LeakyCon casts a spell on Orlando
“Let’s geek out” is the tagline for LeakyCon — a magical fan conference that hit the Orange County Convention Center last week. The convention originated as a bookworm and film fanatic haven for Harry Potter enthusiasts, but has grown to encompass more than the wizarding world—hosting five conventions on two continents in the past six years. This writer was lucky enough to attend the third day of LeakCon’s tour in Orlando and saw firsthand how geeky geeks can be.
Spirited cosplay aside, Friday’s itinerary was festive and jam-packed with events, from potion lessons with Hannah Hart, a school reunion with Hogwarts alumni and an evening concert with Harry and the Potters. A series of discussions and games were held throughout the day; a few highlights of mine were Wizard Warz, a dueling tournament with interactive wands and A Downton Discussion, a fancy tea party for Downton Abbey fans to mingle and vent over plot twists.
LeakyCon took over three floors of the Convention Center’s West Concourse, with the busiest districts being the main stage and marketplace. A main stage event that morning was a live set by Not Literally—a performance group that creates parody songs and comedy sketches around fandoms. Band members, Ginny DiGuiseppi and Dana Ritterbusch sang a couple of their Potter-inspired numbers, including “Ravenclaw” and “Walk of Shame.” Another main stage program was a panel and Q&A with four stars of the paranormal TV series, Supernatural—which is approaching its tenth season.
The marketplace was the bustling hub of LeakyCon, with vendors bringing the tales of J.K. Rowling to life; attendees could purchase wizard supplies at the Hungarian Wand Shop or Hogwarts uniforms at the Golden Albatross. Toward the back of the marketplace, lines went on for miles to score autographs and pics with feature actors and artists. I was lucky enough to snag a photo with Dayeanne Hutton and James Brent Isaacs of Emma Approved—a YouTube series based on Jane Austen’s Emma. The lines were exceptionally long for the six Harry Potter actors in attendance and Team StarKid, the masterminds behind A Very Potter Musical.
On the last day of the conference, LeakyCon announced that they plan to host two separate conventions in the near future: GeekyCon will be a multi-fandom event and LeakyCon as an immersive Harry Potter-only conference. The convention expansion is slated for 2015, but until then, these pics of killer cosplay will have to hold you over.