we’ve received a number of reader requests to write a short summary of the GO Fest so far, mostly targeted for players who are unable to watch the live stream.

This is what we’ve got so far, but be aware that the live stream is constantly going up and down and our “boots on the ground” haven’t made it through the waiting line yet. This report uses a number of quotes from this reddit thread.

We’re attaching a number of tweets, clips and images for your viewing pleasure.

GO Fest Event Summary (from 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM CDT)

Right of the bat, the waiting line to enter is huge, spanning dozens of “waiting twists” and with more than 2000 people waiting to enter. Here’s a short clip:

The app connectivity is severely limited, with lag spikes and frequent disconnects for the ones who are inside the event area. One Trainer shared the following:

Checking in from the festival here. Been keeping a running count of how many Pokémon people have caught since they’ve been here for four hours. Highest is around 15. I’ve caught four.

The live stream was delayed for roughly an hour. Once it went live the technical difficulties have made it difficult to watch.

John Hanke got up on the stage and was promptly “booed” by the crowd, only to be “cheered” again when he shared that they’re working on the connectivity issues:

The first challenge window happened in time and the stream displayed the following “cumulative results graphic”:

After the first challenge, there were a number of other technical issues, which prompted a Niantic representative to share “three technical issues” that they’re working:

The second event challenge happened, no confirmed info to share, as the connectivity and stream issues made it hard to figure out the results. This is the temporary picture, although it looks… weird:

Finally, Niantic tweeted that they’re working on the technical issues:

  • Heydavid17

    Quite a poor event, it would look like so far.

    I personally imagined, that they would make more out of it, when they’ve been promoting the event globally, and yet… it still feels like, it’s only going on in Chicago.

  • Rustam Talibzade

    Niantic have always failed. They were succesful only because pokemons are loved very much. They killed the game that was beating all records last summer in 2 months!!!
    It is the biggest fail they have. Unfortunately, Nintendo do not take place in development of Pokemon GO. There would not be so many problems

    • hkmaly

      It’s unbelievable how they keep underestimating number of players as if they didn’t had exact data.

      • Hellcat

        Spoofers increase the load on the server

        • Larry Wicklow

          Ok but the point is that traffic data for mobile phones is limited and servers not only from Niantic would be in trouble, with/out spoofers. They should have asked earlier (speaking to phone companies) for a major coverage. I thinks it is possible to increase traffic data in a single area, isn’t it? However, i think it was not a big deal even if the game had run smoothly

    • Xarhs

      What are you talking about? Can you just imagine how much effort is needed to make this game work? Servers is the smallest problem. You should think twice before talking like this.

  • NicolasKingh

    Big fail, not a big surprise.

  • Jason

    They are giving refunds and 100$ in pokecoins for all the server issues.. A lot of people wondered how the servers would hold up today.. But people still waiting in line hours after the event started I think is ridiculous.. This company has had issues since day 1.. I have always tried to be positive and supportive.. although a couple times I have been very aggravated myself.. and although the game has gotten better and progressed slowly.. they admitted they are about 6 months behind where they want to be.. I really enjoy the game despite some of the issues.. but I hope the company uses the money and resources they have now to continue to make the game better and become a better company.. can’t change the past and the rough times but can continue to try to improve in the future

    • Jason

      Also the Pikachu raids look really fun wonder if they will be available for everyone soon.. but I feel like the Challenges with them not giving us a specific number that we are going to automatically pass regardless of what the number we reach is.. maybe like a safety net so that it wasn’t failed but would’ve been fun to have a actual number for the types caught at Go Fest and for the total number caught for people not at Go Fest and track that through out the day.. Although with the issues going on at Go Fest numbers for them might not be so great right now..

    • Spetsen

      The biggest issue wasn’t with the servers, it was with the network. The cellular networks are not built to handle a lot of people in a small area. You can see the same happen at concerts, where it’s often impossible to make and receive calls (and of course use data as well). I thought Niantic would have worked better together with the carriers to battle this problem, but apparently I was wrong.

      • Dan

        Apparently, according to TrainerTips, they did. They were begging the providers to boost the networks in any way possible, and the only network to actually do anything was Sprint (they brought towers on wheels). As a Verizon customer, I can absolutely believe this.

        • Spetsen

          I saw that as well, but he also said that Niantic gave numbers on expected traffic and that the providers said that amount would work fine. Now the question is just whether Niantics numbers were inaccurate or the providers didn’t know how much traffic they can handle. Or maybe a combination of both?

  • Brad

    Well, I give a report for the Go Fest El Paso. TITANIC (Niantic) sucked me in and I spent $40 on coins, mainly to buy raid passes. I was expecting I would need them. We had a really good turn out for a quickly planned event. It was at a park that had 4 gyms and 7 stops. There were people that came in from over 50 miles away. The wife donated, more than I knew, for the give away’s, food, water, and drawing prizes. The event started and TITANIC’s hand reached out and slapped the schtuff out of us. Server lag was horrible, game restarting on its own, etc… I stayed for 3 raids over a three hour period (Snorlax, Vaporeon, and a Majikarp). That was enough for me to leave, I see those on a normal day.

    So had a good time with people that aren’t involved with the company, And the game company can forget it. I’m not going out of my way to play this game anymore.

