Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago ends up being a debacle for thousands of attendees

CHICAGO (Fox 32 News) - The much-hyped Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago ended up being a total disaster for thousands of attendees on Saturday.

People came from around the world to go attend the event in Grant Park to celebrate the app's first anniversary. Tickets cost $20, but many paid hundreds of dollars for theirs on the secondary market.

But servers were overloaded early on, and thousands of people wandered around the park in 90 degree heat for hours to no avail.

Robin Weiss and a friend came all the way from Connecticut, spending thousands of dollars on plane tickets, a hotel room and food.

"We waited in line for three hours," Weiss said. "I diodn't get on the server for two hours. Then when you did get on you were kicked off immediately. I almost lost it."

Weiss said she understands that large summer festivals have long lines and that there can be glitches, but that this was clearly the result of inadequate planning and technology.

Pokemon Go creator Niantic refunded the $20 ticket price and gave attendees $100 in credits for use on the app, saying in a statement, "We apologize to all the trainers who came out to the fest today. Although we were able to solve many of the technical issues, we were not able to offer every attendee a great experience."

Weiss said she thought at least they would get some swag.

"Maybe a bag? A water bottle? Nothing," she said. "We got a little patch."

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