CES 2018 power outage near Polaroid booth

Photo via Phillip Tracy/Daily Dot

Power goes out at the world’s largest tech conference

The lights just went dark at tech's biggest trade show.


Christina Bonnington


Posted on Jan 10, 2018   Updated on May 22, 2021, 5:12 am CDT

At the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas Wednesday, the unthinkable happened: There was a power outage. The glittering lights, the myriad laptops, the enormous TVs—they all went dark.

Daily Dot technology reporter Phillip Tracy was on site at the Las Vegas Convention Center when it happened.

“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.

Electronics like TVs stayed off. Samsung quickly filed the tour group out of its booth and then blocked it off.

Thirty minutes into the blackout, staff at the convention center said that they are aware of the power outage, investigating it, and working on a fix. Initially, some folks seemed on edge—especially given past events in Las Vegas—but so far it just seems that the trade show finally succeeded in overloading the Las Vegas power grid.

It is unclear what the real cause of the outage is, and attendees have mostly been moved out into the hallways of the convention center.

Most are taking the disruption in stride—at least on social media.


Tracy noted that people seem relaxed and that there isn’t a big security presence.

It’s interesting to note what things seem to be connected to the generator, like some of the CES signage, and what isn’t. Any tech being shown off at the show that requires an outlet isn’t operational.

Hopefully it won’t be long before CES staff can identify the source of the issue and get the lights back on at the world’s biggest technology conference.

Update 6:39pm CT, Jan. 10: The CES blackout was caused by “condensation from heavy rainfall” on a transformer at the Las Vegas Convention Center, convention authorities said in a statement Wednesday. Power was restored to the convention center after two hours.

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*First Published: Jan 10, 2018, 3:11 pm CST