T’is the season of failed festivals, although the latest on the list arguably isn’t quite on par with the high-profile Fyre fiasco.
An unofficial event – billed as 'the Fortnite event of the year' by the organisers and promising rock climbing, go karts, laser tag, plus the requisite dose of the most popular Battle Royale game on the planet – left many attendees unhappy due to long queues, poor planning and staff shortages. Stations to sit and play the free-to-play game were present and correct, but there weren't nearly enough to satisfy the 2,500 fans who turned up to share their enthusiasm for battling royally.
While Kotaku drew comparisons between this and the multi-million dollar fraud-fest that recently inspired Hulu and Netflix specials, we doubt attendees to this Norwich-based weekend event had similar expectations to those paying thousands of dollars to party with influencers on Pablo Escobar’s private Caribbean island.
It seems Fortnite Live attendees expected more, though. Staged at Norfolk showground, tickets started at £12 – going up by another £20 for ‘unlimited access’ - but visitors soon got miffed when it became clear that the organisers simply weren’t prepared for the number of attendees.
BBC News spoke to one Oliver Phillips who called the event “pretty rubbish [...] the sort of thing you see at a school fete.” Mr Phillips also described the ‘cave experience’ as a “trailer, no bigger than a car, with a tunnel going through it”. Let’s see what he means:
Hmm. To be fair, a video update from the organisers – which has since been removed – showed an indoor area that was actually better than we expected after reading reports, but queues are never going to go down well, especially if you’ve forked out for the deluxe ‘unlimited access wristband’ and end up waiting in line to play a game you can play at home instantly, and for free.
The company that organised the event apparently has others planned for the future, so hopefully they'll be better prepared next time.
Were expectations simply too high or was this an avoidable state of affairs? Did you attend the event? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.