Phoenix Rising; May 17-21, 2007; New Orleans, LA

Presented by
Narrate Conferences, Inc.
Phoenix Rising
Phoenix Rising took place May 17-21, 2007. Please feel free to view this archival version of our website, and to visit the Narrate Conferences, Inc. website for information about future events.

Frequently Asked Questions


New Orleans

Registration & Travel

Programming & Events




What is Phoenix Rising?
Phoenix Rising is a five-day exploration of all things Harry Potter. The event combines a traditional academic conference with exploratory and convivial elements to study and celebrate the Harry Potter phenomenon.

Who can attend Phoenix Rising?
Anyone from any country who is at least 18 years of age as of May 17, 2007 may register and attend. Anyone who will be at least 14 years of age as of the same date may register and attend, provided that they have a registered chaperone who is at least 21 years of age, and a guardian's permission if that chaperone is not their legal guardian. Please see our Registration page for more details.

When will Phoenix Rising happen?
The conference will open on Thursday, May 17, 2007, for attendees to pick up their registration packets. They will then take part in our Overture, including dinner and our art gallery and vendor room openings. Academic and exploratory programming, keynote presentations, and events continue through mid-day on Monday, May 21.

What is on the schedule for Phoenix Rising?
The schedule for Phoenix Rising includes three full days of lectures, panels, workshops, discussions, and other presentations on the Harry Potter series and phenomenon. Expanded interactive programming, as well as events — such as a masquerade ball, a live PotterCast by The Leaky Cauldron, film screenings, special presentations by Guests of Honor, and a Quidditch tournament — round out our schedule. The programming schedule is, at this time, still being set, but you may get a general feel for our hours of programming by reading this page.

Where does Phoenix Rising take place?
Phoenix Rising will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. Most of the programming will be housed in our official hotel, the Sheraton New Orleans on the edge of the French Quarter. Some special events, as well as our Quidditch tournament, will be held within a few blocks of the hotel at venues such as the Musée Conti Wax Museum, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Woldenberg Park, and the Cajun Cabin/Five O'Clock Grill/Boubon Vieux, which boasts the largest balcony on Bourbon Street.

Is Phoenix Rising using handicapped-accessible facilities?
The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel is handicapped accessible, and has wheelchair accessible guest rooms as well as TDD/TDY access for the hearing impaired. Additionally, all of our other venues have some handicapped accessibility. Please e-mail us at if you have questions about any of our venues.


New Orleans

Why are you holding a conference in New Orleans? Isn't it devastated?
We don't think so. Our organizing team traveled to New Orleans in January of 2006, and were overwhelmed by the welcome we received. Everyone we saw, from business owners to returning residents to Mayor Ray Nagin, encouraged us to come back. Many people we spoke with were coming back to New Orleans to take up their jobs and help with renovation and reconstruction. We returned in May of 2006 to find the French Quarter in full swing. All New Orleans universities have reopened as of August of 2006. The April and May New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 2006 broke new attendance records and New Orleans has held successful Mardi Gras celebrations in 2006 and 2007. We want to reassure attendees that New Orleans is not only ready, but waiting eagerly.

Is Phoenix Rising a reaction to Hurricane Katrina?
Not directly. Several of our organizing team members are local to the area, and were very positive about New Orleans as a conference location long before the hurricanes of 2005. We considered a number of cities for Phoenix Rising. It was clear upon exploring the French Quarter, however, that New Orleans wasn't just our first choice, it was our only choice because of its connection to our themes, its remarkable venues, and unique culture. In fact, the opportunity to hold the majority of our programming in a single hotel combined with a walk of a few short blocks to the historic French Quarter meant that we could hold a centralized conference while still offering attendees the chance to explore New Orleans.

But I've seen the news. How can we possibly visit after the destruction from the 2005 hurricane season?
New Orleans has truly suffered because of the storms of 2005. The pictures you've seen are most likely of the Lakeview and Lower Ninth Ward areas, where flooding destroyed many homes. Phoenix Rising, however, will be set on the border of the Central Business District and the French Quarter, areas that suffered far less damage. These are some of the oldest sections of the city and are set on the highest ground. Now revelers and music spill forth from doors up and down Bourbon Street late into the evening. The buildings in this area that bore the brunt of the damage were the oldest, which were more likely to have basements, but those too, with the help of the community and the city, are reopening their doors. More residents are returning every day, communities are repairing, and neighbors are helping each other clean up. Attendees can track which businesses are again open on the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau's website.

