Organisers of a Peterborough convention for fans of computer game Minecraft, have said they are “truly genuinely sorry” after angry parents took to social media to criticise the organisation of the event.
More than 4,000 people attended MineVention at Peterborough Arena on Saturday, September 12, to meet star players of the game, but many said they “spent hours queuing” to get in and demanded refunds.
Natasha Maddock said: “This event was an utter shambles very very poorly organised with literally nothing to do but queue for everything.”
Mike Monkfish posted on Facebook: “It was a truly dreadful event that was poorly organised. Very little to do, very little to see. Two food vans for thousands of people, problems with wheelchair access, nothing to do but queue.”
The event, not endorsed by Minecraft developer Mojang, gave fans the chance to meet famous ‘Youtubers’ take photos and play games.
Responding to the negative feedback to the event, organisers O’Brien Event Management said: “Firstly the Minevention team would like to thank everyone who attended our first UK event in Peterborough. We are truly genuinely sorry to hear our event did not meet a few people’s expectations.
“MineVention is primarily a ‘Meet & Greet’ event and so this does mean queuing, but on the plus side it does give the kids the special chance to meet their heroes. We had invited 22 fantastic YouTubers, 8 FutureTubers and a number of extra YouTubers we were delighted to see come along.
“Collectively, well over 55,000 signatures were given to their fans over 9 hours and thousands of photos too. With dedicated YouTubers flying from LA, Cincinnati, Australia, Spain, Scotland and N.Ireland.
“We have taken all your comments regarding to the event on board and going forward we will be putting in a new queuing system and much more content.
“We are delighted to announce due to all your efforts we set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORD as ‘The Most People Dressed As Steve From Minecraft’. A total of 337 people! We understand the difficulties taking part caused a few families but unfortunately we had to adhere to GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS Terms & Conditions & Rules. Whilst every effort was made to comply with the regulations of the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD attempt, this resulted in the location of the count being moved to the indoor area and we tried to accommodate every child’s requirements during the process. We do understand that this may have caused some concern for parents, but the children’s safety was our main concern.’
“2,200 people also took part in our gaming tournament with 600 people passing through the Razer bus and many more taking part in our scheduled presentations and Question & Answer sessions.
“We do realise that going forward, more entertainment needs to be provided for this size of event and would also like to confirm that our exhibition stands only sell Official Merchandise bought from suppliers licensed by ‘Mojang’.”
Peterborough Arena were responsible for the food outlets on site, which parents said were not able to cope with the sheer volume of people attending the event.
Head of Hospitality at Peterborough Arena, Paolo Bianchi, said “Whilst Peterborough Arena is the host venue, we are not the organiser of the event.
“Having said that we are aware that our services to organisers are an important part of the event mix. The catering was planned in advance according to visitors estimates, provided by the organiser.
“However the sheer volume of people who wanted to attend the event on the day pushed the visitor significantly over the predicted forecast. At certain times of the day queues were inevitable because of this.
“We are currently assessing the impact this had on visitors, after which we will communicate personally with those who have been in direct contact with us.”