Parents whose children went to Fortnite Live event in Norwich demand refunds after ‘awful’ event

A Fortnite festival for young gamers has been slammed by parents after some were charged an extra £40 despite long queues and ‘shambolic’ activities.

Fortnite Live near Norwich was billed as the ‘Fortnite event of the year’ with thousands of youngsters looking forward to being immersed in a world based on their favourite game.

Parents paid between £13.52 and £22.14 for advanced tickets, but had to shell out £20 extra for activities like a ‘cave experience’ that turned out to be a tunnel through a trailer with a slide.    

Despite there being 2,800 festival goers on the first day, there was only room for two people at a time to try out automatic BB guns firing plastic pellets at targets.

There was also only space for four children to practice archery at the same time and just one climbing wall tower with room for only three climbers.

Parents claimed they had to queue as long as an hour to get into the festival at the Norfolk showground.

Staff shortages meant they then had to wait up to another hour to buy wristbands. 

Organisers finally agreed to issue refunds after they swamped with complaints about the ‘rip off’ day.    

Fortnite Live near Norwich (visitors pictured at the event on Saturday) was billed as the ‘Fortnite event of the year’ with thousands of youngsters looking forward to being immersed in a world based on their favourite game. But parents were left disappointed by the ‘rip off’ event

Parents paid between £13.52 and £22.14 for advanced tickets, but had to shell out £20 extra for activities like a 'cave experience' that turned out to be a tunnel through a trailer with a slide

Parents paid between £13.52 and £22.14 for advanced tickets, but had to shell out £20 extra for activities like a 'cave experience' that turned out to be a tunnel through a trailer with a slide

Parents paid between £13.52 and £22.14 for advanced tickets, but had to shell out £20 extra for activities like a ‘cave experience’ that turned out to be a tunnel through a trailer with a slide

But parents then faced waiting an hour in another queue stretching 70 yards to get their refunds before heading home in disgust.

The attractions that did not require a wristband included a bouncy castle, basketball shooting and a flossing dance competition on a small stage.

One disgruntled mother said: ‘It should have been a fun day out – but the whole event was a shambles. My kids spent most of the day in queues.

‘Fortnite is all about hunting people down and killing them. I felt like doing that to the people who organised it.

‘There would have been hell to pay if they had not agreed to pay refunds to people who bought wristbands.’

Others took to social media to express their fury.

Facebook user Lula Phillips posted: ‘My husband and son have just left, I can’t believe you have charged people for that absolutely shocking non event..’

Sharmagne Spencer also posted on the event’s Facebook page, saying: ‘Avoid! Avoid! Really not worth it, my boys were miserable, queuing is shocking for everything.’

Adrian Vivian added: ‘What a rip off!! Badly organised, was marketed very well but didn’t deliver what was expected. Very, very disappointed!!’

Parents claimed they had to queue as long as an hour to get into the festival at the Norfolk showground.

Parents claimed they had to queue as long as an hour to get into the festival at the Norfolk showground.

Parents claimed they had to queue as long as an hour to get into the festival at the Norfolk showground.

Visitors took to social media to complain about the 'shambolic' two-day event 

Visitors took to social media to complain about the 'shambolic' two-day event 

Visitors took to social media to complain about the ‘shambolic’ two-day event 

Oliver Phillips of Sudbury, Suffolk, said he and his son Theo, 10, were at the front of the queue when the event opened at 10am, by which time early-bird ticket holders were already leaving.

He said: ‘The attractions were pretty rubbish. It was the sort of thing you see at a school fete.’

He added that the cave experience was ‘a trailer, no bigger than a car, with a tunnel through it’.

Andrea Suldisho, 47, who bought tickets last October as a birthday present for son Zach, 12, and Christmas gift for daughter Zara, seven, said: ‘There was nowhere near enough activities for the amount of people here.

‘What they do have was not of a standard that you would expect. We had to queue an hour for everything.

‘But when we got to the front of the Laser Tag queue, the man told us he had to reprogramme all the guns so there was another 20 minute wait. It was very poorly organised.

Youngsters are pictured at computer screens playing Fortnite en masse in Norwich 

Youngsters are pictured at computer screens playing Fortnite en masse in Norwich 

Youngsters are pictured at computer screens playing Fortnite en masse in Norwich 

‘We drove 110 miles here and I paid £60 for a hotel to stay for both days – but we will not bother with the second day. It is a shame because the kids were so excited about it.’

