its third annual Unofficial Subreddit Party. Though RSVPs are now closed, the community event is open to the public — so get there early for a spot in the trailer.
7 p.m., Trailer Park After Dark, 835 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, trailerparkafterdark.com
Bondon by Con feat. Exodus
Pair metal with comics for the ultimate hardcore experience, coined Bonded by Con. The thrash metal band heads to House of Blues to rock out with Comic-Con folks. All ages, but anyone under 18 must bring along a guardian. General admission is $30 and all tickets are standing room only.
7 p.m., House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, houseofblues.com
Pop Insider’s Con Kick-Off Party (sold out)
This fandom-fueled evening features dancing, drinking, gaming and more. Retro games are provided by Coin-Op Gaslamp, with tunes supplied by DJ Staci. Tickets are $25 and include a two-hour open bar, free appetizers, unlimited gameplay, and contests and giveaways. Show up in cosplay for an extra ticket to the raffle to win an Arcade cabinet.
7 to 10 p.m., Coin-Op Gaslamp Game Room, 789 Sixth Ave., Gaslamp, coinopgaslamp.com
Stone Brewing once again returns its “celebration of Nth-degree beer geekery” for 21+ comic and brew lovers. $75 tickets include 15 three-ounce tasters touting themed names like Stone Stone Salty Gamer, Gargoyle Manor and more. Plus, snag a lithograph signed by comic artist Alan Davis for $20.
7 to 11 p.m., Stone Brewing World Bistro Gardens, 2816 Historic Decatur Rd., Ste. 116, Liberty Station, stonebrewing.com
Til All Are One: Vince DeCola at Brick By Brick
Til All Are One has more than just one thing to offer. DeCola — composer of Transformers: The Movie and Rocky IV — will bring his sound, as well as some of his industry friends, to Brick by Brick. Guests include Transformers artist Livio Ramondelli and writer Ron Friendman, among others. The 21+ show also features sets from Super Madnes and Cage. Tickets are $25 in advance and $28 day-of.
8 p.m., Brick By Brick, 1130 Buenos Ave., Morena District, brickbybrick.com
CBLDF Comic-Con Welcome Party
Nonprofit Comic Book Legal Defense Fund hosts a “British Invasion” welcome party, featuring comic talent from the UK and a “British Invasion” fragrance from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, allowing guests to freshen up after a long day in the crowds. Snag a gift bag with The Stone King posters, preview the CBLDF art-centric auction, and meet and mingle with creators. $20 donation requested for this free speech fundraiser.
8 to 11 p.m., The Westgate Hotel, 1055 Second Ave., downtown, cbldfparty2019.eventbrite.com
A Stranger Party at Fluxx (sold out)
Go into the Upside Down… nightclub style. Fluxx Nightclub and Nerdist host The Upside Down: A Stranger Party filled with ‘80s nostalgia. Dress in vintage, neon-colored garb so all dance moves match the retro tunes. Plus, fangirl (or boy) at the Rio Vista Universal VIP area and Nerdist booth, where a few celebs will be hanging and soaking in the stranger vibes.
8 p.m. to 2 a.m., Fluxx Nightclub, 500 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp, fluxxsd.com
Comic-Con Thursday with Kristian Nairn
Missing Game of Thrones? The former GOT actor Kristian Nairn (who played the role of Hodor) is a longtime veteran on the DJ and electric music scene, and is ready to party with fans when he hits the stage at OMNIA. Get there early for no cover and to skip the lines outside the 21+ venue.
9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., OMNIA, 454 Sixth Ave., Gaslamp, omniaclubs.com/san-diego
Poppy Live Concert (sold out)
YouTube star Poppy performs at this free show during Comic-Con to celebrate the release of her first graphic novel, Genesis 1. Concert is free to the first 400 who register.
7 to 9 p.m., Quartyard, 1301 Market St., East Village, eventbrite.com
Friday, July 19
Comic-Con Themed Bar Crawl
Explore beyond the Comic-Con grounds with a themed bar crawl that takes visitors throughout the bars and clubs of downtown. From heroes to villains, all are welcome — as long as they’re 21. Wristband perks include free cover to all locations and drink discounts, with one on the house. Tickets are $25-$30 and available for both Friday and Saturday.
7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., various locations
Awesome Mixer Vol. 2
Take a trip to the galaxy with Fluxx Nightclub and Nerdist during the Awesome Mixer Vol. 2. Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Dan Fogler and more celeb guests will hit the stage for the Guardians of the Galaxy-themed affair. Tickets start at $35.
8 p.m. to 2 a.m., Fluxx Nightclub, 500 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp, fluxxsd.com
March and Ash presents Chronic Con
One of San Diego’s finest dispensaries hosts this smokin’ party, with prizes, deals, music and an appearance by Wilfred star Jason Gann. RSVP to the party and a chance to win tickets to the Con.
