Following my initial article on Harry Potter and what’s, undoubtedly, the end of an era and a worldwide phenomenon, I’m going to write a diary-esque version of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Premiere.
I want to start by saying that I haven’t seen the film. All I did was queue for four hours for a wristband to then camp on Trafalgar Square for two days for the red carpet event! It caused confusion and the look I had from some people when I told them that I wasn’t going to see the film was brilliant! People just don’t understand, and I don’t expect anyone to.
Okay, so a rundown of what happened.
Tuesday: We headed up to London on Tuesday morning, and spent the day figuring out what our plans would be depending on what situation we faced come Wednesday (oh the irony!). We ate, we walked, we mastered the London Underground and we slept. We’d decided that we were going to stay in a hotel Tuesday night, instead of camping out for two nights in what we knew would be typical British rain. The hotel was nice, compared to the last hotel I stayed in, even if we did receive a few odd knocks on the door throughout the night!
Wednesday: We all woke up, in sync, at 4:35 Wednesday morning, but we’d set the alarm for 7am and decided that we’d cherish those last few hours of sleep in a comfortable bed. We awoke at 6:45 formed an orderly queue for the bathroom, packed up the remainder of our things, donned our backpacks and left for Trafalgar Square. One of our friends tweeted that, according to the news, there were already crowds of people there. We had expected people to already be there, but the news suggested numbers in the thousands. Luckily, there wasn’t. We arrived at Trafalgar at about 8am and joined the queue. We then unanimously agreed that we should have gotten out of bed when we first woke at 4:30! During those four-ish hours we ate, we were interviewed, we chatted with fellow Potterheads and prayed it didn’t rain. We got our wristbands at about 1pm, chose a spot next to one of the two fountains of Trafalgar and got comfortable. We made friends with three fellow Potterheads Wednesday night. Two from the North of London and one from California (you wouldn’t believe how far some people had come for the World Premiere in London!). We ate, we talked, we sang and chanted, we watched the construction workers decorate Trafalgar in everything Harry Potter, and when the sun started to dip down behind the buildings and it began to get cold we jumped in our sleeping bags to keep warm for what the very long night ahead! The construction workers worked late into the night and early morning while we tried to get some sleep.
Thursday: Thursday the 7th of July, 2011. This was the day! The day we had been planning towards for weeks, and we’d finally gotten there. What we hadn’t planned for either weeks in advance, or even the night before, was the crowd of people who attempted to push to the front at 4:30am when we were trying to keep warm in our sleeping bags, having accepted that we (or I at least) would definitely not get some shut-eye! Following the stampede of Potterheads, we packed up and sat around waiting for 3pm which was when we had agreed we’d move as close as we could to the front. We had anticipated rain, but it absolutely poured down for at least two hours. It dampened our spirits, but we carried on with some chanting and others signing waiting for the red carpet event to start – the longest red carpet ever, to accompany the biggest premiere ever!
When the event started the clouds disappeared, the sun came out and the fans bunched together to make sure we got the best view we could, the atmosphere changed. The feeling of being a part of something as huge as that was one of the best feelings ever! The cheering when the cast arrived, the Potter in-jokes when certain cast members joined the stage (the chorus of “Snape, Snape, Severus Snape”! when Alan Rickman joined the stage) and the general buzz of the premiere. There were a few things said that had most of us tearing up, laughing and jeering for almost four hours. The closing of the premiere was, to say the least, emotional. The realisation that this was the very last premiere, the very last film and the very last time Potterheads will be united to celebrate Harry Potter was very sad. Some of the things that people said, mostly what JKRowling said at the close, had people crying.
I was sleep deprived for 43 hours, but it was completely worth it! It was one of the best experiences of my life, and I’d do it all again if I could. Now we have to bare the long wait of a couple of days for the last installment of Harry Potter (after which I will have nothing to live for).