If you’re a political junkie as well as pop-culture fan, Politicon, a two-day event hosted at the Los Angeles Convention Center, couldn’t be sweeter if it were covered in chocolate and dipped in caramel.
Dubbed the “Comic-Con of politics,” Politicon is all about the entertaining side of politics. More than 8,000 people have bought tickets to the inaugural event … and yes, its founder concedes he couldn’t have picked a better year to launch it if he tried.
“We bribed Donald Trump to run just to help Politicon out,” Simon Sidi, the man who came up with idea, told TheWrap. “And then we told Bernie Sanders to go on TV and say that he was a socialist.”
Here are some of the things “Scene and Heard” at Polticon as witnessed by TheWrap:
1. More than 60 panels and events will take place for anyone willing to shell out $25 for the first day or $30 for the second day.
There are movie screenings and panels along with some stars such as “Veep’s” Tony Hale, conservative political commentator Ann Coulter, newly minted “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah; chief strategist for Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns David Axelrod; the hosts of “The Young Turks,” a popular online political show; and Edward Snowden, who’ll be interviewed from an undisclosed location on Saturday morning.
2. Anyone who arrives in full political cosplay gets in for free. No, Seriously. And just in case you don’t believe us we have proof:
3. Those with a penchant for soap boxes can enjoy the “One Minute Speak Out,” a “space” where people can just talk about whatever’s on their minds. The sign next to the stage reminds people that one minute is comprised of exactly 60 seconds. You know… in case people forget.
4. You may want to check out the art exhibit… where you can sit on a black bench by famed street artist Sabo, dubbed the right wing’s answer to Banksy. The bench reads: “Black lives are just matter… Planned Parenthood: We’ve killed more blacks than the Klan.”
On the other side of the wall there’s an image of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz shirtless, buff and tattooed, with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Next to it, an anti-Hillary Clinton poster that depicts the Democratic presidential frontrunner sporting an Elizabethan gown and a crown, and the words “The Royals” — the E! television show — are scrawled across her front.
For the more left-leaning political junkies, an exhibit by street artist Shepard Fairey, who became widely known during the 2008 presidential election for his Barack Obama “Hope” poster. His exhibit includes an image of an eerily similar Obama poster but instead of POTUS, It’s former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s with a caption that reads, “Newtwit.”
5. Democracy Village is where all the booths are. There are a couple of funny ones, including a photo booth where people can take a picture in front of a podium stacked with microphones. There are also political card decks for sale ($10 a pop). And in case you were wondering … the Joker is soon-to-be-former Speaker of the House John Boehner.
6. If you’re a political junkie with a funny bone, you may want to check out “Politicomics,” where the rising stars of stand-up political comedy perform live and compete for the title of “Politicomic 2015!”
7. Not only is heckling allowed… it’s encouraged. Organizers tell TheWrap they want open discussion between people with different political views. Just ask conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt who was heckled while broadcasting his show.