Pokémon Go Fest Was a Disaster, but Legendaries are here!

Niantic Labs. is offering full refunds and $100 worth of Poké Coins for those who attended the disastrous Pokémon Go Fest yesterday.

This weekend saw the first huge live Pokémon Go event, Pokémon Go Fest held in Chicago’s Grant Park. After tickets sold out in mere minutes, thousands were expected to flock to the park to celebrate a year with Pokémon Go and take part in events which would eventually unleash Legendary Pokémon into the game.

However, as soon as the event started it was engulfed in disaster.

Pretty much from the get-go players were reporting difficulty accessing the game, initially it seemed like the strain of thousands of people logging into the game at once was too much, but then it soon hit home that trying to get this many people online using mobile data, was wishful thinking.

It’s well known that during big sporting events that draw crowds of thousands of people can put added strain on cellular networks, and that’s based on general cellular usage. Pokémon Go Fest required players to login to a mobile game using mobile data almost simultaneously.

This caused frustration among those who attended Pokémon Go Fest, some of which had flown out of state and even across the globe to attend. This resulted in crowds chanting “Fix your game” and booing Niantic CEO John Hanke when he took to the stage at the event to try and calm the crowds down.


In a statement posted on the Pokémon Go website earlier today, the company wrote:

“Today at Pokémon GO Fest in Chicago, technical issues created problems for a large number of players attending the event. From everyone at Niantic, we apologize to all of the Trainers who came out to Pokémon GO Fest today. Although we were able to solve many of the technical issues, we were not able to offer every attendee a great experience.”

To apologise they’re offering registered attendees full refunds for the cost of their tickets, as well as $100 in PokéCoins.

For those still clinging onto hope, Niantic has increased the radius of Special Pokémon, Eggs, and check-in PokéStops, around Grant Park through to Monday. Pokémon Go Eggs will only be visible to Pokémon Go Fest attendees who validated their QR code they received while entering the event.

Finally all registered attendees will have the Legendary Pokémon, Lugia, added to their account.

But what about everyone else? One of the challenges at Pokémon Go Fest, if successful, would have unleashed Lugia across the globe in various Raid Battles, do we all miss out on that too? Well, fortunately not.

For those who managed to get on the game at the event, the following things have been unlocked:

  • Double Stardust
  • Double Candy
  • Double XP
  • Increased Pokémon encounters
  • Reduced hatching distance
  • Reduced buddy distance

In addition, Lugia has been introduced into the real world for all trainers to catch, what’s more, due to the success of Team Mystic catching so many Pokémon, Articuno will join Lugia in Raid Battles everywhere starting immediately.

According to Niantic, Legendary Pokémon Zapdos and Moltres will also make their way into the real world soon, though likely at a much later date.

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