Mischief Managed: LeakyCon 2018 Review And Photos

I can’t imagine that the Ministry of Magic is too pleased with the large number of wizards recently parading around downtown Dallas in front of muggles. This past weekend DFW hosted LeakyCon 2018, an annual Harry Potter themed convention. Those lucky enough to find tickets to the sold out event were treated to fan-led discussion panels, autograph/photograph sessions with actors from the movies, wizard rock bands, and much more!

“When all these people get together and celebrate this one thing we all care about, it turns out to be a very special experience for everyone.”Scarlett Byrne 

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from LeakyCon. While I am a huge Potter fan, it was my first experience with this particular Con. I wandered into the Dallas Convention Center only to accidentally find myself obliviously circling around the Fire-Rescue Expo that happened to be scheduled in the opposite half of the facility. After quite a bit of confusion (and obtaining a nice Fire-Rescue goody bag) I was able to tail a couple of individuals in Harry Potter shirts. Tucked away in the far corner of the Dallas Convention Center stood the entrance to LeakyCon. This was quite a change from many similar conventions that encompass the entire premises, so I was a bit leery. However, it did not take long to realize that LeakyCon far surpassed my expectations.

I would venture to say that over half of the attendees were donning some sort of Harry Potter themed cosplay. Giant LeakyCon banners hung from the hallway walls. “House Point” containers were gaining colored marbles as people from various Hogwarts houses donated money to charity in exchange for points. There was even an hour-long wait at a drink kiosk selling Butterbeer! If the outside was this awesome, what could possible be waiting inside?

Vendors of every assortment pertaining to Harry Potter were lined up in the main exhibit room. Shirts, robes, hats, potion bottles, and much more lined the walkways. One of the best parts about the experience was that although there were huge crowds present, it never felt overbearing. Not once did I find myself fighting against a flood of attendees while trying to make my way through a narrow walkway. For those who have been to similar conventions, you know just how rare of an occurrence this truly is.

There was an area in the back where fans could learn how to play quidditch and even engage in an actually game. Fans that could not make a particular panel were treated to live recordings and reruns of previous discussions. At all times throughout the day there were numerous rooms devoted to discussing different aspects of the books and movies. It was a Potter fan’s dream come true.

LeakyCon went to such extravagant lengths that they also recreated Common Rooms for each of Hogwarts’s houses. Each room was detailed to fit the physical descriptions from the books and also characteristics of those typically sorted into the particular house. The Gryffindor room was bright with a fireplace, swords, and quidditch toss. In contrast, the Slytherin room was dimly lit and had games like Risk. The Hufflepuff’s had different types of plants around the room and Hungry Hungry Hippos. Ravenclaw’s had games like Operation and Jenga. It was awesome to see how much thought had gone into creating the rooms. A friendly drawing battle of insults may have erupted between the Gryffindor’s and Slytherin’s, but could we honestly expect anything different?

The atmosphere was almost incomparable. Trading items erupted in popularity this year. Ribbons, charms, pins, potions, and Legos were among a few of the items that you could find being exchanged. People everywhere were striking up conversations about their favorite characters or movies. Devon Murray, who plays Seamus in the movies, was casually strolling throughout the convention and enjoying it with his family without being harassed or mobbed by fans. It was an exceptionally pleasant break from the reality that can normally be found outside the confines of the convention walls. Harry Potter actress Scarlett Byrne put it best when she told me, “It has just turned into such a family over the years… Everyone from the fans, to the people who volunteer, to the people who work here are so passionate. It is really wonderful being in a place where everyone really cares about this one thing, Harry Potter, and everyone gets to connect.”

Sadly, the Slythins did not win the House Cup and LeakyCon has now disapparated until next year. While those post-Con blues may be setting in, there is a glimmer of hope for DFW. Dallas has been selected to host LeakyCon again in 2019. Tickets are already available for the event and are sure to go fast. You can purchase tickets and find out more at their website by clicking here. Until then, you can put away your Pensieve and enjoy a few of our favorite moments from LeakyCon 2018.