Do you have any philanthropic ties to the New Orleans community?
We are currently looking at several programs that are compatible with our non-profit purpose, and will announce any associations or planned donations when we've made our decision. As you can probably imagine, it's not a matter of finding a charity; it's a matter of choosing between causes where funds can really impact the community — and of course, making certain that the cause is legitimate and that the funds are used appropriately.

Otherwise, Phoenix Rising's purpose is educational rather than philanthropic. We can't collect funds for Hurricane Katrina victims. If you would like to make a donation to the recovery effort, we suggest that you contact a charitable organization specializing in that type of relief.

Is Phoenix Rising scheduled during hurricane season?
No. Hurricane season doesn't start until the summer and ends in late fall.

What is the weather like in May?
May in New Orleans is sultry. The city will probably reach highs of mid-80s Fahrenheit, and the humidity will remind you that you're in a Southern city. New Orleans thrives on her heat, which drives her languid pace. That said, Phoenix Rising has scheduled almost all our events that occur before 5:00 p.m. in the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, which allows attendees to explore New Orleans during the cooler evening hours.

Is New Orleans safe?
As with any big city, you should be aware of your surroundings when traveling to New Orleans. The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel is on the edge of the French Quarter, and the Quarter will certainly be packed late into the evening. Attendees should always travel with someone, however, when venturing into the Quarter at night.


Registration & Travel

How much does it cost to attend Phoenix Rising?
Our registration price for attendees attendees started at $115 for our five-day event, and is currently $180, until April 10, 2007. The price will rise from there, and you can find our price structure here. High school students and their chaperones may purchase their registrations for $100.

Are registration discounts available?
We are aware that high school students may not be able to attend the entire conference, due to the traditional academic year still being in session. In recognition of that, we do have a limited-hours student registration available to them, as well as to their required attending chaperone. Otherwise, we have a registration rate for all attendees designed to give everyone the lowest price possible.

Can I add items to my registration?
Of course! You can access your registration by going here and entering your user name and password. If you do not have your user name or password, please e-mail us at, or go here and use our system to e-mail your password to yourself.

Can I purchase tickets without a registration?
Absolutely. Tickets to Storyville and our Keynote Presentations, as well as the opportunity to play in our Borders Riverside Quidditch Classic, may be purchased by anyone, regardless of conference attendance. You may do so here. Please keep in mind that attendees at all Phoenix Rising events must be at least 14 years old as of May 17, 2007.

Do you provide refunds if I register and cannot attend? May I delete items from my registration?
All registrations, tickets and other items sold by Phoenix Rising are non-refundable, even if you do not attend the conference. You are, however, welcome to re-sell your registration or ticket to another person, and we have provided a forum on our message boards where you may advertise for a buyer, if you wish. We will not find you a buyer or assist in your sale, other than to transfer the registration to another party at your request. Please e-mail to make the transfer.

Is your credit card system secure?
Our credit card system is secure. Like many small businesses, we have contracted with PayPal to ensure that our credit card transactions are secure and confidential. The Phoenix Rising team will never have your credit card information. If you are concerned about PayPal's security, please go here.

What is your privacy policy with regard to registration information?
Phoenix Rising gathers certain personal information about you during the registration process that is used to collect payment, create your registration packet and check you in as an attendee at the conference. Only select members of our staff can see this information, and volunteers who staff our check-in desks have only the necessary information to ensure that you receive the correct registration packet. Phoenix Rising does not share your personal information with third parties, except as required by law. For more about how Narrate Conferences, Inc., the presenting company of Phoenix Rising, uses and protects your private information, please read our Privacy Policy.

Does my registration money fund auxiliary events like keynote presentations and Quidditch?
No. Any additional cost event at Phoenix Rising is self-funding. In other words, the tickets and sponsorships sold for those events cover their costs, and the basic registration money is only used for programming, events and lagniappe that all attendees can access.

Do you have an official hotel?
Our official hotel is the Sheraton New Orleans, located at 500 Canal Street just outside the French Quarter. Our registration and information desks, our programming, and many of our other activities are located here. We have a special room rate arranged for Phoenix Rising attendees at the Sheraton New Orleans, and attendees who stay there will receive this discounted rate on the nights of May 11, 2007 - May 24, 2007.

Do I have to stay in the official hotel?
No, you don't have to, but we hope that you will. We have negotiated a very good rate at the Sheraton New Orleans specifically for our attendees.

Do you help attendees find roommates or travel partners?
Phoenix Rising has forums on our message boards where attendees can seek roommates and travel partners, but takes no official role in matching people up.