    • Larry Wicklow

      You have all my approval. Sorry for your 40$ loss. I too think this was a great failure ; (

  • NicolasKingh

    I guess players just need to anticipate that all new features will fail in the beginning, they do get better with time. It seems they can’t get it right from the start.

  • Michal Hušák

    Sounds like they unlock all bonus for 24 hour and Lugia will be the first legendary. The Chicago participants will get full refund, $100 in pocecoins an free Lugia (becouse of the technical disaster making imposdible to finisch anything).

  • Larry Wicklow

    I am a Pokemaniac since I was born and we talk about more than 20 years. I live in a tony italian village, with just a pokestop and a gym in a 10km radius, and guess what. I am the only Pokemon Go player in my area therefore i cannot even gain coins. I started playing since day one, I actually downloaded the game and was responsible for day1 server crashes because my hype was above the sky. Despite the issues and the lack of features, not to talk about poor spawns (and now raids) for rural people, I kept playing because I am really a fan. And i think real fans, sometimes, should have the right to say “enough” and be listened because they are the real pillars of Niantic recent success.
    To get to the point, I had such expectations for this event, believing it would have been like Chicago turned into a themed park, you know, something really big. One of my friends is actually at the event and told me he was frustrated by the impossibility to play the game fairly. It seemed to be day1 one again because Niantic apparently made the “stupid” error of not thinking that mobile traffic data in a limited area can crash like on New Year’s First Day. So first of all: tech issues. Then not that good spawns. Too confused event and again issues that prevented people to really be competitive since (for me watching live on twitch) it was a continuos confusion on that panel showing the tiers.
    I love the game, I love the Pokemon world so much and I will continue playing because it is my hobby for that 10-15 minutes I spend every day.
    But let me Tell you Niantic. I appreciated the efforts, really. No doubts about that. But the result was barely acceptable.
    It confirmed me that despite a year had passed, still you do not learn fron your mistakes.
    I also Wonder why they only have less than 100 workers especially when they admit they are 6 months in delay with updates… invest part of the millions you earned to get 10 people more but please make the difference this time!
    After all this long speech, I think Europe events won’t be that great thing.
    Not to mention that most of Europe hasn’t events planned 🙁
    GO FEST comment: 4/10
    App: 5/10
    I hope i am not the only one thinking like this

  • NicolasKingh

    I heard we are going to get Lugia and Articuno in raids, starting tomorrow? Any news on this?

    • Michal Hušák

      Lugia yes. Articuno later.

      • Larry Wicklow

        Actually Articuno has already started to be in Italy

  • Robdebobrob

    oh great, we get Articuno cause the biggest team contributed the most. Shocker.

    I would really love to be in Niantics office this monday at the morning meeting where they discuss what happened last weekend.

  • Xarhs

    I cannot understand why people are talking like this for Niantic. I know it was not the smoothest experience ever but they have proved they respect the customers with the refunds and the rewards.

    This is the best game ever. You owe the moments of joy that you are having with Pokemon go to them.

  • Marlene Planko

    These comments are ridiculous. Many people paid in the upwards of $1k+ to be there. We’re being compensated for the ticket. The pokecoins – whatever. The “free” Lugia- that’s okay. What I didn’t get to do is play. All of their half assed attempts at giving me things doesn’t change the fact that for the majority of the people they did not get to play. I don’t want a “free” Lugia. I wanted to battle for it with 15k people. I wanted to do a day full of raid battles with people from all over the worlds. After waiting hours for the excruciatingly slow entry process, it took one person in my group over two hours inside of the park to even be able to scan their QR code. They could not play at all the entire time we were in the park. At all. Not at all. We left the park when they said they expanded the spawn area. Having the legendary raids after the event was over and not in the event site itself is outrageous. Giving me free virtual items does not make up for any of this. None of it.

  • Dan

    Ok, so, apparently, Niantic did try their hardest to convince the cellular network providers that they would need to do something to boost their network load capabilities in that area for the day. Sprint came through with portable towers, but the other networks kept saying they could handle the load. At least for the next event they can reference this event as to why it didn’t work. And judging by the amount of people that have been at the Legendary raids the past day or so, the game is far from dead in my town.

    • Gilda Lee

      All you people stating Niantic tried their hardest to work with the cell companies are just repeating what trainertips Nick said in his video. You have no first hand knowledge. Think about what you are saying…..If someone in Texas could not play at the same time, it was because of Niantics servers!! I am in Ky and I could not stay logged on to play for very long….lagging, having to restart…frozen etc. I was not draining AT&T service from Ky. It was Niantic.

      • Dan

        On the flip side, I was in Miami for a weekend away. I had no issue with the server, short of the “normal” error out once a raid starts if I hadn’t restarted the app. No one that I ran into were having server issues at that time. No one in my town was having server issues either beyond the regular. And honestly, I didn’t watch Nick’s video. I don’t have the attention span to sit there and watch a video of someone talking at a camera for 17 minutes. My solution before the event even started was to use Wi-Fi paid by Niantic and provided by the cell providers. This would have been a whole lot cheaper, and it would have prevented spoofers from getting in because they could have made it so that you can ONLY get into the stops and gyms if you were on the WiFi network (FSUATL got in because someone sent him a QR code, which should not only get FSU perma-banned, but should get the person who supplied the code perma-banned. Maybe both of them even sued). You can then provide the password to the WiFi to only the attendees, but also include the QR code for double security.