Get your virtual wands ready. Each year, on Sept. 1 Harry Potter fans gather at London’s Kings Cross Sation at 11:00 a.m. to raise their wands to mark the Hogwarts Express’ departure from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters as it takes students to the fabled school of witchcraft and wizardry. The Class of 2020’s celebration has gone digital so more fans can join in than ever before.
The Wizarding World extends an open invitation to come together virtually and join the very first digital Back to Hogwarts. This completely free, atmospheric, virtual event has been developed to help keep everyone safe and to be enjoyed from the comfort of home.
Starting Aug. 29 fans can check out the Back to Hogwarts Hub on WizardingWorld.com, where they can join the Harry Potter Fan Club, get Sorted and ready themselves to celebrate with an incredible selection of content, including:
- Hearing from some of the creative masterminds responsible for bringing the magic to life, (including genius wand choreographer Paul Harris, who will be demonstrating and teaching the art of Wand Combat)
- Transporting themselves from the muggle-world into the magical one by listening to the Journeys to Hogwarts Soundscape – a Harry Potter immersive audio experience featuring all the sounds you’d hear on that iconic journey. Simply close your eyes and let your imagination roam!
- A CineConcerts performance featuring orchestras from around the world playing memorable musical selections from each of the eight Harry Potter films at home
- A sneak peek of the brand-new House of MinaLima on opening day, featuring Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima, plus exclusive Back to Hogwarts 2020 celebration artwork, which was created especially for the occasion and is also available as a limited-edition art print!
- Going back to where the magic began with the celebrity readings of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (accessible exclusively for registered members of the Harry Potter Fan Club)
- Plus, a host of Hogwarts-themed, inspiring craft ideas and creative tutorials for all ages
On Sept. 1 fans can join the very first virtual, Back to Hogwarts Livestream and experience the excitement of a fan celebration at Kings Cross, (including the countdown) without leaving the house! The livestream will feature a mass of surprises and fun, including appearances from special guests, including James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley) and Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy).
James Phelps said, “I’m so excited to be playing a part in the first ever digital Back to Hogwarts! 2020 has definitely been a strange year and it’s really important that we all do everything we can to keep safe, including staying home. I hope fans will join us and keep the celebrations virtual.”
Oliver Phelps added, “The Wizarding World fans are the greatest and getting the chance to share this special day with people all over the world is going to be brilliant. I’m really looking forward to everything this Digital Back to Hogwarts has in store and it’s a bonus that we can all do it from the sofa!”
In addition to familiar faces dropping by, there will be trivia games for fans to join in with, and even an appearance from the cast of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, before the fan countdown kicks off.
Additionally, fans can get even closer to the magic by submitting a snap of themselves to join the ‘Back to Hogwarts – Class of 2020’. Their photos will be added to a digital mosaic, which will grow throughout the day to bring the community to life. This is a chance for fans across the globe to show off their best cosplay, call out their House Pride or simply celebrate their fandom. Harry Potter Fan Club members will also receive a memento of the day too, as the mosaic will be available to them exclusively as a digital download to keep.
Fan submitted imagery will also be displayed inside Kings Cross station, giving participants a virtual presence there throughout the day! It will be available to view throughout the morning via the livestream and on social.
The digital event will kick off at 5:30 a.m. EST on Sept. 1 and fans can tune in live or following the event.
Featured photo: Wizarding World of Harry Potter