It’s been 22 years since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone first hit bookstores, and 18 years since the first movie was released. But the fandom is as lively as ever. Just a few weeks after the Harry Potter Film Festival at Row House Cinema, another Hogwarts-themed event is happening in Pittsburgh. This time, Pittsburgh Potter mania is flying into new territory: an electronic dance party.
On March 23, EDM and magic will blend together for You're a Raver, Harry at the Braddock Elk lodge.
“We felt like there was a lot we could do in terms of decoration and immersing people in the Harry Potter universe, combined with a dance show,” says Chris Stankay, one of the owners of Bassburgh, the promotional team behind the event.
Attendees will find a giant sorting hat, house flags on the walls, Azkaban wanted posters of all the DJs, Chamber of Secrets warnings on the mirrors in the bathrooms, and Moaning Myrtles around toilets, along with costume contests, free pizza, vendors, live painting, and two floors of music with themed stages.
“If one DJ’s playing house on the top floor, we’ll have the other DJ playing something different on the bottom floor,” says Stankay. “I personally like to find clips from the movies, and I’ll have those samples or memorable quotes people will recognize if they heard it. I’ll try to mix that into the music at certain points so it all kind of blends together well.”
Themed dance parties have been a staple of Bassburgh Promotions since its creation in 2016. Before the company began bringing global headlining EDM acts like early German dubstep influencer Bukez Finezt to Pittsburgh, or hosting monthly electronic nights at clubs around the city, the first few shows the team held were themed. Recently Bassburgh held a Great Gatsby themed event at Scenario in South Side, and in December, hosted a holiday-themed Stache Bash at Cattivo, complete with a mustache and ugly sweater contest.
“We like to combine fun things that people will be excited about with an [EDM] show,” says Stankay. “[Along with] providing opportunities for all the local DJs in the city, because there’s a lot and they all deserve to play.”