GamerCon, an attempt to run a professional games show in Ireland (other shows are amateur efforts), opened for the first time over the weekend. It did not go well.
The show, held at Dublin's National Convention Centre, promised everything from esports to PlayStation VR to cosplay, and while all that stuff was indeed there, a lot of paying customers weren't, because the organisers had oversold the venue.
RTE reports that the convention centre can hold a maximum of around 9000 people, but that over the two days of the event 24000 tickets were sold, which meant long lines and families — some of whom had travelled from across Ireland — being stuck outside in the rain.
Here are some happy customers:
Current scenes pic.twitter.com/aC22MppCdA
— Craig Jocelyn (@CraigOHoon) March 18, 2017
— Mark O'Connor (@markoconnor47) March 18, 2017
I may have figured it out. When you paid for your ticket for #GamerCon you only paid for the queue. Gotta pay extra for the inside dlc
— Wayne Talbot (@WayneTalbot) March 18, 2017
— Tríona (@PolkaBunneh) March 19, 2017
"Management were saying that they're only allowed to hold 7,000 in the venue," attendee Rohn McDonnell told TheJournal.ie. "Some of these people have been stranded in the other queue since 10.30am this morning, they have come from across the country with their kids."
It's not like the organisers didn't know that many people were coming; the event's website boasts of attendees being able to join "20000 other gamers" over the weekend.
Show founder Ferdi Roberts explained the lines to the Irish Times in a statement:
GamerCon sincerely apologises for the significant delays that our attendees experienced this morning.As a first-time event we underestimated the traffic flow that we forecast for the event and have very strict health and safety-related capacities which we must adhere to.
That temporarily impacted our ability to process the queue which resulted in longer-than-expected wait time for our attendees.
Following the outcry over the organisation of the show both at the centre and online, GamerCon will be issuing refunds to anyone who purchased a ticket but did not have it scanned for entry.