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UV lights ’cause vision issues’ for ApeFest-goers

The annual NFT festival took place in Hong Kong earlier this month, exclusively for members of the Bored Ape Yacht Club

By James Hanley on 13 Nov 2023

ApeFest 2022

image © Marco Verch/Flickr

UV lights are believed to have been the cause of eye pain, vision issues and skin irritation experienced by attendees and staff at this month’s ApeFest in Hong Kong.

The first international edition of the annual NFT festival, held for members of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) from 3-5 November, featured attractions such as a live DJ, merchandise and Bored Ape-branded experiences.

Host Yuga Labs began receiving reports of issues shortly after a Saturday night community event.

“These reports were – and continue to be – deeply concerning to us,” says BAYC on X. “We immediately reached out to impacted attendees to learn of their symptoms and to direct our investigation.

“Simultaneously, we commenced an investigation that included a thorough review of inventory records, material logs, and spec sheets (including paint and lighting), interviewing contractors who provided and built ApeFest installations, and conducting testing and on-site inspections.”

“UV-A emitting lights installed in one corner of the event was likely the cause of the reported issues”

The investigation, conducted in collaboration with ApeFest producer Jack Morton Worldwide, concluded “UV-A emitting lights installed in one corner of the event was likely the cause of the reported issues related to attendees’ eyes and skin.”

“We acknowledge that members of the community and general public have suggested a similar conclusion and we appreciate the patience of the community as we gathered evidence to support this determination,” it continues. “We continue to encourage anyone experiencing symptoms to seek medical attention and share these findings with their medical provider.”

More than 2,200 people from 60 countries attended the third annual festival, which was the first to be staged outside New York.

“Community is the heart of Yuga and the purpose of ApeFest is to bring the community together IRL,” adds the BAYC. “We are saddened that this incident has detracted from the experience of ApeFest attendees. Along with Jack Morton, we are committed to supporting the recovery of anyone affected.”


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