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Alienstock: festivalgoers fail to storm Area 51

Alienstock, which began as a viral internet meme, became a point of contention with local residents and the US Air Force and was eventually relinquished by its creators, culminated this weekend in small gatherings of people in towns near to the Area 51 military base in Nevada.

Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee estimated that around 1,500 people had gathered at festival sites in the towns of Rachel (population ~50) and Hiko (population ~120), with a further 150 travelling up to the Area 51 gates. Another estimate puts the number of campers at the Rachel event at 3,000.

Nobody succeeded in ‘storming’ the facility, a highly classified and conspiracy-theory riddled US Air Force base. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, two arrests were made, one for an attempt to enter the gate and another for public urination.

The Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us event, which garnered over two million Facebook attendees, invited fans to raid the US Air Force facility and “see them aliens”.

Alienstock culminated in small gatherings of people in towns near to the Area 51 military base

A live music element was later added to the event, which was dubbed Alienstock, and scheduled to take place from 20 to 22 September in the town of Rachel in Nevada.

Following complaints from local residents, a warning from the US Air Force and concerns over public safety, Storm Area 51 creator, Matty Roberts, stepped away from the event, instead teaming up with the one-day Bud Light Area 51 Celebration in Las Vegas.

Separate events took place near to the Air Force base, with live music at the Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel and talks from UFO enthusiasts, artists, musicians and filmmakers at the Area 51 Basecamp event in Hiko. The 5,000-capacity Hiko event was cancelled after the first day, having attracted only 500 attendees, reports the Star.

Blink-182 took inspiration from the Storm Area 51 event, creating a Facebook page for their 20 September tour stop at New York’s 19,000-capacity Barclays Center to ‘Invade Brooklyn, They Can’t Stop All of Us (Aliens Only)’. Fans were encouraged to dress up “as aliens or nurses OR nurse aliens”.

 


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Alienstock creator cancels Area 51 event

The creator of the Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us Facebook event and subsequent spin-off music festival Alienstock has stepped away from the event, which was due to take place in Rachel, Nevada (population ~50) from 20 to 22 September 2019.

Organisers are instead teaming up with the one-day Bud Light Area 51 Celebration, taking place on 19 September at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center (2,500- to 11,000-cap.).

The cancellation came shortly after organisers announced Alienstock’s line-up, which featured Boots Electric – the solo project of Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes –, Willy Savage and alien-costumed trio Brothers of Alien Rock.

“Due to the lack of infrastructure, poor planning, risk management and blatant disregard for the safety of the expected 10,000-plus Alienstock attendees, we decided to pull the plug on the festival,” reads a post on the festival’s website.

“We foresee a possible humanitarian disaster in the works, and we can’t participate in any capacity at this point.”

“Due to the lack of infrastructure, poor planning, risk management and blatant disregard for the safety of the expected 10,000-plus Alienstock attendees, we decided to pull the plug on the festival”

Storm Area 51 creator Matty Roberts, who was organising the festival along with event producer Frank DiMaggio, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the cancellation of Alienstock came as a “fantastic relief” following a build up of “concerns” in the run up to the event.

Fans have expressed disappointment on the Area 51 celebration page, which numbers 440 attendees compared to Storm Area 51’s two million, with one user writing: “Alienstock canceled [sic]… no more desert party… what a disappointment… now it’s [a] one day thing in Vegas on a THURSDAY!? I took vacay days off for [this] c’mon at least let it be a Friday.”

Roberts places the blame on permit holder Connie West, the owner of Rachel’s Little A’Le’Inn who reportedly failed to supply the event organisers with “contracts, proof of deposits or any paper proof of anything” that she claimed to have secured for the festival.

In turn, West claims Roberts and DiMaggio have “broke[n] the intent”, stating she intends to take legal action.

An announcement on the official Rachel, Nevada website states that a “scaled down event” is still being planned for the Little A’Le’Inn. However, the site warns that the event “will be rather disappointing”, with expected attendance of “a few hundred at best”.

Town officials had previously voiced opposition to Alienstock, warning that locals would “step up to protect their property” from festivalgoers.

 


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