The second annual festival kicks off in Lincoln Park this weekend, where Pokémon lovers will be able to chase virtual creatures on their smartphones.
Several tall towers with multiple wires connected to them were installed in Diversey Harbor in preparation for the event.
“All of the wireless carriers are bringing in special reinforcements,” said Bill Kilday. He says last year, event organizers say they ran into a variety of technical issues.
Bill Kilday is the Vice President of Niantic, the company that runs Pokémon fest. He says he is working hard to prevent a repeat of the 2017 technical glitches.
“They promised us a WiFi tower, promised us all kinds of stuff, and we got nothing. It’s terrible,” a festival-goer said last year.
The Pokémon Go Fest in 2017 ended with disappointment, followed by refunds and a class action lawsuit.
“We certainly learned a lot from last year,” said Kilday.
Despite the heat, a long line formed at will call. Pokemon Go players were armed with umbrellas, hats, and water as they prepared to play the game and find some of the elusive characters.
“I’m hoping to catch them and share them with my friends,” said a festival-goer in town from Germany.
“Meet some people, play some Pokemon,” said Justin, who came from Texas to play the game. He says he is eager to get some of the rare characters.
“These are the pokemon I want to trade for,” Justin said, showing the characters.
A group of friends drove in from Virgina for the event.
“I got this hat cheap from Walmart and wanted to blend in with the locals,” said Mike Kroboth, wearing a Cubs hat.
In addition to the cell phone boosters on site this year, the game is being played in a much larger space and over two days, instead of one.
By spreading out the area and increasing the duration of the festival, organizers hope the technical glitches won’t appear this year.