Due to server errors that made certain hours of GO Fest 2020 unplayable to parts of the world, Niantic scheduled a Make-up Day for the event. Pokémon GO trainers who paid for a GO Fest ticket would be able to spend 11AM to 2PM on Sunday, August 17th, playing three hours of GO Fest. Did this mini-GO Fest make up for the lost time during the core event, or was it a disappointment to Pokémon fans?
Niantic does best when they under-promise and over-deliver. The Ultra Unlock is a terrific example of this. The first part of the event, Dragon Week, debuted Shiny Deino while mentioning it would be rare. However, the lack of specificity about how rare led to immense disappointment when many players hatched hundreds of eggs without seeing a single Deino, even a non-Shiny. Niantic reversed that trend with this week's Enigma Week, where they mentioned that Shiny Roggenrola would be in raids and that Bouffalant would be in "New York City and surrounding areas." They went on to over-deliver by having Roggenrola spawn at a high rate in the wild and releasing Bouffalant to a 200-mile radius around New York City, encompassing areas that had thought for certain they wouldn't get it. All of this to say that Niantic sometimes falters in their descriptions of upcoming events as their lack of clarity allows speculation to drive the conversation about these events. Then, when the reality sets in and the event is less than expected, it leaves fans with a bad impression that wouldn't have existed with more clarity.
GO Fest 2020 Make-up Day suffered from the lack of raids, the rarity of rare Incense-only spawns such as Unown, and the complete lack of Gible on both Incense and in raids. The event itself went smoothly without server errors, and it was a great bonus to get Rare Candy in Gifts. Although some players took to social media with complaints about Gifts, it made sense that the Gift limit was set to thirty rather than the 200 at the full GO Fest 2020 event. The second Friendship hour in the initial event had no server issues, so players were able to open the max amount of Gifts that day anyway. The spawn rates were solid both on Incense and in the wild, and the variety nearly matched that of the actual day. The Shiny rate, which was notably low compared to Safari Zones from this year, matched that of the standard GO Fest 2020 gameplay.
Overall, GO Fest 2020 itself felt complete, so this Make-up Day was a gesture of gratitude from Niantic. However, more clarification about what the event would lack compared to the actual day in the initial announcement would have gone a long way to temper expectations.