Trainers, ShinyHunterLiam here, fresh off the plane from Dortmund and loaded with experiences and stories to share with you all about the recent European Go Fest 2019!

Whilst the team here at GoHub has already posted a review of Go Fest: Dortmund, I thought it would be good to share an alternative look at the event from A Shiny Hunters perspective and give an in-depth view of the event.

Below, I detail some of the different things I loved and didn’t love as much (of which there are very few) and have included some photos to help illustrate some of the points.

Forward Planning/Travel

Our group consisted of 6 Players, all level 40 and two members from each team. We had already sorted travel, flights, tickets, and accommodation in the months prior to this so getting to Dortmund was relatively straightforward.

We booked our flights and hotel as soon as the event was announced and watched the prices of flights and hotels soar shortly after the city and airlines realized that an event was going on. I would strongly advise booking your flights and hotel as soon as it is announced, as it’s practically possible to avoid the sky-rocketing of prices.

Four of us split a taxi from the airport (two of our members stayed in a different hotel closer to the park) – so the fare was split 4 ways and worked out to a very reasonable €10 each for a 30-minute drive to Dortmund city and our hotel.

Once we got to the hotel, checked-in (which was made very easy due to the fact that every man, woman, and child in Germany is taught English as a mandatory second-language) we dumped our bags and went out to raid and seek food. We were pleasantly surprised with what we found, which leads me onto my next point…

Playing In Dortmund

Dortmund

Although we had an idea that the town would be busy and bustling with Pokémon Go Players, we were still not prepared for the sight that awaited us when we got to Dortmund city and exited the hotel, tempted out by the plethora of raids, gyms, and Alolan Pokemon due to the Anniversary event still being active and merging with the Go Fest Global event.

Every single street, shop, restaurant, and bar was packed out with people playing Pokémon Go, it was actually very surprising. As someone who comes from a town where there are approx. 100 Pokémon Go Players with maybe 30? that play every day (myself included) it was so nice to see people who share a keen interest with you and your friends, all here for the same reason.

Raids were an incredible spectacle as well. Not just 5 stars but raids of all levels: 1-5 had an incredible turnout, the above picture illustrated the hundreds of people that turned up to raid a Groudon on hatch in Dortmund City, you were never struggling to fill a lobby, in fact, you were struggling to get into the same lobby as your friends, they were filling up so fast.

Overall, the city felt alive and every German working within the city from bar-staff to hotel owners knew what was going on and was polite and seemed to enjoy the town being so busy and popular. I would have no issues coming back there on my own as I felt safe at every point. We were lucky enough to be able to reach two Pokestops from our hotel room and were spoilt for encounters at every hour of the day or night.

Pre-Event Shinies

We had a very busy first day and managed to clock up around 24,000 steps – Ignoring my own advice about not overdoing it the day before the event by going for a walk along my towns seafront before our taxi to the airport the morning of our flight allowed me to claim my first Shiny Alolan Execcutor and once we were in Dortmund and seeing how every single Pokestop in the city was lured 24/7 and going out until about 11PM that night, my efforts rewarded me with a Shiny Omanyte!

Next, we move on to the event itself: Our Friday Play Day.

The Holy Grail of Maps

Full credit for the below map goes to YouTuber Razzi (whose channel you can find here) – It popped up online after the first day of Go Fest and quickly became the most helpful thing I’d found for shiny hunting at the event.

The below map shows which shiny Pokémon could be found at which habitat but what I did not realize until I was at the event itself is that it was incredibly easy to find yourself in an area that spanned two habitats and would be seeing spawns of both Flower-crown Pikachu and Mawile at the same time for example.

We found ourselves walking around the existing paths a few times before heading to another area. One of the biggest surprises for me was the variety of nationalities that I observed during the event. Not being able to understand what someone was saying in their own language and then suddenly hearing a squeal of joy and the unmistakable scream of “SHINY!” from players of all nationalities was music to my ears.

GO Fest Dortmund Map

Go Fest Dortmund Shiny Pokémon!

My aim throughout the event was to try and stay in one area until I had picked up all the shinies I needed from that habitat.

We did find a little “hidden gem” in the trading area though. there was an area that was nicely shaded from the sun with trees on both sides, a stone’s throw from the toilets, food vans, water refill station, two of the team tents and featured an incredible amount of pokestops and spawns whilst recuperating. From this area we managed to see spawns of Bronzor, Geodude, Machop, Mawile, Meditite, Gastly, Aron and Feebas!

