In the proud tradition of shows like infamous DashCon and Fyre, an under-staffed, under-planned and unlicensed Fortnite party in the UK held over the weekend turned out to be a complete disaster.
Fortnite Live, held February 16 - 17 in the English city of Norwich, billed itself as “the ultimate Fortnite Battle Royale!”, which would feature stuff like dance battles, activities like archery and rock-climbing, big-screen broadcasts of YouTubers and banks of PCs available to play Fortnite on.
Tickets cost between £12-20 ($21-$36), and just under 3000 kids showed up for the party. Entry for anyone not in possession of an early bird pass was massively delayed — organisers blamed staff shortages — but once inside things didn’t improve.
The Guardian reports that despite the attendance figures “There was...only space for four children to practice archery at the same time and just one climbing wall tower with room for three climbers”.
Attendees reported that the PC section cost money to play, despite Fortnite being a free-to-play title that kids could have been playing for nothing at home. Disappointed parents have been leaving messages on the show’s Facebook page like:
It was terrible, what an absolute disaster.... not like advertised!! We went for the early bird but some stuff wasn’t even set up!! The best thing about the event was the burger I had!! My son wanted to leave!! And As for the organiser saying it went well, what an absolute joke.
I have got tickets for tomorrow not taking my son to get upset want a refund like everybody else does
It’s awful. I have a very disappointed 9-year old. They should be ashamed.
A tarpaulin lobbed over a van with a plastic slide sticking out the back [was] billed as a ‘Cave Experience’.
But enough words. Please allow this video, uploaded by the show itself presumably as some kind of hype clip, set the scene:
The owner of the show’s operating company, Shaun Lord, told The Guardian that “he had given a refund to everyone who had asked”, and that he’s “dealing with people on an individual basis”.
The event, despite using Fortnite’s name, logo and official art to promote itself, was in no way licensed or approved by Epic Games.