Recreating Hogwarts

Published: December 6, 2014
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The tickets, priced at 280 Euros, were sold out in two days. PHOTO: FILE

The tickets, priced at 280 Euros, were sold out in two days. PHOTO: FILE

Fans of the immensely popular seven-book fantasy series Harry Potter came together at a Polish castle, Czocha in a four-day event to celebrate all things Harry Potter, reported USA Today.

The College of Wizardry was a four-day event, which was basically a live-action role play (LARP) organised by volunteers, where players assumed the role of students, whereas the veteran Nordic LARP-ers played the role of the staff and faculty of the school of witchcraft and wizardry, Hogwarts, stated The Telegraph.

The Polish LARP organization known as Liveform had long expressed an interest in running a roleplaying game centering on the Harry Potter series at the Czocha castle but was unfortunately lacking in funding. They eventually joined hands with Rollespilfabrikken to make the event a possibility but neither of them had predicted that the event would achieve the sort of success that it eventually did.

“We got swamped by sign-ups and in two days the event was sold out. None of us had seen that coming. And here we are now with quite a bit of global interest for something that is in essence just a small, fan-made event,” says Claus Raasted of Rollespilsfabrikken.

According to the website for Fox News, the “collaborative experience” would provide fans of the film and book series with an opportunity to attend classes in one of the following disciplines: Defense against the Dark Arts, training as healers, working with magical creatures as a magizoologist or studying the unspeakables.

The participation fee for the four-day long event was around 280 Euros,  which included student housing, meals, wardrobe — robes and house ties, and books that were part of their syllabus.

The organisers decided to create their own College of Wizardry rather than recreate the iconic school of witchcraft and wizardry created by JK Rowling in the Harry Potter series.

“We took the blank space in the fiction and built on it, inventing a fake Polish college. Once the descriptions, vision, cost and everything were complete, we put it on Facebook and thought it would take half a year to get participants,” Raasted told USA Today.

Not only did they fill the quota for the participants within the next two days, they also had a waiting list.

The next edition of the event by the College of Wizardry will take place between April 16 and 19 in 2015, followed by a sequel to the current event which will take place from April 9 to April 12.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 7th, 2014.

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