Through a collaboration with national entertainment chain Pop Up Party Tours, The Blue Note transformed its performance hall into a Harry Potter-themed dance floor called Wizardfest on Sept. 22. For the price of admission, local fans were granted access to everything from custom wands to Potter-inspired drinks.
DJ Just Vince, the official Wizardfest host and a self-proclaimed “Potter nerd,” emphasized the event’s goal to blend a celebration of the series with a more traditional night out. Throughout the party, strobe lights and top-50 hits shared the space with Hogwarts house banners and the films’ iconic score, “Hedwig’s Theme.”
In between music breaks, attendees took part in a game of trivia (featuring team names like “Snapes on a Plane” and “The CoMo Marauders”), a costume contest (the winner of which created an intricate Luna Lovegood cosplay) and multiple rounds of “Quidditch Pong.” Fans who placed in the competitions went home with goodie bags of cash prizes and, according to Vince, “exclusive Harry Potter socks.”
While the event was primarily marketed towards college students, Wizardfest employee Dan Amaro’s favorite memories of shows thus far are associated with people from all walks of life.
“[My favorite thing is] definitely making families and everyone who’s coming happy,” he said. “A couple told us that they were spending their wedding anniversary with us tonight, and last weekend, we had a grandma come in with all of her family members dressed as certain characters for the costume contest.”
Columbia was the fourth stop of the 2018 Wizardfest Tour, which will bring its magic to 39 cities across the country this fall. Although the basic amenities of each show are the same, the breadth of venues has allowed the Pop Up Party team to create a unique experience for each crowd that they meet.
“This is the best show we’ve played so far,” Amano noted. “We hit 165 in presale tickets and wand sales, so we knew that it was gonna be big. None of the places that we play are really the same, so part of the fun of it is bringing our gear and then switching it up and seeing how people are going to play off of the theme.”
And what would Amaro say to fans who are on the fence about checking out Wizardfest?
“Just come to dance and be with people who like the same things you do, and let loose,” he said. “We’ve got something for everyone.”
Edited by Siena DeBolt | firstname.lastname@example.org