For three years, the Harry Potter Festival (in Edgerton and then Jefferson, Wisconsin) has been a fiasco and disappointment. (Note: I’ve not experienced personal disappointment: hundreds of patrons have.) It’s now re-branded as the Warriors and Wizards festival – because ignorant promoters ran afoul of the intellectual property rights of Warner Bros. – and with two weeks to go, it’s still a foul mess.
The best of the guests have already dropped out, because they contend they’ve not been compensated under the terms of their contracts. From Sean Biggerstaff’s thread on Twitter:
I am disappointed and also angered to say that I will not be appearing at the
@WandWFestival in Jefferson, Wisconsin this month. This is due to incompetence and dishonesty on the part of Scott Cramer, the head of the festival, who has known for some time that the event is in trouble, has been lying about it, and is now in breach of contract with me.
My representative and I have planned our schedules and indeed our finances around this and are now out of pocket and have wasted a great deal of time on it. The event itself is unlikely to go ahead in my opinion, as it would appear they have no money to pay contributors, and I’d appreciate it if followers of mine who are involved in the convention scene would share this thread as much as possible.
I don’t want any more fans to spend their money on tickets/travel/accommodation only to be disappointed. Very sorry if anyone is booked to come in the hope of seeing me.
They are now continuing to advertise my appearance whilst taking down posts about problems with the event. In other words, *deliberately* selling tickets to fans based on false information.
Stay well clear of these absolute shysters.
Yeah, they’ve been waffling, bullshitting even downright lying their way through everyone’s concerns.
So why the hell are city councils getting into bed with these shysters?
These vulgar promoters and the scheming local officials who cater to them aren’t helping their city – they’re ruining it.
What’s telling is how (1) officials have insisted 50,000 previously attended last year when that’s almost impossible given the size of the town and reports from attendees, (2) Jefferson’s government signed on for five more years after the festival’s last three years of failure, (3) someone at UW-Whitewater apparently produced a ludicrous study claiming $33 million in economic benefits from this mess, (4) the promoters seem to be claiming tens of thousands in charitable contributions no one can or will identify, and (5) the Daily Union struggles between lying on behalf of city officials, laughable spokespeople, and not-worth-an-undergraduate-degree-let-alone-a-doctorate economic studies and telling the truth to people who actually live in Jefferson, Wisconsin.
(One can see how actual residents in Jefferson have been going online and debunking lies about how big the festival has been, how well it’s done, etc. That’s funny-sad: the Daily Union‘s publisher and editor are so dense – or so arrogant – that they’re asking readers to believe them over readers’ own eyes.)