Snitch by Snitchwich Wrocks GeekyCon

As if the biggest and most exciting wizard rock experience of the year couldn’t get any better, GeekyCon attendees were given a treat this weekend with the launch of the first ever Snitch by Snitchwich festival. Brain child of Harry and the Potters duo Paul and Joe DeGeorge, Snitch by Snitchwich featured pop-up musical performances throughout the weekend in celebration of five years of the golden snitchwich.

Snitchwiches first popped up on the con scene in 2011 when the DeGeorges decided convention center food was too expensive for the average con-goer. For only $3, attendees could grab a convenient and filling sandwich made with peanut butter and Golden Graham cereal. For $1 more, the sandwich would be molded into the shape of a golden snitch and thrown at the buyer’s mouth. The sandwiches and their “Catch it in Your Mouth” slogan have appeared at many fandom events since and have developed their own subculture within the GeekyCon community. Fans who tattoo the smile guy mascot receive free snitchwiches for life, and it’s not uncommon to see someone sporting a pair of yellow snitchwich shades as they walk to their panels.

The event opened the Thursday evening before the start of the convention as Harry and the Potters, the DeGeorge’s own band, summoned fans to a piano tucked away into a corner at the Hyatt hotel adjacent to the convention center. Fans were encouraged not to show up until the minute the show was due to start, and no one really expected the performance to last more than one or two songs before hotel security broke up the party. Amazingly, the band was able to perform 45 minutes of both their most popular and most obscure tracks for an enthusiastic crowd.

The following days saw the same level of excitement. The Whomping Willows put on a show outside of the Harry Potter Alliance booth which ended with a rendition of “Draco and Harry” sung entirely with a whole snitchwich in his mouth. Lauren Fairweather put on arguably one of her best shows ever in the gender neutral bathroom in the vendor room, paying homage to her Moaning Myrtles roots. Remus and the Lupins even played a spectacular revival show.

The lineup also included wizard rock favorites from that weekend’s official music festival like Tonks and the Aurors, who performed with her iconic “Yes All Witches!” banner hanging behind her, Tianna and the Cliffhangers who performed her show in an elevator, and Kirstyn Hippe who charmed her audience with a performance on the marble slab in the middle of the convention center. Other artists were also encouraged to sign up to perform the event, which added Matthieu Schwab and a special breakfast time edition of Jackson Bird’s Will it Waffle? (including snitchwich waffles) to the lineup.

The weekend was not without its bumps, however. In a throwback to LeakyCon 2014, the Orange County Convention Center staff soon caught wind of the food sales in the vendor room and shut down the operation. A #SaveOurSnitchwiches revival occurred, and the sandwich sales went underground. It also wasn’t long before the DeGeorges got a cease and desist letter from South by Southwest for using their hashtag while promoting their own event. As usual, The Man Voldemort couldn’t stop the wrock and the show went on.

The final day of the concert series ended with a bang. First up was Draco and the Malfoys, who played in the closest thing they could find to the Slytherin dungeons (a loading dock) before the party was forced to hit the road and continued on with a walking performance of Harry and the Potter’s “Save Ginny” and Smash Mouth’s “All Star.” The mini-event closed with a spectacular performance by GeekyCon’s very own pep band to usher in the closing ceremonies of the conference. It was a perfect way to tie the whole weekend together.

Snitch by Snitchwich was a fantastic way for fans in the wizard rock community to get more of what they love, and gave attendees who may not be familiar with the genre or were unable to attend the main concert a chance to see something special. It was a celebration of a special sandwich and the bizarre and wonderful subculture that has developed around it. Here’s to another five years of the golden snitchwich, and to the rockin’ crowd that made Snitch by Snitchwich a success.