Tickets for Virtual Pokémon Go Fest 2020 are Now Available

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Tickets for this year’s Pokémon GO Fest are now available in the in-game app shop, for $14.99. As the world (and especially the US) is still in the grip of the global pandemic, Pokémon GO Fest 2020 is taking place entirely online, and tickets are unlimited.

Tickets must be purchased with real money (not PokéCoins). To purchase, tap the GO Fest 2020 image in the shop, and hit the buy button. You should see a ticket in your Item Bag.

The event is taking place this weekend over two days: July 25 – 26, from 10 am to 8 pm local time.

Day 1 (July 25) will feature a unique Special Research task, as well as five rotating pokémon habitats for fire, water, grass, battle, and friendship. Each habitat includes different pokémon and challenges. During the event over 75 different pokémon will appear in the wild, raids, and Special Research Encounters.

Day 1 will also feature the Global Challenge Arena, a new event unique to Pokémon Go Fest. The Global Challenge Arena will include collaborative challenges that everyone works toward completing, to earn shared rewards.

The second day of Pokémon GO Fest 2020 is being kept as a surprise. In addition, it will feature another new Special Research story to complete. Note that Special Research doesn’t expire, and you don’t have to complete the tasks over the weekend.

If you’d like to join the event but your area lacks gyms and PokéStops, Niantic recommends using the Incense item. Incense will be more effective attracting pokémon during the two-day event, and each Incense will last for one hour.

Pokémon GO Fest 2020 begins July 25.

Pokémon Go Fest Goes Virtual in 2020

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Each year Niantic hosts a large gathering of Pokémon Go fans for a special event that runs for several days. Last year the Pokémon Go Fest took place in three different cities around the world, including Chicago, and drew hundreds of thousands of trainers.

With the COVID pandemic canceling all events and gatherings, we’re seeing a shakeup this year. Pokémon Go Fest 2020 is set for July 25 and 26, and will take place entirely online.

While we’ll miss the traditional congregation of Pokémon GO fans, we’re thrilled to bring a special Pokémon GO Fest experience to Trainers. Not only are you in for an exciting weekend of bonuses, Pokémon encounters, and Special Research, there will also be exciting ways to connect with other Trainers and experience other fun surprises throughout the entire summer.

Despite moving to a virtual format, the event will still require paid tickets to access. However, this year one ticket will grant access to both days of the two-day event.

The original Pokémon Go Fest took place in 2017 and was a disaster, but since then the event has improved and been well-received by fans around the world.

More details on what will be featured during the event will be announced in the coming weeks.

In other Pokémon Go news, if you have a fancy phone, you can take advantage of new Reality Blending AR technology. With Reality Blending, Pokémon will properly hide behind objects such as trees and furniture. The feature is currently rolling out for random trainers with the following devices: Samsung Galaxy S9 and S10 and Google Pixel 3 and 4.

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Pokémon GO Fest Returns for a Third Year this June

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Niantic, Inc. and The Pokémon Company have announced the return of the annual Pokémon GO Fest as part of the Pokémon GO Summer Tour 2019. The tour will consist of three international events in Chicago, Germany, and Asia.

Pokémon Go Fest: Chicago will take place June 13-16 in Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois. The event has been expanded to four days. Tickets cost $25 per person (on sale later this month), and attendees are limited to one ticket purchase for one day. Park times are open from 11 am – 7 pm.

“Last year’s Pokémon GO Summer Tour brought hundreds of thousands of Trainers together at real-world events around the world which left us with some truly unforgettable moments and stories,” said John Hanke, founder and CEO, Niantic, Inc. “This summer, we’re looking to continue to build upon that success and create even more ways for Trainers to enjoy and interact with these incredible parks and cities and build lasting friendships throughout their journeys of encountering Pokémon in the ‘real-world.’”

During the event Grant Park will feature interactive physical activities in the 300+ acres of walking space.

As with previous events, those not attending Pokémon Go Fest can still participate in the special global challenges. Details for these challenges will be revealed in the weeks leading up to the events.

The first annual Pokémon GO Fest was a well-documented disaster. But since then Niantic have successfully hosted numerous physical events, including last year’s Pokémon GO Fest. Spreading out attendees into four days should help alleviate crowding issues.

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Pokémon GO Fest Returns This Summer

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Niantic has announced the Pokémon GO Summer Tour 2018, which includes the return of Pokémon GO Fest in Chicago, Illinois on July 14-15.

Pokémon GO Fest 2018: A Walk in the Park will feature activities for Pokémon GO players of all ages. It takes place within a 1.8 mile stretch in Lincoln Park in Chicago. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, May 11. Single-day passes will cost $20, and nearby hotels will offer discount rates. Event details have not yet been announced.

Seeing Niantic return to a large-scale physical meet-up is interesting. Last year’s Pokémon GO Fest, which also celebrated the one-year anniversary of the hit mobile game, was an unmitigated disaster. The network was down for much of the event, preventing most ticket holders from actually playing the game. Niantic would later issue mass refunds to everyone who attended.

The Summer Tour also includes Safari zones for Europe and Asia. These are similar to Pokémon GO Fest but they are non-ticketed and open to everyone at public parks. The first takes place in Dortmund, Germany June 30 and July 1.

In addition to these events, Pokémon GO will continue to feature monthly Community Days. Community Days last only a few hours and feature a specific Pokémon with some added bonuses. The next Community Day is on May 19, when trainers will find a lot more Charmanders in the wild.

Pokémon GO launched on mobile devices in Summer 2016, becoming a global phenomenon and popularizing the AR genre. Its popularity has noticeably died down, though Niantic continues to support the game with frequent events and updates.

Pokémon GO Fest 2018 takes place in Chicago on July 14-15. Tickets will be available this Friday.

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Disastrous Pokémon GO Fest Results in Mass Refunds

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When Pokémon GO first launched in July 2016, it instantly became a cultural phenomenon. Its unprecedented mainstream popularity lead to widespread network issues that lasted for weeks.

Unfortunately all reports from last Saturday’s Pokémon GO Fest on July 22 tell a similar story. While it was meant to be a fun one-year celebration gathering, it instead brought back the same network issues that plagued the game at launch.

Connection issues hampered excited players throughout the day, with most event-goers unable to do the one thing they bought a ticket for. Amenities and organization were also subpar, with few charging stations and very long lines to get in (and out of) Grant Park.

Pokémon GO Fest ended up being such a disaster that Niantic announced mass refunds for everyone who attended ($20 ticket price). They’re also offering $100 worth of PokeCoins. Of course many people paid much more than that with airfare, hotel stay, and the typical overpriced event food.

There’s a video now circulating on YouTube from the event that features very disgruntled event-goers, and Niantic CEO John Hanke being booed on stage.

Niantic released an official statement:

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. We appreciate the patience of all the Trainers who joined us in Chicago this weekend. We will strive to make sure our experiences are of the highest quality going forward.

In addition to the refund and PokeCoins, all attendees will have the Legendary Pokémon Lugia added to their account. Lugia was meant to be the big reward for completing the challenges, but connectivity problems lead to Niantic simply releasing it. Apparently Team Mystic came out ahead on the few Pokémon captures that could be earned, unlocking Articuno as the other Legendary Pokémon.

Given how well Niantic has supported Pokémon GO and stabilized the servers following its rough launch, it’s exceedingly disappointing to see a large-scale event like this crash and burn. Niantic has had a year to iron out the kinks. You would think they’d be able to better prepare for an actual scheduled, ticketed event.