Philip Hinchliffe, from Norwich, who brought his 11-year-old son, said: ‘He’s out in the field playing with sticks, he’s having more fun doing that than he did at this event.’

Lucy Walters, who was with son Harvey, 11, added: ‘It was pretty rubbish. We queued and queued and queued for nothing. We bought wristbands but there was nothing there.’

Toni Nobbs, 34, of Norwich who was with her sister Megan, 12, and son Reece, 11, said: ‘We queued for two hours just to get in and buy our wristbands.

‘There were computers to play Fortnite on, but there was a one hour wait to get on one and then we only got 15 minutes on one.

‘Some people in the queue were absolutely furious.’

IT Manager Elliot Drew, 48, of King’s Lynn, Norfolk, who was with son Alfie, 12 and nephew Louie Cox, 12, said: ‘By the time we got in, people were saying they had seen enough and were leaving.

‘The caving experience was basically a truck with a bit of plastic on the roof and a slide. It was a bit of a joke.

Parents are pictured queuing for refunds, which many claim took another hour 

Parents are pictured queuing for refunds, which many claim took another hour 

Parents are pictured queuing for refunds, which many claim took another hour 

‘There were supposed to be go karts, but they were just low speed electric ones.’

Claire Harris of Stalham, Norfolk, who was with son Charlie, 11, said: ‘They could have catered for more people with the activities.

‘Why couldn’t they have had two climbing walls instead of one? Also they should have eight archery targets instead of four.

‘It was all so uninspiring that I felt a little sorry for the staff who were getting a lot of stick.’

Shaun Lord, owner of Exciting Events that organised the festival, admitted there were problems with queues as eight of his 19 staff had not turned up on Saturday.

He admitted he gave a refund to everyone who asked for one, but he refused to say how many people that was, saying: ‘We are dealing with people on an individual basis.’

But Mr Lord who is based in Spalding, Lincolnshire, added: ‘There are a lot of people who have told me they have had a fantastic time and their kids have thoroughly enjoyed it.

‘We will take everybody’s feedback into consideration and we will act on it..’

His company is planning further Fortnite events in Spalding and Newark, Nottinghamshire. 

Shaun Lord, owner of Exciting Events that organised the festival (parents pictured queuing) admitted there were problems with queues as eight of his 19 staff had not turned up on Saturday

Shaun Lord, owner of Exciting Events that organised the festival (parents pictured queuing) admitted there were problems with queues as eight of his 19 staff had not turned up on Saturday

Shaun Lord, owner of Exciting Events that organised the festival (parents pictured queuing) admitted there were problems with queues as eight of his 19 staff had not turned up on Saturday

WHAT IS FORTNITE?

Fortnite is a game that originally launched as a disk back in July 2017 and was then turned into a free-to-download game by its developer, Epic Games, in September. 

There are three forms of the game: ‘Battle Royale’, ‘Save The World’ and ‘Playground’.

Save the world is the original form of the game and is currently not available to play as part of the free-to-download game, instead it comes as part of a £30 ($40) extra. 

It is a co-op mode with a story that’s playable solo or online with friends.

Fortnite is a battle royale-style survival shooter where players create a superhero avatar and compete against each other on a dystopian island 

Fortnite is a battle royale-style survival shooter where players create a superhero avatar and compete against each other on a dystopian island 

Fortnite is a battle royale-style survival shooter where players create a superhero avatar and compete against each other on a dystopian island 

Users compete in teams of up to three to complete a variety of missions. 

It is rumoured that the game will be added to the free-to-play version of the game in the future. 

Whilst Save The World may be the original version of the game, its sister mode is by far the most popular. 

Battle Royale is a game of survival where players create a superhero avatar and compete against each other on a dystopian island.

Each game, or ‘match’ as each competition is known, starts with 100 players.

The aim of the game is to be the last one standing. Users can form allegiances and play in small groups.

To enable this and the interactive experience, the game allows completely open communication between players. 

Inspired by the Hunger Games novels and films, gamers search for weapons to help them survive. 

Armed with quirky weapons and amusing dances, the game has swept across the gaming world, with children flocking to it.  

While there is no exact figure on how many children play Fortnite, the game has so far pulled in an audience of over 125 million players. 

Playground is the latest addition to the game and is a consequence free mode with more loot and unlimited respawning to allow players to get creative.

It involved groups of up to four people working as a team and the players can hone their skills as the practise in advance of entering Battle Royale where they will face better players. 

Link hienalouca.com

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