Pikachu Festival Passes on Pokemon Go Event Due to Safety Concerns

A popular Pikachu-themed festival in Japan is taking a pass on hosting a Pokemon Go event this [...]

marching pikachu

A popular Pikachu-themed festival in Japan is taking a pass on hosting a Pokemon Go event this year.

Fumiko Hayashi, the mayor of Yokohama, Japan, announced today that her city would not host a Pokemon Go event at their annual Pikachu Outbreak Festival, citing traffic and safety concerns. While the annual festival will still take place (and host evening events for the first time ever), they will not partner with Pokemon Go this year. A major issue at last year's event was walking and traffic congestion caused by Pokemon Go players looking at their smartphones.

Last year's Pikachu Outbreak Festival featured a special "Pokemon Go Stadium" event which gave attendees their first opportunity to battle Mewtwo. The event took place at Yokohama's baseball stadium and required fans to pre-register to participate. Players were cycled in and out of the stadium during strict time windows, but it seems that the event placed too much of a strain on an otherwise fun and laid back festival. Notably, this was the first time that players could actually capture Mewtwo and remains the only time that players didn't need an EX-Raid Pass to capture this powerful Legendary Pokemon.

Pokemon Go players also had opportunities to catch Shiny Pikachu and other rare Pokemon at the weeklong festival, which will take place this year from August 10th - August 16th.

This year's Pikachu Outbreak Festival will revolve around the theme "Science is Amazing" (a catchphrase in the Pokemon the Series: XY) and will feature a digital water show of some kind. Other events will include the annual Great Pikachu March, which features hundreds of Pikachu storming the streets of the city, and a special Ocean Pikachu Parade, which will also use digital technology.

Over 1,500 Pikachu mascots will be attendance for the annual Pikachu Outbreak festival, dancing and parading through the streets of the city. Last year, over 3 million people attended the event, although those numbers were inflated due to Pokemon Go's participation.