jessica tholmer
Updated Jul 23, 2017 @ 10:00 am
Picture of Pokemon Go Fest
Credit: Daniel Boczarski / Getty

When Pokémon Go was released in July 2016, it quickly became all the rage. For many, Pokémon Go improved friendships and lessened anxiety. People even went on Pokémon Go dates. Though many people have become less obsessed with the app since then, there are still plenty of die-hard trainers out there. So it seems like a Pokémon-themed festival would be a huge hit. Unfortunately, due to network server problems, Pokémon Go Fest was sort of a disaster.

The festival, which was held yesterday in Chicago, was supposed to be a reward for those who have kept it up. It encouraged Pokémon Go players to head to Grant Park under the promise that there would be a wide variety of characters to catch.

Pokémon Go Fest was billed to have rare characters, rest stations for each team, practice with expert trainers, and more. But in reality, it was a point of frustration for many attendees. It was plagued with shoddy cell reception and internet issues — two things vital to gameplay. Many attendees reported it was impossible to log in, and those who could complained that the game wouldn’t load.

Niantic CEO John Hanke and his team worked quickly to fix the issues, but many were left disappointed. Offers of free Pokécoins and refunds were made to reconcile some of the disappointment among attendees. Mike Quigley, Niantic CMO, also offered his apologies about the problems.

Many people are still upset with the outcome of the event. Full apologies and refunds are not enough for everyone.

Attendees will also receive Lugia, a legendary Pokémon for their efforts. The rare Pokémon will automatically be added to their accounts.

Since it was the first festival of its kind, we certainly hope any issues are worked out if they attempt it in the future.