Tag: Connie West

Alienstock Festival Returns to Rachel in September

 

Article by Mick Akers                             February 17, 2020                              (reviewjournal.com)

• Last year, college student Matty Roberts created a Facebook meme to “storm the gate” of the secretive Air Force base known as Area 51 to “see them aliens.” The Alien Research Center in Hiko, Nevada and the ‘Little A’Le’Inn’ restaurant and hotel in Rachel, Nevada served as base camps for the 3,000 festivalgoers who actually attended what became “Alienstock”, a high-spirited festival of space alien enthusiasts featuring various musical acts, food vendors and activities.

• Lincoln County law enforcement anticipated a crowd of up to 30,000 people last year, and requested emergency funds to handle the expected crowds. As it turned out, the festival went off without a major incident. On the appointed day, September 20th, around 100 people showed up at the back gate of Area 51, chanted, and had fun with the law enforcement officials. A total of six arrests were made at the two Area 51 gates over the four-day event – five for trespassing and one for indecent exposure after a Canadian man urinated on the gate.

• Little A’Le’Inn owner Connie West was so pleased with the outcome of last year’s festival, she remarked that she would like to hold another Alienstock event in 2020. On the Little A’Le’Inn website, West has announced the dates for this year’s Alienstock – September 10-12.

• Citing safety and infrastructure concerns, the meme’s creator, Roberts, pulled out of the event last year. Roberts went on to host an alien-themed party in downtown Las Vegas. Roberts and his group, Hidden Sound LLC, are now in a legal battle with the Little A’Le’Inn owner, Connie West, for the rights to the ‘Alienstock’ name. The case is pending in the District Court.

• This year, Lincoln County commissioners have pre-signed a declaration of emergency for around $200,000 from the state of Nevada to help cover the costs of overseeing the alien-themed festival. But Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak says he doesn’t know why the state would have to bail the county when it approved the events. Still, