LeakyCon 2019 Review By Sir Nick Justice

LeakyCon 2019 – Dallas

What a wonderful time of year for our wizarding friends and muggles!

Drop the Spotlights – Sir Nick Justice was live in Dallas at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center. The event was hosted for Aug 9th-11th 2019 – running all weekend long for a chance to visit the Con.

I was at the convention center earlier this year for a few other conventions such as Dallas Fan Expo, so I was very familiar with directions, parking at the center, and how to get to the main floor. At first, I was a bit nervous as I’m used to the streets being flooded with costumers and attendees being the pathway to where the entrance is and if I’m at the right place. Rest assured when parking the joy of seeing other “students of Hogwarts” made me really start to feel as if I was attending a private school for the first time!

The biggest joy came from just walking into the convention and seeing all the super creative cosplays, lookalikes, and own interpretations. I saw everyone from a doppelganger Snape, toilet seat cover wearing Myrtle, and Gryffindor armored warrior cosplays. One thing was for sure, there was a cosplayer there of ALL ages!

Upon entering the convention, the welcoming center for ticket pickup was very smooth for will call and onsite purchases. The main hall had about 12 rows of vendors, making it a bit of a smaller convention feel such as Wizard World Austin, basically a quarter of the size used at Dallas Fan Expo.

I was extremely impressed by all the merchants there at LeakyCon, every vendor had a very nice presentation of their Harry Potter products in a feel that you would expect on set. Lots of antique shelving, unique display boxes, or products in themselves. I would say if you were in the market for a wand, scented candles, or mandrake baby’s then you were in look as it felt a lot of vendors had them.

On the bottom floor they had about 4 different panel rooms and each house’s own lounge. Originally, I thought about relaxing in the press room but these “Dorm rooms” were more inviting as they had house color themed bean bags and assorted decorations. The rooms were not as far apart in décor as I expected as it was mostly a lion statue for outside in Gryffindor’s, fake snakes around the Slytherin, a giant dog with two small dog heads attached for a Cerberus in the Hufflepuff, and nothing too much that stuck out in Ravenclaws.

The celebrities were a bit of a draw as the headliner Tom Felton also known as Draco Malfoy was a popular autograph and photo crowd, which ran very smoothly. They also had Scarlett Byrne (pansy Parkinson), Afshan Azad (Padma Patil), Tiana Benjamin (Angelina Johnson), and other actors and Authors. In the celebrity row, they had about 3-4 different tables with Leakycon backdrops that I felt were mostly empty my entire Saturday there until Draco’s session and the authors took place. Unless it was the designated time – it was most likely empty.

Overall, I ended up seeing the convention in about 2 hours on all the floors, some activities such as build your own pickett and a giant cauldron for photos kept me occupied. I feel that hopefully for future shows they can increase their budget for decorations used. More decorations that are more immersive as if you were in the Hogwarts World. Perhaps a gaming section to play the old HP games in the House rooms.

P.s I also visited the Leaky Cauldron bar that evening as well, parking was extremely limited, so we did $5 Valet, the bar itself was a very narrow location that felt like an alley with one small room to the right. The whole venue consisted of decorations everywhere that felt more in-depth but still a bit lackluster in the sense that it clearly felt you were in a bar with a “skin” on top.

The paintings throughout the bar were worth remembering as its not everyday you see a Hermione and Hagrid in exotic implications. They also had flavored drinks based on the book/movie but unfortunately was told many times to avoid the butterbeer since it was cheap beer with a sticker slapped on. Was an experience to try once but would have preferred dubstep/remix covers HP related vs generic club music.