Child dressed up as Harry Potter, looking sad.

Warner Bros. Crackdown on Local Harry Potter Festivals and Fans Are Not Happy

Something wicked this way comes and no, it is not the horrifying dementors or the villainous Voldemort himself but the fierce power of Warner Bros. The company owns the Harry Potter franchise and is trying to crack down on local Harry Potter fan festivals across the US. This attempt from Warner Bros. is to try to end unauthorized commercial activity but many HP fans are not having it, to the point where they feel that Warner Bros. is being deliberate dementors in a way trying to suck out the happiness out of HP fandom fun.

 

Certain local communities are now faced with new rules and restrictions when it came to what they can and cannot use from the Harry Potter lore. Chestnut Hill, a quaint suburban in Philadelphia have had to make significant changes to their annual Harry Potter festival, according to the Associated Press. Chestnut Hill’s business district director, Phillip Dawson said Warner Bros. reached out to his group in May to let them know about the new guidelines that prohibit festivals’ use of any names, places, or objects from the Harry Potter series. This included everything from a meet-and-greet with Harry and Dumbledore to Defense Against the Dark Arts classes.

 

Certain local communities were faced with new rules and restrictions when it came to what they could and could not use from the Harry Potter lore. Chestnut Hill, a quaint suburban in Philadelphia had to face significant changes to their annual Harry Potter festival. According to , Chestnut Hill’s business district director, Phillip Dawson said Warner Bros. reached out to his group in May to let them know about the new guidelines that prohibit festivals’ use of any names, places, or objects from the Harry Potter series. This included everything from a meet-and-greet with Harry and Dumbledore to Defense Against the Dark Arts classes. 

 

A 21-year-old junior from Chestnut Hill College named Sara Jo Tucker stated to the Associated Press “It’s almost as if Warner Bros has been taken over by Voldemort, trying to use dark magic to destroy the light of a little town.” Her college would host an annual Quidditch tournament at the festivals.

 

Dawson stated that it was very apparent that the town will no longer be able to hold Harry Potter themed festivals. . The town’s festival is normally held in late October and the last one had about 45,000 fans come to the Philadelphia town to celebrate. This year’s festival will instead change to a “Wands & Wizards”  family night and pub crawl, however, people can still dress up as their favorite Harry Potter characters.

 

Chestnut Hill was not the only town given the stamp for disapproval from Warner Bros. Other towns that host similar Harry Potter festivals such as Aurora, Illinois, and Ithaca, New York were also given new guidelines for their free Potter-themed events. Darlynne Overbaugh, the festival director of Ithaca’s “Wizarding Weekend” stated: “Magic existed before Harry Potter and you can’t put a trademark on creativity.”’

 

Fans of the festival in Philadelphia have taken to Twitter to try to get the author of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling to help return the original festival but her spokeswoman said she has no comment. 

 

According to the company “Warner Bros. is always pleased to learn of the enthusiasm of Harry Potter fans, but we are concerned, and do object when fan gatherings become a vehicle for unauthorized commercial activity.”

 

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