Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Enter the magical world of a Harry Potter fan event that sucked total goblin ass
Photo: NurPhoto (Getty Images)

Decades into an era of obsessive Harry Potter love, it shouldn’t be all that hard to come up with an event that entertains the book and film series’ fans. While a recent convention showed just how deep organizers can go into wizardly attractions, including panels offering in-depth textual analysis and Potter-based political theory, even a less-intense version of this sort of thing that provided say, a few purple drinks or a chance to be sorted into Hogwarts houses by a guy with a microphone hiding behind a curtain would do just fine, too.

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Somehow, despite just how easy it is to please swarms of people so desperate for any whiff of that Potter magic that they’ll pay close attention to those awful Fantastic Beasts movies or J.K. Rowling’s trivia about wizardly pants-shitting, a recent convention held in Montreal managed to disappointment on a truly magical scale.

Detailed in a recent Vice article, the event (ticket price: $50) took place at the city’s Rialto Theatre last Friday and provided such spell-binding attractions as “aluminum trays filled with store-bought cupcakes,” “Halloween store electric tea lights next to laptop,” and every Potter fan’s dream: A table strewn with chopsticks that they could cover in glitter and pretend were the world’s saddest little wands.

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As detailed by Castrodale, these delights were accompanied by signs written with marker on dry erase boards in order to help guide attendees to assortments of “lukewarm supermarket appetizers ... impaled on wooden toothpicks” and some “un-magical regular cocktails.”

Illustration for article titled Enter the magical world of a Harry Potter fan event that sucked total goblin ass
Screenshot: Sarah Chamaillard (Facebook)
Illustration for article titled Enter the magical world of a Harry Potter fan event that sucked total goblin ass
Screenshot: Sarah Chamaillard (Facebook)
Illustration for article titled Enter the magical world of a Harry Potter fan event that sucked total goblin ass
Screenshot: Sarah Chamaillard (Facebook)
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Put on by LOL Event Group, a company whose name seems rudely mocking in hindsight, the event has pissed off pretty much everyone who bought a ticket. According to Castrodale’s article and a whole lot of posts in the “Cheated By LOL Event Group” Facebook group, the organizers aren’t issuing refunds. In a deleted comment quoted by Castrodale, we do see that LOL has provided explanations for their failings like, “The event was intended to be a wizard theme” that gave fans “a fun magical experience” and not “a specific Harry Potter event.”

Illustration for article titled Enter the magical world of a Harry Potter fan event that sucked total goblin ass
Screenshot: Sarah Chamaillard (Facebook)
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Sure, those who went may point out that LOL advertised using imagery from the series and featured “decor that night [like] banners from all four Hogwarts houses, as well as a replica of Platform 9 3/4,” but, really, you can’t argue that paying $50 to eat partially-heated grocery store appetizers and play with glitter alongside people in colorful scarves isn’t “a fun magical experience” in its own right.

Read the rest of the piece for more information on the Hogwarts Express-wreck itself or to peruse some truly depressing photographs from the event.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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