What can I do in New Orleans?
Whether it's shopping in Pirate's Alley in the French Quarter or taking a day trip outside the city to investigate Louisiana's swamps, there's something to interest everyone for an afternoon or a few extra days. Please check out our Activities page for a listing of area attractions and tour providers.


Programming & Events

Is this an academic conference, a professional conference or a fan conference?
It's some of all of the above. Educational, thought-provoking analysis is the main focus of the symposium, and Phoenix Rising will schedule a full slate of academic papers, lectures, panels, workshops, discussions, keynote presentations, and other programming. Professional development sessions are drawn from accepted presentations, and once the schedule has been finalized, teachers, librarians, business professionals, lawyers, writers and artists should find that there is programming of interest. Beyond that, we have created convivial and fan events, mostly in the evenings, that are designed to immerse an attendee in Harry Potter, as well as New Orleans, with the same enthusiasm with which so many approach the books. In addition, the Guests of Honor and other professionals give insight into the Harry Potter phenomenon from various perspectives. All told, Phoenix Rising is a weekend that gives academics, professionals, students and fans the chance to not only interact and collaborate, but create the conference they wish to attend from our many offerings.

Are you affiliated with a college or university? Do you offer continuing education credits?
Not at this time. Phoenix Rising is a presentation of Narrate Conferences, Inc., a non-profit educational corporation. We do plan to partner with a college or university to offer continuing education credits. As each state has its own system for documenting professional development, you should inquire locally to find out if this may be used toward licensing requirements for teachers.

How do I become part of your programming?
Unfortunately, at this time we are only accepting gallery art proposals (until January 15, 2007) and inquiries from published authors who would like to register and be part of our Meet the Author program on May 19, 2007. The deadline for proposals to Phoenix Rising has passed and the accepted proposals are added here as presenters register. However, we hope that you’ll find opportunities to actively participate in the many programming elements that we have to offer.

Are there types of programming you won't accept?
We accept all sorts of presentations, from papers to films to discussions and beyond. We have sample presentation styles on our Elements page, but you are welcome to propose something that goes beyond what we have listed. Otherwise, we do have a restriction on the presentation of any material considered NC-17, and will of course not allow any presentation that infringes on another's trademarks or copyrights. This is not meant to restrict topics, even those dealing with sensitive material; an analysis presented in a thoughtful manner can certainly take on a mature topic. If you have any questions about whether or not something might be inadmissible, please e-mail

Will you be publishing proceedings from the conference?
Yes. Proceedings from Phoenix Rising will be compiled and published following the conference. Please join our mailing list to receive an update by e-mail when information is available.

I'm a professional artist/writer/filmmaker; can I be a Guest of Honor?
Guest of Honor is the term Phoenix Rising uses to refer to our invited guests who will speak at our Keynote Presentations. Our Guests of Honor are listed here. Anyone who wishes to promote their work should contact us at

I write fanfiction. Can I read it at Phoenix Rising? Can I show my fanart?
Unfortunately, at this time we are only accepting gallery art proposals (until January 15, 2007) and inquiries from published authors who would like to register and be part of our Meet the Author program on May 19, 2007. The deadline for proposals to Phoenix Rising has passed and the accepted proposals are added here as presenters register. However, we hope that you’ll find opportunities to actively participate in the many programming elements that we have to offer.

What events are you offering?
Our events vary from a wizarding, musical revival of Storyville to a creative Artists and Authors Night to a traditional Masquerade Ball. Please see our Events page for more details. You may also peruse our schedule outline for a sense of how our events and other activities connect with our programming.

What about Quidditch?
Of course we're planning a Quidditch tournament! The Bayou Quidditch League has chosen to hold their 2007 Riverside Quidditch Classic as part of Phoenix Rising.

Are you showing the Harry Potter movies?
We do plan to show the movies as a late-night activity, following special presentations by Headmistress and New York University film professor Vicky Dann. Make sure to purchase your squashy purple sleeping bag when you register!

Are the Harry Potter actors coming?
Please don't expect any Harry Potter actors to be in attendance. We would be happy to have them at Phoenix Rising, but we don't officially invite actors to be presenters because, due to filming, performances, and other factors, they may have to cancel their commitment to Phoenix Rising on short notice and make-up events are impossible for Phoenix Rising's attendees. Also, if an actor wishes to come as an attendee, we will make no official announcement without his or her express permission.

If you are the representative of an actor and would like to make arrangements for him or her to attend, please write to



Has J. K. Rowling, Warner Bros. or the Christopher Little Agency endorsed Phoenix Rising?
No, we are an unofficial event, and we are not connected with or employed by J. K. Rowling, Warner Bros., the Christopher Little Agency, any of J. K. Rowling's publishers, or any representatives of the foregoing.

