Blackout darkens CES, world's largest consumer electronics show

Joann Johnston
January 14, 2018

"A preliminary assessment indicates that condensation from heavy rainfall caused a flashover on one of the facility's transformers", according to a statement from the Las Vegas Visitor and Convention Authority, NV Energy and the Consumer Technology Association. Power in the South Hall was restored within minutes, and power has now been fully restored to all areas.

CES is the world's largest consumers electronics event. For an event that showcases the latest and greatest of technological advances, a power outage is all it takes to bring all of it down to earth.

Power in the south hall was restored quickly while thousands of attendees inside the Central Hall were left in the dark for about two hours.

The likes of Samsung, Sony, LG, Hisense and Intel have had their exhibits shut down with millions of dollars in TVs and home appliances literally switched off. CES is, as NBC News notes, the biggest tech show in the world.

Sudden record-breaking downpours on Day One of CES was the first rain for Las Vegas in 116 days, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Power outage causes attendees to evacuate Central Hall at CES in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Jan. 10th, 2018.

Technology brands including Intel, IBM, ISPN and Texas Instruments were quick to jump onto the #CESblackout hashtag, with many taking a cheeky communications approach to the situation.

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Some publicists even tried to exploit the power outage.

"I was on the Samsung tour getting a look at the booth, the power went off, and then immediately after that a generator kicked on, so some of the lights turned on", Tracy said.

And in a sign of the huge energy draw from the tech show, once the crowds were let back in, the return to full, blazing electronic glory was slow.

Someone is having a bad day!

Some false info. Event staffer #CES2018 who told me power was down in all halls at LVCC was wrong. Folks still leaving Central Hall and not let in.

At Intel's booth, a woman played the violin to entertain the attendees caught in the dark.

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