Pokémon Go held it's first real-world event — Pokémon Go Fest Chicago. It took place Saturday, July 22, 2017. While tickets sold out almost instantly and the event had serious issues, Niantic and the Pokémon community managed to come together in the end for a Legendary night in Chicago.

May 11, 2017: Pokémon Go Fest Chicago tickets ~NOW ON SALE~ SOLD OUT

2:45pm EDT: And... Sold out!

12:00am EDT: Well, that was predictable.

Finally got tickets around 12:40 EDT. See you there!

May 9, 2018: Pokémon GO Fest tickets on sale May 11, 9 am PT / 12pm ET

Based on past history, the ticket server will crash hard, and the tickets will sell out fast, so set a reminder, set an alarm, open multiple browsers — do what you got to do.

May 7, 2018: Pokémon GO Fest returns to Chicago from July 14 to July 15

Despite the problems last year, Pokémon Go Fest is returning for 2018. Because of the problems last year, it's getting a new format.

From Pokémon Go:

Our biggest North American event is back with a brand-new look! Pokémon GO Fest returns to Chicago from July 14 to July 15. Pokémon GO Fest 2018: A Walk in the Park will offer a unique, immersive play experience unseen anywhere else that will create a daylong adventure for Trainers. The event will be held in the city's historic Lincoln Park, with a 1.8-mile walking course that, among the tree-lined greenery, will include exclusive activities for Trainers of all ages. Single-day passes go on sale on May 11 for $20 on our event website. Also, check the event website for details on hotel accommodations and stay tuned for more details.

Sounds like fun. Who wants to go?

What's Pokémon Go Fest?

Pokémon Go Fest Chicago is the second annual major U.S., real-world event for Niantic's incredibly popular augmented reality, geo-hunting game. It takes place on July 14 and 15, at Lincoln Park.

From Pokémon Go:

Are you ready to take a walk in the park? On May 11 at 9:00 a.m. PDT, tickets to Pokémon GO Fest 2018: A Walk in the Park will go on sale! Get your tickets and join us on July 14 or July 15 in Chicago for a unique and new Pokémon GO experience in the city's historic Lincoln Park.

Your ticket gives you access to a 1.8-mile walking course featuring a variety of Pokémon habitats. As you walk through the park, you'll encounter Pokémon with affinities for those habitats. You'll also have an opportunity to conduct new Special Research that leads to exciting rewards. When you're not out researching Pokémon habitats, you can relax in special team lounges and meet new friends.

While Pokémon GO Fest 2018 will take place over the course of a weekend, Trainers will only be able to interact with the Pokémon habitats within the park for a single day. In other words, a Trainer who purchases a ticket to the event on Saturday will be unable to catch Pokémon within the park on Sunday–even if they've purchased a Sunday ticket. Tickets to this event are $20 per person for a single-day experience, so make sure to coordinate with your friends and family and grab them on our event website before they're gone.

Can't make it out to Chicago or unable to purchase a ticket? Don't worry! Trainers will be able to celebrate Pokémon GO Fest 2018 in a unique way all over the world. Stay tuned for information on how you'll be able to participate in the fun.

What can players outside Chicago do?

No word yet but, hopefully, they'll let us know soon.

What's the Special Research?

The last one, available when Research kicked off in April, was for the first mythical, Mew. So, maybe the second mythical, Celebi? We'll have to wait until Pokémon Go announces it.

Has Pokémon Go said anything else about Pokémon Go Fest?

Yes! On the Pokémon Go Fest Event page:

Explore Pokémon Habitats: Lace up your most comfortable shoes and discover special Pokémon habitats that have emerged along a beautiful 1.8-mile walking course in Lincoln Park! Interact with unique spaces, discover the Pokémon that reside there, and fill in some gaps in your Pokédex.

Challenges and Rewards: Work together not only with the thousands of Trainers in the park, but also millions of Trainers around the world. Complete challenges throughout the way to unlock amazing global in-game rewards. More details about these challenges will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Conduct Research: Meet new friends and conduct research together within Lincoln Park to unlock exciting rewards.

Photo Ops: Commemorate the experience by snapping photos with your favorite Pokémon at the many awesome photo opportunities around the park.

Team Lounges: Cool off and recharge in one of the six team lounges, where you'll meet your fellow Instinct, Mystic, or Valor teammates.

What about Legendary Raids? Any new ones?

There could be!

How to prepare for Legendary Raids in Pokémon Go

How different is Pokémon Go Fest 2018 from the original?

Substantially! Check out what happened last year:

Pokémon Go Fest Chicago 2017

What do you need to take with you for Pokémon Go Fest?

Sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, shoes, batteries, headphones, water bottles, and more! That's what'll save you from the sun burns, the bugs bite, the heat parches, and the kilometers blister.


Like Superman, we're powered by the rays of our strong yellow sun. But what makes us stronger can also burn us. That's why really good sun screen is an absolute must for anyone spending any time outside this summer.

The Sweethome recommends NO-AD Sport SPF 50 or Coppertone Oil Free Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30.

A hat

It could be for your favorite sports team. It could be for your best-loved geek franchise. It could be from the latest fashion line or simply surplus. Whatever the branding — or lack thereof — the important thing is that it keeps the sun off your head and provides shade for your eyes.


Sunglasses aren't just about looking cool. OK, they're a lot about looking cool, but they're also about protecting your eyes. Anything and everything from particulates to UV light can get into and damage your eyes while you're out and about, especially if you're out an about at velocity on a bike, board, boat or skates.

The Wirecutter likes the Ryders Sevent and the Julbo Aero. For a less sporty, more budget pick, try ZeroUV Longhorn.


Pounding the pavement is as brutal on your feet as it sounds. Cement and asphalt are hard and, the latter especially, can get HOT. If you're on the trails, there are rocks, thorns, and trash to worry about as well. So, if you want your feet to last, and with a minimum of blisters and strain, get good shoes. For most activities, I love Nike Free.

Battery pack

No drain, no gain! It's goofy but it's true: Many outdoor activities demand a lot of power. If your Apple Watch is in workout mode, the heart rate monitor is firing. If your phone is being used to battle in Pokémon Gyms or navigate through a national park, the screen is lit and the GPS is hard at work. If you have a backpack with you, I like the mophie powerstation XX because it can charge multiple devices multiple times. If you're sticking strictly to pockets or fanny packs, the TravelCard is great. If you have an iPhone but want it to be more like an iPhone Plus when you're out and about, Apple's Smart Battery Case has an efficiency that simply can't be beat.

Water, water, water

It's critically important to stay hydrated when you're out, especially in the heat. That means drinking water regularly. You can find a fountain or Apple Pay for a bottle whenever you need it, but by the time you're thirsty you're already late. If you have a backpack or even a decent-sized pocket or pack, keep some water with you and sip regularly. Otherwise, make sure you stop regularly to refresh. Set a timer if you have to.

What else do you need to know about Pokémon Go Fest?

As the event approaches, we'll hopefully get and share more information. Until then, let us know if you have any questions!

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