Stats For The Event/The Trip
Total Pokemon Caught 2000+
Shinies Caught During Event 30
Shinies Caught During Entire Trip 45
Special Trades Completed 4
Total Hatched Shinies 3 (Beldum, Gastly & Dratini)
First Shiny Caught At Event Nidoran (Female)
Last Shiny Caught At Event Dratini (Hatched)
Most Shinies Caught from our group? Me (30) Others caught around 20, 1 person caught only 7

Good Ideas

We had many compliments about the Laminated trainer QR codes that we made before the event and hung from our bags. These allowed other players to add us as friends without being stopped or interrupted and throughout the day we kept seeing friend requests pop-up allowing us to accept them when we had a few of the “make a new friend” task.

I also made a laminated sign (below) with images of Pokémon that I wanted to trade. Both what I was looking for and what I had to trade. I found that this was a great way to cross the language barrier and I had this on the inside of my see-through bag – again so that I didn’t have to get stopped unnecessarily, use those wooden paddles and maximized my shiny hunting time!

Trading

I was excited to complete the 5 Special trades within the event time but it didn’t take long to realize that people were mainly interested in “special” Unowns, legacy Pokémon and shiny hat Pichus and Pikachus. This kind of over-shadowed the trading for me as I knew I didn’t have any of those things to trade. It didn’t stop me from doing some special trades with GoHubs very own OrangeHeart! Thank you Ray!

Exclusive Swag

We all know that the Grey T-Shirt was available to purchase for €30 from the Merchandise stand. However, team keyrings and exclusive black Go Fest T-Shirts could be obtained from the Team Lounges by entering competitions (or if you’re lucky like me to catch one that was being hurtled into the crowd).

Go Fest Dortmund Highlights

Overall I had a really great time! There we many many highlights, too many to list all of them but I will list the main ones.

  • Shinies Galore!
  • Unowns, regionals, trades hoorah!
  • Playing in Dortmund.
  • The Food <3
  • Meeting the rest of the GoHub Team:

Go Fest Criticisms

I’m really scraping the bottom of the barrel to find anything that could be complained about at all but there were a few things that could have been improved:

  • Lack of Absol & Alolan Vulpix/Sandshrew – We were disappointed to see a lack of wild Absol and hatch-only Alolans. This was something that was a huge draw for many people, especially with the recent introduction of the Shiny versions of Vulpix and Sandshrew but it was a small price to pay and I realize that there was no Ice habitat in Dortmund which was a conscious decision to make spawns different to those in Chicago.
  • Loss of signal for some players – We did find that two players from our group were unable to get onto the game for approx. 1-hour during the event but this was soon forgotten about when the shinies started to pop up!
  • Curse of Beldum. This had become an ongoing joke with the players inside the park. Lots of players felt a bit cheated that Beldum was one of the spawns within the park as it had already had its own spotlight Community Day and therefore most players had plenty of them. I caught 4 and my friend (who caught 7 Shinies total) had 3 of them be Beldum, which wasn’t a great result.

Would I do anything differently?

Absolutely not. I was well prepared for any eventuality. I would go for longer next time for sure. If this is the model for future go fests, then I would love to go a couple of days early to soak in the atmosphere a bit more and leave another day later.

Going Home 🙁

No words needed for this but it was nice to be boarding a flight full of people sharing the same interest as you at least, even if we were heading back to a cold and rainy city.

Dortmund

Advice to Improve Go Fest 2020?

Again, scraping the bottom of the barrel for any issues as, to me, the event was really amazing but perhaps slightly better communication about what spawns will be at which Go Fest event would prevent players from being disappointed after getting to the event (Absol, im looking at you.)

The very slight issue with signal hopefully could’ve been prevented but it didn’t really affect myself and seemed like a completely different experience altogether from Safari Zone 2018.

Parting Thoughts

An amazing event. Pokémon storage full of new shiny Pokémon. You will see from my trading sign that i actually managed to pick up quite a few pokémon that i needed and not too many duplicates!

I also took home a shed load of the Regional: Carnivine and Unowns that i didn’t have including the Exclamation mark which i think will hold its value as a trade prospect for a while to come.

I would love to be able to attend both Chicago and Dortmund next year. What were your thoughts on the event, Trainers?

P.S – To those two fellow British guys I overheard at Dortmund airport saying that GoHub get “spoon-fed a lot of their information, but they’re a lot better than they used to be”, All I can say is thank you, although I would still love to have a deeper conversation with you both about it 🙂