Niantic's first-ever Pokemon GO Fest in Chicago's Grant Park turned out to be a damp squib, as thousands of players were left disappointed after the gaming app crashed unexpectedly. Within 20 minutes of entering Grant Park, several attendees had started complaining about shaky signals on their mobile carrier network as they were hit with a flurry of technical snags, including the inability to login and other connectivity issues on the Pokemon GO app.

Pokemon GO Fest Chicago
Pokemon GO Fest plagued by technical glitches and lengthy queues explainedNiantic

As TechCrunch reports, tapping a monster to catch it would result in nothing but an error screen while tapping an Unown or Hercross leads to unexpected app crashes.

The technical snags stretched beyond the individual's game crashing issues as massive displays that were meant to reveal the leaderboard stats for the top-scoring teams at the in-park gyms had failed to turn on.

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A few thousand among the audience had resorted to wild chanting of the words "Fix your game" or "We can't play!" even as Niantic's John Hanke took the stage. Some irate fans of the game rushed to the stage to express their discontent personally with Hanke.

The event had witnessed nearly 20,000 attendees lining up outside Grant Park's entrance as early as 6 am on Saturday (July 22) in a bid to grab the tickets before they were sold out in less than 10 minutes. The ticket price on eBay touched alarmingly upwards of $450 as people chose to pay 20 times the price of regular tickets as they were sold out like hot cakes.

Several Pokemon GO fans had travelled far from across the world just to play their favourite augmented-reality game on the biggest stage.

Addressing its disappointed fans at the Grant Park event, Niantic (developer of the game) had this to say:

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."

In order to pacify the irate and disappointed fans, Niantic promised to extend the Pokemon event through Monday:

Special Pokémon, Eggs, and check-in PokéStops appearing during Pokémon GO Fest have had their range increased to a two mile radius surrounding Grant Park through Monday morning, July 24. These Pokémon and Eggs will only be visible to Pokémon GO Fest attendees who validated the QR code they received when they entered Pokémon GO Fest. Attendees who were unable to validate their QR code during the event can do so through the special PokéStops through Monday morning."

According to abc7chicago citing a CNN Wire report, several Pokemon GO players who attended the event expressed discontent about feeling "totally ripped off" due to unforeseen technical problems and poor backup plans by Niantic.

Rob Schuyt who had come all the way from Minnesota, had complained of spending hundreds of dollars for his accommodation and travel expenses and the event organisers had "failed miserably."

"Complete and utter failure," he said. "And I think it was totally predictable by Niantic. They should have known you can't have 20,000 people in a two-block area all trying to connect to LTE and their servers. It's just nuts."

Nevertheless, avid fans of Pokemon GO who missed the event can catch a glimpse of all the action on the official twitch channel (see the embedded video below):

Watch live video from PokemonGO on

Alternatively, you can catch all the recorded live-streaming action on official YouTube channel.