LeakyCon, one of the biggest Harry Potter conventions in the U.S., is turning the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center into a temporary Hogwarts Castle from Aug 9-11. The question is: Are you a big enough fan of all things Potter to warrant buying a ticket? Let’s find out by going over a short checklist.
Are your co-workers barricading their cubicles to prevent hearing your theories about Hermione and Ron’s love life? Has your homeowners association filed a formal complaint about the Severus Snape memorial on your lawn? Is your couples counselor openly agreeing with your husband that the Hagrid and Buckbeak fan fiction you post online is disturbingly graphic?
If you said yes to any of the above, first please contact us so we can interview you for a story, then definitely get in line for what will surely be a weekend of magical fun. (Sorry, that was awful.) But even if you said no, there’s plenty for casual fans of Harry Potter movies — and possibly the books too if you’re one of those intellectual types — to do at LeakyCon 2019.
Draco Malfoy Live in the Flesh
Draco Malfoy, otherwise known as actor Tom Felton, will be in attendance to sign autographs and take pictures with people anxious to meet the movie villain. His character may be full of hate and upper-crust snobbery, but Felton’s reputation for being gracious and thankful for his fans ensures this should be a great experience for anyone able to catch a moment with him. But who knows, if you pay him enough money, he’ll probably agree to call you a Muggle, or order one of his buddies to attack you if that’s your fantasy. To be clear, nowhere on the website does it say Felton will call you a Muggle for money, but some things are both unspoken and true. At strips clubs they have posted rules, but if you pay a dancer enough money — she will call you a Muggle.
People in Harry Potter Movies not Named Draco Malfoy
There will be multiple opportunities to catch Felton, but he won’t be the only person traveling from across the pond to say "cheerio." Like any convention, appearances are always subject to change, but fans can expect to see actress Scarlett Byrne, who portrayed (Slytherin) Pansy Parkinson, and many more. Practically everyone in the U.K. starred in these movies except for Tim Roth, who thought choosing Planet of the Apes over playing Severus Snape was the better bet, so if you hear anyone with a British accent — make them sign your Snitch.
Arts and Crafts
For those Potter devotees who always carry a hot glue gun in their back pocket, the organizers at LeakyCon have set up craft stations with new things to make each day of the convention. The schedule breaks down as follows:
Design your own tie to show off which House you belong to. It’s like when you were in the second grade and made one for your dad, but in this scenario you will wear it proudly, unlike your dad, who took it off the moment he got into the car to go to work.
Design your own Bowtruckle to carry around as your own personal Pickett. That sentence will probably never be written again. That sentence also had to be researched thoroughly to understand exactly what it was until we remembered Fantastic Beasts was a movie and then shrugged until our arms dislocated.
Two craft projects are available to try your hand at. Attendees can make a bookmark to show off their house pride and also create a mandrake. (Minus the screaming.) (Mandrakes scream.) Mandrakes are horror factories.
Everyone attending should be prepared to rock out with your wands out, because a large group of wizard rock bands will be performing what fans refer to as — what else — wizard rock, or rock music inspired by the world and stories of Harry Potter. Each night will be capped off by performances from such bands as Harry and the Potters, Draco and the Malfoys and probably Imagine Dragons, because they seem to be everywhere and wanted nowhere. The concerts have been a highlight of each LeakyCon, so don’t be tempted to take off early and miss a fun show.
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Fans of the popular broomstick-riding game Quidditch are in luck, as the game that mixes soccer and basketball and holding a broom between your legs will make its return to LeakyCon this year. There’s room here to go into more detail about the beaters who defend their side by throwing bludgers, but basically if you don’t know the game, each team runs back and forth on the playing field or court attempting to score as many points as possible by throwing balls into hoops suspended from the floor. Watch two minutes of any video and you’ll get it, which is more than can be said for cricket, a game that possibly even the players involved don’t understand. It’s not confirmed yet, but plan on quidditch taking place inside, as Dallas weather might not be ideal for Harry Potter fans to be running around outdoors. The last thing Dallas needs is the headline, “Dallas Hufflepuffs Pass Out From Heatstroke.”
Shop all Things in the Marketplace
It wouldn’t be a proper convention without an area to spend your hard-earned cash, and LeakyCon won’t fail to deliver. A marketplace, which does not seem to be called Diagon Alley in a huge missed opportunity, will have booths with various offerings. The promoters promise that the marketplace will have everything from officially licensed merchandise to artwork for sale from talented fans, so whether you find an official holographic Hufflepuff phone case, or a one-of-a-kind oil painting, you can be the envy of everyone in your coven.
The shopping is actually a large draw, because for many, a trip to Universal Studio’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter might be too extravagant, so this will be the best opportunity to buy wizard robes that look like they could pass as a movie prop, and less like a Target bathrobe that was dyed black.
A large part of LeakyCon is the exchange of thoughts from attendees about their shared love of the fictional wizarding world, and the many workshops and panels provide an outlet for people to discuss different topics in depth. Whether it’s talking about the finer points of fan-fiction to a deeper dive on popular theories about the books and movies, there are enough panels and discussion sessions to interest everyone. It’s recommended to plan out backups in case your first workshop is full, so look over the schedule and try to plan accordingly. Or, have a Time-Turner handy so you can be in two places at once. Barnes and Noble sells one for $50, because at this point, they’ll sell anything but books.