9 p.m. at The Smoking Gun, 555 Market St., Gaslamp, marchandash.com/es/chronic-con
Marvel versus DC Booze Cruise
Aquamen or Namor? Chere Amie Yacht invites both Marvel and DC comic fans for a ride on the water, featuring some serious San Diego views. Start off the night with a complimentary Marvel and DC-themed shot, then sip on comic-inspired cocktails available for purchase while lounging or dancing the night away. (Missed the boat? Another yacht party is scheduled for Saturday, same time and place.)
10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Chere Amie Yacht, 1901 N. Harbor Dr., downtown, cruisesdbay.com
Rick and Morty-themed SD Union
United by Bass unites fans with an entertainment-filled, Rick and Morty-themed evening at Spin Nightclub. The packed lineup includes Mob Tactics, Ben Soundscape, Collette Warren, Legit Lives, Dirty Feathers and more. An upstairs area hosted by Circuit System doubles the fun, with a lineup TBA. Dancing dressed up in character is encouraged.
10 p.m. to 3 a.m., Spin Nightclub, 2028 Hancock St., Old Town, spinnightclub.com
A Batsh!t Crazy Bash Celebrating the CW’s Batwoman (invitation only)
Buzzfeed hosts this swanky party to celebrate the CW’s Batwoman, scheduled to premiere this fall, featuring music, cocktails and bites.
5 p.m., Altitude Sky Lounge, 660 K St., downtown
IMDboat Party hosted by Kevin Smith (invitation only)
IMDB, the online movie juggernaut, once again hosts an exclusive party aboard the IMDboat, hosted by Comic-Con mainstay, Kevin Smith.
7:30 to 11:30 p.m., 600 Convention Way, downtown
Saturday, July 20
The Crossrip 2
No need to call anyone to get into this free party. Two Ghostbuster fan groups will mingle and enjoy karaoke, dancing, giveaways, and food and drink specials for the sixth annual celebration of the franchise. This is a party nerds won’t want to ghost.
6 p.m., Werewolf, 627 Fourth Ave., downtown, thewerewolf.net
NOC x WinC at Hilton Bayfront
The Nerds of Color and Women in Comics Collective will stay cool at The Pool Club for its NOC x WinC event. Celebrate diversity in the industry, mingle with talented folk and maybe take a dip in the pool. No tickets necessary.
6-8 p.m., The Pool Club, Hilton Bayfront, 1 Park Blvd., womenincomicscollective.org
Star Wars: The Old Republic Cantina
Star Wars fans will find their community at the cantina, where they can enjoy free drinks, giveaways, exclusive swag and much more around like-minded individuals. Open to everyone, but space is limited and on a first come, first served basis. Make sure to RSVP in advance online.
7 to 10 p.m., The Westin San Diego, 910 Broadway Circle, Gaslamp, swtorsdcc.splashthat.com
Display Geek HQ After Party (sold out)
Get ready to talk all things Comic-Con, Funko and geek. Display Geek — a company that sells products to display and protect fans beloved Funko Pops collectibles — invites fellow nerds to celebrate its one-year anniversary with live music, food trucks and draft beers. The company’s neighbor, Mike Hess Brewing, will also join in with special games and raffles.
7 to 10 p.m., Display Geek HQ, 7965 Silverton Ave., Miramar, displaygeek.com
Digital LA Comic Cocktails
Sip a cocktail with new and old friends at a social event hosted by Digital LA, an entertainment networking group based in Los Angeles. Complimentary food and beverages will pair with the conversation. Venue location will be emailed to registered guests before the event.
8 to 10 p.m., location TBA, digitalla.net
KWF’s Night at The Warp Core Cafe
Kevin Workman Foundation has teamed up with Buddha Music Group to present The Warp Core Cafe, a fundraiser featuring performances from Kiysohi Music, DTO and Krista Richards. $20 admission with a $50 MultiPass available.
8 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Kava Lounge, 2812 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy, kevinworkmanfoundation.org
Entertainment Weekly’s annual San Diego Comic-Con party (invitation only)
Always one of Comic-Con’s most coveted invites, Entertainment Weekly returns to host its annual party that draws celebrities, insiders and more.
9 p.m., Float at the Hard Rock Hotel, 207 Fifth Ave., downtown
Sunday, July 21
To close out its four-day Theatre Box takeover, The Pop Insider concludes with a public Harry Potter celebration. Fans can consume potion drinks and win giveaways in Potterhead costumes, as well as hear Fantastic Beasts actor Dan Fogler record an episode of his podcast 4dXperience.
3 to 6 p.m., Theatre Box, Rooftop Bar & Lounge, 701 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, thepopinsider.com
The San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog invites guests to get their Dawson’s Creek on with its fan meet-up, Pacey-Con. Named after the infamous character Pacey Witter, the free event offers themed trivia, coloring, prizes and more in a casual environment.
6 to 8 p.m., The Dubliner, 554 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp, sdccblog.com
Comic-Con Geek Trivia
Sunset Trivia gives guests another chance to show off their comic knowledge. This time, the themed trivia is comprehensive and covers everything from Star Wars to Steampunk to RPGs (role-playing video games). So gather up a team to getcha geek on one last time before heading back home.
6 to 8 p.m., The Rail, 3796 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest, thebrassrailsd.com