Dust off your robes, grab your wand and get ready to drink Butterbeer and mingle with witches, wizards and magical creatures at PotterCon on Sunday June 11th at The Paramount. PotterCon producer Margaret Kaminski gave LIB the inside scoop to this Harry Potter inspired festival.
LIB: Who came up with the concept for PotterCon and how does it different from other fan festivals?
Kaminski: I (Margaret) thought up PotterCon a few years ago, after looking at a pile of robes, wands, and other Harry Potter paraphernalia that I was worried I may never get to use again. I really wanted to go to a casual, Harry Potter-themed party for like-minded, kind of nerdy adults—but the harder I looked, the more I realized it didn’t exist. So I got together with some friends and threw that party myself. And now, almost five years later, it’s my full time job, which I think is pretty magical.
PotterCon is definitely different from other fan festivals because we really are a celebration for fans, by fans. JK Rowling created an incredible, unique world—but we really believe that it’s the fans that made it something magical. Everything at PotterCon is interactive, so you really get to see and celebrate the magic that’s all around you in your own community.
LIB: Why is PotterCon 21+, not all ages?
Kaminski: PotterCon has always been a celebration of the fans, and especially of the fans that grew up with Harry. All of the organizers of PotterCon are of the Harry Potter Generation—meaning, we stayed up all night on our 11th birthdays waiting for an owl to deliver our Hogwarts letters, we stumbled through our first romantic relationships while Ron was snogging Lavender Brown, and we graduated high school right while Harry was sacrificing himself to defeat the Dark Lord. You know, all the same stuff.
PotterCon isn’t just a celebration of a series that meant to a lot to us when we were kids—it’s a celebration of a series that still means a lot to us now as adults. We’ve grown up, and so have our parties. If we’re going to be debating microscopic plot holes and reviewing over a decade’s worth of memories, we may as well have a stiff magical drink in hand.
LIB: What is the secret to good Butterbeer? Will the Butterbeer be alcoholic or non alcoholic?
Kaminski: We toyed around with a lot of different drink formulas before we concocted our version of Butterbeer, which is sweet, a little fizzy, a little creamy, and definitely alcoholic. We have a non-alcoholic version as well, but I wouldn’t underestimate the power of a little dash of butterscotch schnapps. But I can’t give away too much of the recipe! We also will have a handful of other alcoholic and non-alcoholic themed drinks, so there should be a little something for everyone.
LIB: How do you feel shows like Faceoff and Cosplay Melee impact the costume contests at PotterCon?
Kaminski: The Costume Contest blows us away in every city. Every weekend we think “oh, no costume will ever top this one,” and then someone walks in with the most elaborate, insane cosplay we’ve ever seen. And it isn’t always the person with the most customized or expensive costume either—the crowd (aka our judges) really respond to creativity. So I don’t know if it’s the rising popularity of cosplay, the passion of the fans, or just something in the water—but we’ve definitely seen our costume contest entrants step up to the plate (and fly right past it on a Nimbus 2000).
LIB: What types of potions will attendees learn at PotterCon?
Kaminski: We can’t give away too many of our secrets, but guests have several opportunities for guests to engage with the magical world, from potion brewing to the House Cup. Every PotterCon will be slightly different, because we are always trying to highlight local talent and what’s going on in your specific city.
For updated information about PotterCon and sneaks peeks at what’s to come, be sure to follow PotterCon USA on Facebook.