Niantic Is Rebooting the ‘Pokémon Go Fest’ This Summer

After last year's disastrous event, many assumed that the Pokémon Go Fest would never see light again

Jim Trottier/Flickr

Niantic Labs, the software company behind the popular mobile game Pokémon Go, announced yesterday that it would again be holding a Pokémon Go Fest this summer in Chicago. The festival, which will give fans from all over the world the chance to celebrate their love for the massively popular mobile game, will be held at Lincoln Park (a much bigger location than Grant Park, where the event was staged last year) on July 14-15.

Niantic said that the festival reboot is a part of a planned tour of Pokémon Go around the globe, including events in Germany and Japan. It’s exciting news for Pokémon Go fans but other than the new location, it’s still unclear what Niantic Labs is planning to do to ensure that this year’s festival avoids the pratfalls from last year’s inaugural event.

Last summer’s Pokémon Go Fest ⏤ which attracted tens of thousands of players ⏤ was an unequivocal disaster. Festival organizers were clearly unprepared for the magnitude of the event and many in attendance, in addition to having to wait in massive food and bathroom lines, couldn’t even connect to servers to play the game.

Earlier this year, Niantic reached a settlement with several of the Fest’s attendees who filed lawsuits against the company, agreeing to pay a $1,575,000 settlement to many who paid for flights, hotel rooms, car rentals, gas mileage, and other fees to attend the festival. Niantic had previously offered to reimburse the $20 tickets for those who attended and were dissatisfied with the experience.