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“Over crowded, over priced, poor crowd management”

PNE - Pacific National Exhibition
Ranked #89 of 354 things to do in Vancouver
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Owner description: The Fair at the PNE is the best part of summer! For the last two weeks of August through the Labour Day long weekend, The Fair features more than 50 rides and attractions, nightly concerts, live performances, agricultural and animal displays, games, and food. It's fun for all ages plus children 13 years and under are free with an adult admission. The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) fairgrounds was established in 1910 to showcase British Columbia. The PNE operates on a 114-acre site at the City of Vancouver-owned Hastings Park and consists of Playland, the annual 15-day Fair at the PNE, and Fright Nights at Playland. The PNE also includes year-round rental facilities for concerts, conventions, trade shows and sporting events with the Pacific Coliseum the largest venue within Hastings Park. The Pacific Coliseum was proud to be the official venue for Short Track Speed Skating and Figure Skating during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and is currently home to the WHL's Vancouver Giants hockey team. No single location in Vancouver captures the spirit and history of this city, its people and its many achievements as the Pacific National Exhibition. For over 100 years, millions of guests have enjoyed shows, exhibits, sporting events, amusement rides, concerts, cultural activities and, of course, the annual Fair at the PNE. The 2017 Fair at the PNE is August 19 to September 4 (closed Monday, August 21 & 28)
Vancouver, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Over crowded, over priced, poor crowd management”
Reviewed 29 August 2014

I've been going to the PNE for 7 years, but now it's too crowded, too expensive, and not worth it.

We went to the PNE on a weekday at about 6pm to go to the free concert that started at 8pm (gates open at 6:30pm). There are reserved seats for the concerts which cost $, so we were ok to stand for free. I went inside at 6:30pm while my husband got us dinner. At about 6:45pm they said that they weren't letting anyone else into the concert at all--even if they had family members or children inside saving them a seat.

I talked to 3 security guards,and was told the venue was at capacity (even though there was plenty of standing room).They said nobody was being let in without a re-entry stamp--but again there was LOTS of room still.

I understand that they have to follow firecode, but there were no signs posted at the PNE entrance or concert gate that warned guests that their families might be seperated without notice or that they needed re-entry stamps. The staff didn't seem to care at all that they were seperating families that couldn't find each other in a huge crowd.

I entered the gates 1.5 hours before the "free" concert and ended up leaving 15 minutes before it started because they wouldn't let my husband inside even though there was room. I saw lots of families leaving the concert simply because half of the family was inside and half was outside and couldn't get into the concert.

Furthermore, cell phone reception inside the concert and the PNE was horrible--families should set up a meeting spot ahead of time becaues texts and calls didn't go through.

I understand that the concerts are "free" with admission, but PNE organizers need to do a better job of crowd management in informing people that in order to get into the free concert you have to be there at at least 5pm for a 8pm concert! Again, I've never seen the PNE this crowded and unorganized in the past 7 years.

Also, the game of thrones exhibit was fulll and you needed a ticket to get into it (NOT advertised at all).

It wasn't fun to be herded like cattle and treated poorly by the staff. I don't think I will be going back again.

Visited August 2014
1 Thank Beth V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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140 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Unmotivated Staff”
Reviewed 27 August 2014 via mobile

Working as concierge I know what is expected when working with people. I felt the staff here were very unmotivated and not empowered to deliver guest satisfaction.

Visiting during the Game of Thrones exhibit; no where was it stated to get separate tickets to stand in line ? After bringing this up with the customer service booth supervisor all I got was shrugged off. Nothing to make you feel like a valued customer...

Will not be recommending guests at my hotel to visit the PNE.

Visited August 2014
1 Thank Thc_cat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
47 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Awesome value for $16”
Reviewed 25 August 2014

Haven't been to PNE for at least 5 years due to same old booths. Went with my family last Wed, and really blow us away with what we have experience. First of all, it is a must see for Game of Thones fans, I enjoyed it even though I have never watched the show, the Oculus Rift 4D experience is cooler than Playland rides! There is gravity and more than you can imagine. Be brave and walk off the cliff!
We went to see the Dreamworks animation exhibit, really having fun playing with penny arcade games such as Pac Man & Tron at 50Cents! Smart for them to sell the souvenirs which are more reasonably priced than Disney and Universal Studio.
We went to Pig Race, fun as usual, except that the race only lasted for 1 minutes. We would recommend to do a few more pig races as it was at least 1/2 hour wait.
The 360 YVR dome film can be eye opener for young kids and people who haven't got the chance to travel. Very educational.
The marketplace is filled with vendors selling items you cannot normally buy in retail. I bought a vacuum cleaner, and worked really well due to its light weight.
Lastly, the highlight is the night concert, we picked that day because of Air Supply who sang for 1 1/2 hour. One of the best concerts I have attended, but at the lowest price ever at $16 ( you can buy at $13 at Safeway & other sponsored retails)!
My recommendation, don't pick free admission day as you will be frustrated with line ups and my co-workers could not even get the passes to see Game of Thrones Exhibition, so it won't matter if it's free.
Hope that PNE would continue to bring high quality exhbition and concerts again for next year.

Visited August 2014
1 Thank CoCoLau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2014

Lots of fun things for kids to do and adults! We went to the super dog show, a pirate play and my husband enjoyed all of the food!

Visited August 2014
1 Thank Jordan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pitt Meadows, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
74 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“The P.N.E”
Reviewed 22 August 2014

The P.N.E. hasn't changed much in 20 years, except for the prices. The 4 year old, really enjoyed all the rides, it was his first time, his mom went on them with him, and enjoyed herself, until she threw up after the 15th ride. Entertainment was great (Lianne Rymes) , lots of free exhibits, although somehow it ended up costing me over $200. We were lucky, the weather was nice, and overall it was a nice family day. For someone going there for the first time I think they would find it quite an enjoyable experience

Visited August 2014
1 Thank Roger R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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