Leakycon Boston: A Magical Harry Potter Convention
Alexis Rapoza, Asst. Opinions Editor
When most people think of fan conventions they think of Comic Con. Since its inaugural convention in 1970, Comic Con has grown massively; its San Diego convention boasting an attendance of over 135,000 attendees just this year. Because of Comic Con’s incredible success smaller conventions have developed to target franchises with huge fanbases. Of these smaller conventions Leakycon is one of the most popular and well attended.
Leakycon is a three-day extravaganza dedicated to J.K. Rowling's wizarding franchises, hosted twice a year, in some of the biggest cities across the United States. This year Leakycon returned to Boston and Dallas to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Produced by Mischief Management, a company that hosts a wide variety of fan conventions including BroadwayCon and Con of Thrones, Leakycon is no small affair. Although Leakycon is technically not affiliated with J.K. Rowling or Warner Bros, both events hosted popular Wizarding World actors such as, Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy, and Dan Folger, who plays Jacob Kowalski in the Fantastic Beasts films.
My initial impression of Leakycon Boston was that many Harry Potter fans take the phrase “go big or go home” literally. Within the first five minutes of the convention, I ran into an Albus Dumbledore lookalike and three different Luna Lovegoods. I found myself wishing I had lugged my Gryffindor robes all the way to Boston, but lucky for me there was an entire marketplace of vendors selling all the Harry Potter merchandise I could hope for. Over twenty vendors were set up in the marketplace selling everything from Alex and Ani jewelry to hand-made magic wands. I had the pleasure of watching a wizard named Ed Bareiss, owner of Connecticut based Orchard Works, present a young convention goer with a one-of-a-kind magic wand. It was a scene right out of the Harry Potter films.
While Leakycon is marketed as an event for witches, wizards, and muggles of all ages it was abundantly clear that the majority of attendees were old enough to have graduated from Hogwarts already. Beer was sold on the convention floor as well as at Leakycon’s Saturday night “Esther Earl Ball” which went well past it’s scheduled end time of 11:30 pm. The convention also featured three full days of panels and meetups featuring Mischief Management staff and Wizarding World actors. The panels took deep dives into the Wizarding World discussing things like rape culture in the Wizarding World, minority representation in the series and questioning logistics like how Hagrid the half-giant used the toilet.
Leakycon also hosted performances by two of the most popular Wizard Rock bands “Tonks and the Aurors” and “Harry and The Potters” both of which I unfortunately missed. Leakycon Boston was a jam packed Potter filled weekend and I often struggled to decide which panels or shows I wanted to attend. Although Leakycon was significantly smaller than conventions like Comic Con, it targets a large audience of fans who might feel underrepresented at other conventions. Harry Potter has been around for over twenty years but its legacy lives on and events like Leakycon will only continue to solidify the impact Harry Potter has had on this generation and generations to come.