GO Fest is the biggest annual event in Pokémon GO and just like last year, you can play anywhere in the world.

That means tickets aren’t limited and, thanks to the fact that it’s the game’s fifth anniversary, they’ve been reduced in price to just $4.99 / £4.99 and the equivalent in other currencies, down from $14.99.

How to get a GO Fest ticket

In the game, tap the Pokéball at the bottom, then tap Shop. You’ll see the ticket prominently displayed. Note that you can’t pay with Poké Coins.

You don’t have to buy a ticket: many of the Pokémon will appear regardless of whether you have a ticket, but holders will get some exclusive content including avatar items, face stickers and a guitar-case packpack as well as new poses.

When is GO Fest 2021?

It’s happening across two days: 17 – 18 July. So make sure you don’t have other plans that weekend.

Each day, the event will run from 10am to 6pm (local time).

Will it be the same as GO Fest 2020?

Yes and no. You can play anywhere as before, but this year the Sunday will be focused on raids, not catching wild Pokémon. This means you’ll probably want to arrange to play with friends, as you won’t be able to defeat Legendary Pokémon by yourself.

Here’s are the key features of the weekend.

  • It’s a music-themed event, so musical Pokémon including Chimecho, Kricketot, Audino and others will appear all the time.
  • The weekend will also see the debut of the following shinies: Whismur, Chimecho, Audino and Tympole.
  • On Friday 16, Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July, all trainers can make 6 special trades per day.
  • Saturday is 'catch' day, while Sunday is 'raid' day.

Here's a quick overview of exclusive content that only ticket holders will get:

  1. Early access to Meloetta
  2. Special Research with Pikachu Rock Star or Pop Star (based on your choice)
  3. Global Challenge Arena, with the ability to see how friends are progressing
  4. Four collection challenges
  5. Pokémon attracted to incense: Unown F, Unown G, Chatot, Throh, Sawk & more
  6. Increased chance of shiny Pokémon appearing on Saturday
  7. Event-exclusive avatar pose and in-game medal
  8. Surprise encounters after snapshots on both event days, once the Special Research is completed
  9. Themed event stickers
  10. Additional 10,000XP from raids
  11. Timed Research on Sunday
  12. >5,000 PokéCoins' worth of items

Schedule: Saturday 17 July

Habitats will rotate hourly, so you’ll see different Pokémon appearing, and each one will be repeated later in the day.

These are the four:

  • Jungle: Scyther, Aipom, Froakie, and more.
  • Desert Mountain: Skarmory, Shieldon, Hippopotas, and more.
  • Ocean Beach: Dratini, Swablu, Alomomola, and more.
  • The Cave habitat will feature Pokémon such as Roggenrola, Galarian Stunfisk, Deino, and more.

There will also be raids on Saturday.

Ticket holders will get Special Research tasks, and will be able to choose between different costumed Pokémon to encounter. The ‘choices’ in the Bidoof Special Research were clearly a test to make sure this would work during GO Fest.

Your choice will determine if you encounter Gardevoir wearing a Meloetta-inspired hat or Flygon wearing a Meloetta-inspired hat during the event. Whichever one you don’t choose will be attracted to Incense during event hours, but it won’t be wearing a hat.

Ticket holders will also get Pikachu Pop Star or Pikachu Rock Star from taking snapshots after completing the Special Research (during event hours)

Schedule: Sunday 18 July

There won’t be rotating habitats, but instead there will be different Legendary Pokémon appearing in raids. Here’s what you can catch at the following times (no ticket required, but you will need raid passes):

Wind Hour, 10-11am, 2-3pm: Mewtwo, Ho-Oh, Latias, Latios, Regigigas, Altered Forme Giratina, Cresselia, Virizion, and Therian Forme Tornadus 

Lava Hour, 11am-12pm, 3-4pm: Moltres, Entei, Regirock, Groudon, Heatran, Reshiram, Terrakion, Therian Forme Landorus, and Yveltal 

Frost Hour, 12-1pm, 4-5pm: Articuno, Suicune, Lugia, Regice, Kyogre, Palkia, and Kyurem 

Thunder Hour: 1-2pm, 5-6pm: Zapdos, Raikou, Registeel, Rayquaza, Dialga, Cobalion, Therian Forme Thundurus, Zekrom, and Xerneas

Ticket holders will get the following on Sunday:

  • Extra 10,000XP for winning a raid
  • 10 raid passes from spinning gyms
  • Timed Research for earn up to 8 remote raid passes
  • Event bundle in the shop containing 3 remote raid passes

Tips for GO Fest 2021

  • Clear out space for new Pokémon well before the event starts. If you have enough coins, you'll be able to increase your bag size to 3500.
  • Clear out unneeded items to leave space for balls, revives and other items that you'll need for the weekend.
  • Arrange to raid with friends, and work out which Legendaries you need or want to catch. There won't be time to catch every single one.
  • Prepare teams of strong counters so you win raids faster.. which means you can do more raids.
  • Play on an Android phone. Google Play is sponsoring the event, and Android users will get a free item bundle including a Super Incubator, Ultra Balls and more.
  • If you're playing at home, the print-at-home-kit will be available again to help make things more festive.

Ultra Unlock - Global Challenges

Each hour, ticket holders will be able to complete global challenges, just like previous GO Fests. There will be a bonus available for the rest of the hour once complete.

After GO Fest, the following bonuses will be unlocked if enough challenges are completed (and they always are).

23 July – 3 August: Time - Pokémon from various eras will appear (no details of which ones yet.)

6 -17 August: Space – Again, different Pokémon will appear, but we don’t know which ones.

20-31 August: No details available