This year, we’re celebrating the return to Hogwarts a little differently, as many of us continue to stay safe at home. Find out how you can join in the festivities of one of our favourite days of the wizarding world calendar, thanks to some digital wizardry, and our first-ever Back to Hogwarts livestream!

As Harry Potter fans know all too well, on 1st September, Harry Potter attended Hogwarts for the very first time – and we’ve all been celebrating this eponymous wizarding world calendar date ever since. Here’s how all of our Wizarding World friends and family are congregating for a digital celebration this year, and how you can join in at home.

Watch our first ever Back to Hogwarts livestream

Over the past number of years, we’ve loved seeing fans flocking to London’s King’s Cross station to celebrate Back to Hogwarts day with a good old fashioned countdown. To reflect the Hogwarts Express leaving Platform Nine and Three-Quarters at 11 o’ clock sharp, visitors at King’s Cross famously count down to this magical time with a special annual get-together.

However, this year, the Wizarding World is asking fans not to attend King’s Cross station for the usual gathering. In the wake of COVID-19, we are asking you all to stay safe at home - but join us for a digital countdown all across the world instead!

On 1st September, we will be hosting a Back to Hogwarts livestream, with special contributions from all across the Wizarding World family. Expect to see cameos from familiar faces from the Harry Potter films (such as James and Oliver Phelps, Jason Isaacs and Bonnie Wright) and members of the Cursed Child production, join us in a special Wizarding World trivia game, and see how fans around the world are celebrating Back to Hogwarts.

James and Oliver Phelps, AKA the Weasley twins, had this to say about getting involved.

“I’m so excited to be playing a part in the first ever digital Back to Hogwarts!’ James said. ‘2020 has definitely been a strange year and it’s really important that we all do everything we can to keep safe, including staying home. I hope fans will join us and keep the celebrations virtual.’

Oliver Phelps added: ‘The Wizarding World fans are the greatest and getting the chance to share this special day with people all over the world is going to be brilliant. I’m really looking forward to everything this Digital Back to Hogwarts has in store and it’s a bonus that we can all do it from the sofa!’

Yes, wizards and witches may be wary of Muggle technology, but this is some very exciting Muggle technology indeed. The livestream will take place between 10.30am BST and 11.30am BST – keep an eye on the Wizarding World channels for further updates! Fans will be able to support the charity Lumos throughout the livestream too.

Enjoy a weekend of digital activities before the 1st

Before the big day itself, you can visit our Back to Hogwarts hub, which will magically begin to expand across the weekend of the 28th August. Just our little way of bringing you the magic of Hogwarts before the students even hop aboard the Hogwarts Express. Get ready for new craft videos, trivia challenges, quizzes, puzzles, Back to Hogwarts features, shopping guides and all the latest updates from our Wizarding World friends and family.

You can also look forward to an upcoming Journeys to Hogwarts Soundscape: a Harry Potter immersive audio experience featuring all the sounds you’d hear on that iconic journey. More on that soon!

While you wait for our festivities to begin, do sign up to the Harry Potter Fan Club where we’ll keep you posted on all the digital activities we have in store.

Be part of the Class of 2020

We may not have any Portkeys to hand, but there is a magical way you can connect with fellow Harry Potter fans this year: introducing the Back to Hogwarts Class of 2020. We’re asking fans, over 18 years of age in select countries, to take photos celebrating the wizarding world (this could be through cosplay, props, or even just drawing a lightning bolt on your head!) and submit them to us to take part in a magical mosaic. Your photo may even be projected at King’s Cross, combined with many more from fellow Wizarding World fans! You’ll be able to see if your contribution appears on our livestream on the 1st September.

Enjoy some stunning new artwork from MinaLima

BTH 2020 MinaLima full poster

Design team MinaLima, the artists behind the graphic universe of the Harry Potter films, have lovingly produced this amazing Back to Hogwarts 2020 poster, which will be available as a limited edition print from their official shop. All those owls and letters are already making us nostalgic...

So, what can you do right now?

While you wait for our festivities to begin, do sign up to the Harry Potter Fan Club where we’ll keep you posted on all the digital activities we have in store.

You can also peruse our Back to Hogwarts hub where we’ve already got the party started. Play some Back to Hogwarts quizzes, learn all about the start of term traditions, or revisit our Harry Potter At Home series, where we invited a number of famous friends to read every chapter of the first Harry Potter book.

Be sure to check the #BackToHogwarts hashtag across Instagram and Twitter for all the latest updates, and to see how fellow fans are celebrating.

So, join us back here on the weekend before the 1st September, where our Back to Hogwarts hub will begin filling up with wizarding treats before the big day.