Irish Gaming Con Sounded Like A Disaster

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:

"Management were saying that they're only allowed to hold 7,000 in the venue," attendee Rohn McDonnell told "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.


    LOL, reminds me of the first PAX Australia. That was such a shit-show as well (over-crowding, long queues only to be turned away from panels, no under-cover queuing areas...)

      PAX sucked a big bag of dicks in that regard. I didn't manage to get into any panels when I went even after lining up. I assume they've improved it by now, but fool me once...

        They've definitely improved; they're in the Melbourne Exhibition Centre now instead of the showgrounds, lines are much faster/well organised, they're using the theatres for panels and there's generally more space. It's also a much better location so food is better accessible. That being said I didn't go last year after attending all previous years because it was starting to feel a bit samey, and also in Melbourne while I'm in Perth.

        Meanwhile I loved the first PAX more than any since, and also got into more panels then than I've been interested in going to at any subsequent one :P

          Who did you bribe!? Tell me your secrets.

            No one, just got in early!

            Though that said the majority of the panels I went to were the morning ones, and the ones that followed them meaning I could just stay in my seat. I do remember waiting in a couple of lines outside, but can't at all remember if they were ones I ended up getting into or not.

            In general though the first one had a greater sense of community gaming for me, dunno what about it made it seem so much stronger than the following ones but there was just something different about it that had me playing more things and with more people.

        If it was at the same location, then sure. But if it's something you're actually interested in, you should really give it another shot, as it has improved drastically in the new location. I've been a couple of times now, and have only been turned away from a talk once - when I turned up late and it was super-popular. And even then I got in about 20 minutes later when somebody left.

        Basically, it seems that they know they fucked up the first time, and have tried to learn from that as much as possible.

      That's why I never went back. When you need to take time off work to attend (unpaid, in my particular case) and you spend all day in queues... never doing that again.

    Greedy organisers knew exactly what they were doing- they just expected people to calmly wait, attend and leave, so they had a cycle of people coming and going like in a club.
    Refunds just don't cut it as compensation for a stunt like that. Those people were cheated, they deserve to be paid for their time.

    Ohh man, lovin the use of "feck" and "gobshite" in that one rant!

    "We have tree fellers in charge of security"

    Should have got at least four...

    Damn, got my hopes up for another Dashcon level of failure.

    Irish more people had been able to enter.....

    I will see myself out. Sorry all.

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