Nine years after the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, many fans who grew up reading the books were able to do something they had never thought they would do again: attend another Harry Potter midnight release party. This time it was for the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Special Rehearsal Edition, billed as “The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.” The nineteen years, of course, being the amount of time that has passed since the Battle of Hogwarts to when this new story begins. Our Geekettes took photos and wrote about the joy of being able to attend one more midnight party.
Kayla — Barnes and Noble, Hingham, MA
I attended a release at Barnes and Noble with on-hiatus Geekette Jenn Carr and her daughter. It was so unreal to me that most of the attendees were not my age, but children. Activities included face painting, trivia, coloring, and wand making. I’m elated that the next generation has stepped up and embraced Harry Potter the same way that my generation did. This event was special for Jenn because her daughter got to attend a Harry Potter book launch, just like she did as a child. Was it as magic for Jenn and I? No. We were mostly tired. When midnight came and that little girl cheered though, it was all worth it.
Midnight book launches don’t happen for Percy Jackson books, or even John Green books. We may be the only generation to have experienced something so special, as we not only attended HP midnight releases, but Twilight and The Hunger Games. I’d like to hope this was a successful endeavor, and this will lead to more midnight book launches for the next generation.
Megan — Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA
For one reason or another, I never really had the full midnight release experience when the original book series came out, so I was pumped to be able to experience one at last. The Harvard Book Store (HBS) is an independent bookstore, and they handled a crowd of probably 300+ attendees well in their small footprint. There was trivia, a photobooth, snack stations for each house with “butterbeer” (cream soda), pretzel wands, and Bertie Bott’s (regular jelly beans so no actual gross flavors), and a performance by The Sleeping Dragon Theater Co. (“Harry Potter and the Winged Abridgement”). Some people were in costumes, some not, and many were somewhere in between, wearing various Harry Potter tees or just a tie in house colors around their neck. Those of us who were in the first 50 to check-in were able to line up in the store while the rest queued outside, and as number 41 I was out of the store, book in hand, less than ten minutes after midnight.
Julia — Tribeca Barnes and Noble, NY
The Cursed Child release at the Tribeca Barnes & Noble in New York City was the perfect way for me to indulge my Harry Potter nostalgia. With so many other venues to choose from in the city, it was nowhere near crowded, though there was still a decent showing. The Group That Shall Not be Named, a Harry Potter fan organization in NYC, put together a great schedule of events to entertain the kids, from a sorting ceremony, to spell practice and dueling lessons. While the activities were mainly geared toward kids, the adults went all out with the costumes. With my Bellatrix get-up, I managed to fit right in with the two Lestrange brothers who were teaching dueling. Molly Weasley, several Minerva McGonagalls, and even Neville’s Gran made an appearance. At the end of the night a well-organized line moved swiftly at the register, and we were out with our brand new books shortly after midnight.
Carly — Barnes and Noble, NJ
I went to a local Barnes & Noble in my hometown and although it did not quite live up to the hype I remember from the midnight releases of my childhood, it was wonderful to see so many young kids there, following in our footsteps and experiencing one of the most exciting parts of fandom. I showed up only an hour and a half before midnight, there mostly for the book rather than for the activities and games. I was surprised by how it turned into a bit of a reunion, running into classmates and acquaintances I knew from high school and before. Nothing like a piece of the past to bring together people who haven’t seen each other in years.
Did you go to a midnight release party for The Cursed Child? Tell us about it in the comments!