News

'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite' Is Throwing a Festival This Summer

Just one week after Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was released (a day early), Niantic has announced the game's first-ever Fan Festival. As the company has done previously with Pokémon Go -- with decidedly mixed results -- it will invite wizards...

Harry Potter Wizards Unite Fan Festival
People play "Pokemon Go" on their smartphones during the Pokemon Go Stadium event at Yokohama Stadium on August 14, 2017 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. | Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images
People play "Pokemon Go" on their smartphones during the Pokemon Go Stadium event at Yokohama Stadium on August 14, 2017 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. | Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Just one week after Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was released (a day early), Niantic has announced the game's first-ever Fan Festival. As the company has done previously with Pokémon Go -- with decidedly mixed results -- it will invite wizards and witches to a special event in Indianapolis, Indiana over Labor Day weekend.

The announcement promises unique interactive experiences at White River State Park, where the Fan Festival will be held from August 31 to September 1. The city and company appear to expect Potterheads to turn out in droves (or what's a group of wizards called? A parliament?) because fans will have to enter a lottery to buy tickets. Details on how to enter the lottery will be released "in the coming weeks," per the Wizangamot, er, Niantic announcement.

The website for the Fan Festival doesn't have much information outside of a link to group rates on hotels through Visit Indy. It has a lot of options, some for as little as $109 per night. Though, you will see a large note that booking through the site does not grant you access to the festival. You'll still have to enter the ticket lottery. 

"Real-world events are part of Niantic’s DNA, bringing players from all walks of life together in the name of adventure, exploration and creating lasting friendships," Bill Kilday, vice president of marketing and live events at Niantic, said. "The incredible White River State Park is surrounded by the rich culture and history of Indianapolis and will be the perfect location for our inaugural Harry Potter: Wizards Unite event."

The company has rapidly been announcing updates to the game to augment what was there on release day. It was only earlier this week that the company announced a partnership with AT&T and Simon that allows players to stop by real-world locations to gain increased XP and Spell Energy they aren't able to find at "non-sponsored" locations. 

So, dust off your best hand-me-down dress robes. It's not the Tri-Wizard Tournament, but it might be about as close as you can get to competing in the real thing. 

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow him @dlukenelson.