herald

Thursday 27 April 2017

Gamercon bosses sorry after hundreds left waiting in rain

Queues build up outside the National Convention Centre
Queues build up outside the National Convention Centre

The organisers of Gamercon have apologised for "severe delays" experienced by ticket-holders seeking to enter the event over the weekend.

Gamercon, which billed itself as "Ireland's largest gaming event" aimed at families and children, took place in the National Convention Centre in the city centre yesterday and on Saturday.

However, the event was marked by large queues of ticket-holders outside the centre.

It was reported some 25,000 tickets were sold for the event - but the centre can only hold 7,000 people at any one time.

Hours

Queues containing hundreds of people stood outside in the rain formed both days, with the problems evident on Saturday morning.

Hundreds of families were left queuing for hours outside the convention centre, with many then turned away.

At midday, there were around 500 people queuing to access the event, which boasted a host of gaming tournaments and interviews with professional gamers.

Couple Louise Higgins (24) and Paul Raven (27) and 15-month-old son Dante, from Coolmine, were among those who managed to get in after queuing for two hours yesterday. "We heard about the trouble [on Saturday] so we had to arrive really early to beat the crowds, but still had to wait," they said.

"It seems today is better than yesterday, but we tried to beat the crowds as best we could."

Dressed up as characters Ciri and Geralt from The Witcher game, the couple were "still extremely excited".

Another gamer down for the convention was Neda Rainyte (18), originally from Lithuania but now living in Blanchardstown.

Neda spent over an hour in the queue and she was frustrated as she "just wanted to get inside to meet everyone".

Costume

Her costume was Ragdoll Poppy from the game League of Legends, and she said the convention centre was a "brilliant place to meet new friends".

"I only went into the hall for a few minutes and had already met so many new people, so it's a shame people are being held back outside," she said. "I'm just delighted to be in now."

Organisers said they would be offering full refunds to people affected by the issue, which they blamed on "underestimating traffic flow".

"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," they said.

"That temporarily impacted our ability to process the queue, which resulted in longer than expected wait times for our attendees."

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