What it was like to attend Pokemon Go's first real-world event that turned out to be a disaster

Pokemon Go Fest

Alex Heath / Business Insider

CHICAGO - About 20,000 Pokémon Go players traveled from all corners of the world to Chicago's Grant Park for a highly anticipated event on Saturday that quickly turned into a disaster.

The first-ever Pokémon Go Fest promised the hit game's most diehard players the chance to catch extremely rare Pokémon throughout the day, including the long-awaited unveiling of ultra-powerful Legendaries.

But rampant server outages and poor cell service quickly turned the celebratory Poké-mecca into an experience so disappointing that the game's owner, Niantic Labs, issued refunds and $100 worth of in-game credits for each ticket holder.

Business Insider was in Chicago to witness the Pokémon Go Fest, and all the troubles, firsthand. Here's what it was like:

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