Our Weapon is Love: WRockstock 2008

Geek Culture

The portion of Harry Potter fandom affectionately referred to as WRock – Wizard Rock to the uninitiated – is known for two things. The first is a joyous and unabashed celebration of the Potter mythos through music. The second is an equally fervent dedication to combating the social ills of the day.

While the most obvious aspect of WRock activism is the endorsement of literacy initiatives, as evidenced by regular gigging at libraries and bookstores as well as the scene’s support of organizations like First Book, the community also has strong ties to The Harry Potter Alliance. Founded in 2005 by Andrew Slack, the Alliance seeks to motivate the heavily youth-centered fan community to follow the examples of their fictitious heroes, to fight for genuine change in the face of ignorance and apathy.

In October of 2007, the YMCA Trout Lodge in Potosi, Mo. played host to the WRockstock Spooktacular, a Wizard Rock concert and cultural gathering that raised $4500 for The Harry Potter Alliance. This money was donated to the student anti-genocide coalition Darfur Fast, and through that organization the funds were used to provide protection and assistance for more than 1200 Darfurian women and children inhabiting refugee camps.

This Memorial Day weekend, May 23rd through 26th, Potosi will host WRockstock 2008, a follow-up fundraising event for friends, families, and fans of all ages. The festival boasts featured WRockers Draco and the Malfoys, The Whomping Willows, The Weasel King, The Butterbeer Experience, and many more. Other events include the requisite arts and crafts, an open mic opportunity for non-featured WRock bands and performers, and Muggle-rules Quidditch. The resulting proceeds, of course, will benefit the Harry Potter Alliance and the various causes it supports.

While the registration and reservation period ends today, May 20th, the tenacity and dedication of fan groups like St. Louis Area Wizards all but guarantees future events. In the meantime, interested parties are directed to the official web presence of the Harry Potter Alliance to learn more about the organization, make a donation, or become involved yourselves.

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