If you’re still waiting for your letter to Hogwarts, perhaps you’d like to drown your sorrows in a butterbeer (or something more potent). Never fear, the Wizards and Witches Beer Festival invites Muggles and the more magically inclined alike to imbibe and incant for a good time on April 17.
The "Harry Potter"-themed event is the first in Bakersfield for Rock Star Beer Festivals, which prides itself on "high energy craft beer and music festivals." Since 2011, it has hosted festivals in San Diego; Las Vegas; Orange County; Portland, Ore.; Denver; and other cities.
Themes are nothing new for the organization, which has held similar "Star Wars" and "Game of Thrones"-themed festivals, said Abby McGee, an event coordinator for Rock Star Beer Festivals.
"We've been touring with the 'Star Wars' theme," she said. Now that we’re onto 'Harry Potter,' we'll go every weekend, starting in April, for April and May."
Elements Venue fills in as Hogwarts' Great Hall, which also will feature the Lair of Secret Cider and Potions as well as the Boozy Cauldron Tavern. McGee said there will be about a dozen beer vendors, including Crusader Brewing and Lengthwise Brewing, that will offer at least two beers.
Beyond the beer vendors, there will be a bar selling additional brews, themed mixed drinks and possibly Jell-O shots for your very own felix felicis (liquid luck) or veritaserum (truth potion). McGee said there may be hard ciders and seltzers as well as more alcoholic kombucha.
Don't forget your galleons (cash/credit card) for the bar and food vendors. McGee said the food had not been finalized as of press time but in the past has included catered options such as barbecue mac and cheese in a bread bowl and pulled pork sandwiches or food trucks.
Vendors will also be on hand selling "Harry Potter"-themed accessories. And attendees are welcome to dress in character, with or without the aid of polyjuice potion.
"You don't have to dress up, but it is fun when you have people dress in the theme," McGee said.
Music will be provided by the Red Head Party Band and DJ DumbelDore, which McGee said are the themed placeholder names for bands and DJs selected from the area of each event.
There will be trivia and photo ops to keep folks entertained as well.
McGee said Rock Star is aiming for a crowd of at least 500 for this event, which could mean more themed fun if the response is good.
"It's just fun," McGee said of the event. "If people haven't been to a beer festival like this, it's worth seeing."
The Wizards and Witches Beer Festival will take place from 6:30 to 10 p.m. April 17 at Elements Venue, 3401 Chester Ave., Suite H. Admission is $35 before Monday, $40 after, with tickets available through eventbrite.com.