Who is presenting Phoenix Rising?
Phoenix Rising is the first offering of Narrate Conferences, Inc., a Colorado non-profit corporation dedicated to producing academic, literary and educational conferences and events.

What other events is Narrate Conferences, Inc. presenting?
Narrate Conferences, Inc. is currently planning Terminus, a Harry Potter conference scheduled in the heart of Chicago at the historic Hilton Chicago Hotel, August 7-11, 2008. Plans for several other conferences on a wide variety of topics are in the works as well.

Is Phoenix Rising affiliated with anyone?
Phoenix Rising is not affiliated with anyone other than Narrate Conferences, Inc. and its other conferences and events.

Do you run the Phoenix Rising role-playing game?
The Phoenix Rising conference and Phoenix Rising role-playing game are run by different groups, without affiliation. If you'd like to find out more about the Phoenix Rising role-playing game, please visit their information page here.

Who is staffing Phoenix Rising?
Phoenix Rising is staffed entirely by volunteers who have donated their time and talent.

How can I volunteer for Phoenix Rising?
Please visit our Volunteers page for more details. We'd love to have you on board!

Who did your artwork?
Our artwork was created by Glockgal, Alicey, Charlie James and Emily Balawejder. If you'd like to get in contact with any of our artists, please e-mail

How can I support Phoenix Rising's educational mission?
Phoenix Rising has a wide variety of sponsorship opportunities available, and is always thrilled to receive donations. Please see our Sponsorship page for more information on how we can work with you to create a unique sponsorship.

How can I sell my merchandise at Phoenix Rising?
Phoenix Rising is pleased to include a vendor room in our schedule, and hopes that anyone wishing to sell their Harry Potter, wizarding or New Orleans merchandise, or their writing or artwork, will participate. Please see our Vendors page for more information.

Can I wear my costume to Phoenix Rising?
Of course you can! All programming and events that are part of our schedule welcome costumes, and our masquerade ball practically requires them! You may wish to bring Muggle clothes, however, as some of New Orleans' more upscale restaurants do have a dress code. On the other hand, many of our attendees will wear street clothes rather than costumes. Costumes are not required.

Does Phoenix Rising have cosplaying events?
Phoenix Rising has no officially scheduled cosplaying events, but encourages cosplayers to attend.

Does Phoenix Rising have a weapons policy?
Phoenix Rising prohibits all weapons, and items that look like weapons, from its programming and events. We do not consider wands to be weapons, unless you are using yours to physically harm another. If you purchase a weapon during the course of the weekend, please store it in your hotel room.

Does Phoenix Rising have children's activities?
As Phoenix Rising is intended for adults, we have not included children's activities on our schedule. If you are bringing your children, and are looking for suitable activities, please visit the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau's website.

May I bring my baby to Phoenix Rising?
Phoenix Rising allows parents of pre-mobile babies to bring them to events. We do request that, in consideration of others, you leave the programming and event rooms if you need attend to your child or to avoid a disruption.

May I take photographs at Phoenix Rising?
Certainly! Please bear in mind, however, that not everyone wishes to have their picture taken. Please do not take pictures of individuals who clearly are not comfortable having you do so. For this reason, Phoenix Rising prohibits photographs during programming sessions, unless indicated in the program book. Please respect others' wishes in this matter.

What are United States' gratuity customs?
Typically, bartenders, wait staff, taxi drivers and luggage handlers in the United States expect to receive a gratuity for their services. The common gratuity for bartenders or luggage handlers is a dollar per drink or bag. Wait staff usually receive 15-20% of the final bill, though some restaurants will include the gratuity in the bill for large parties. Taxi drivers usually receive 10-15%.

Can Phoenix Rising accommodate my food allergies?
Phoenix Rising will do its best to accommodate a variety of diets and food needs during the weekend, and will always offer two entrée options during a meal. Our registration system does ask for any special food needs for keynote presentations, and we will pass your requests on to the caterer. We do recommend, however, that if you have special concerns, you ask the catering staff before partaking. Our staff does not have the recipes for any particular items served over the weekend, and cannot provide certain assurance that an ingredient is not present.


This conference is not endorsed, sanctioned or any other way supported, directly or indirectly, by Warner Bros. Entertainment, the Harry Potter book publishers, or J. K. Rowling and her representatives. All code and art copyright © 2006–11 Narrate Conferences, Inc.