I know, I know. This is the 4th of July, a celebration of our declaration of independence from the tyranny of Britain. And Harry Potter is decidedly quite British. But it's been centuries - we can talk about this today, right? Besides, the event is only 3 days away.
YouTube has announced via official blog that they will be ground zero for Harry Potter mania in the upcoming weeks. The final installment of the saga, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, won't be released to the general public until July 15th - but its official premiere will happen a week earlier.
And YouTube will be broadcasting the red carpet event live from Trafalgar Square in London on July 7th. The live stream will begin at 11 a.m. EDT. YouTube says that the red carpet will feature the entire cast, author J.K. Rowling and "surprise celebrity appearances." YouTube will re-broadcast the entire event if you miss it live.
The live stream will appear on YouTube's Harry Potter channel. If you go there now, you can see a opening day countdown clock as well as photos, posters, and trailers for the upcoming film.
There is also a sweepstakes link to Harry Potter: The Quest, a game that offers the chance to win a trip to the London premiere.
J.K. Rowling recently made a splash with the unveiling of Pottermore, her new Harry Potter themed website. It mysteriously appeared a couple weeks ago through an online scavenger hunt. The site merely said "coming soon" and linked to a YouTube account with a announcement countdown.
Flash forward a week and Rowling released a video detailing in brief what fans could expect from the new site. Pottermore will be the exclusive place for fans to purchase Harry Potter eBooks as well as a hub for new content written by Rowling. We shouldn't expect new Harry Potter adventures, but most likely supplementary materials. In the video, Rowling hints at some sort of social network layer to the whole experience as well.
Pottermore will open to the entire public in October, but a select few are being chosen to join early to give the site a test run. Rowling said that this is so fans could "help shape" the experience.
The end is near, Potter fans. With Deathly Hallows Part 2 only 2 weeks away, are you ready to jump back in to Potter-mania?