The World of Wizard Wrock

Josh Koury’s documentary “We Are Wizards” delves into the genre of Wizard Rock. As homespun as the fan culture it celebrates, it’s an endearing snapshot of the freaks and geeks who’ve made a place for themselves in the Potter fan-verse.

True fandom knows no bounds. The evolution of fan culture is not a trajectory that can be measured or predicted. When the first episodes of Star Trek appeared on television, no one would have foreseen that it would turned into an all-enveloping fan culture. Similarly, it is hard to imagine JK Rowling envisioning the effect her stories would have on the world, and the epic fandom that would emerge from it. Certainly she could not have expected Wizard Rock.

Brothers Joe and Paul DeGeorge formed Harry and Potters in 2002, playing in libraries and high school auditoriums. The teenagers were surprised to find the genre they invented in their rec room, “Wrock”, becoming a true fan phenomenon. Teenage girls screamed for more. The brothers DeGeorge were soon playing at fan conventions and going on an a world tour.

Other bands emerged from the mists of the fanverse; punk-rock Slytherins Draco and the Malfoys, the very emo Whomping Willows, pop duo The Parselmouths, The Moaning Myrtles and many others. Wrock bands have compiled compilations, toured together, and even performed at Wrock festivals around the country such as Wrockstock.

The world of Wrock is not just geeky, but also strives to be socially conscious. Joe and Paul know that their elementary school fan base looks up to them as idols, and they try to promote literacy in the true spirit of Rowling’s best-selling series. The Whomping Willows recently played a Marriage Equality benefit, promoting equality for gay wizards everywhere.

Wizard rock is perhaps the most incredible example of the evolution of Harry Potter fandom; the emergence of something entirely now, that while influenced by Rowling’s works, has taken on a life of its own, and found its own fame and fandom.


~ by Sarah Hope on May 20, 2010.

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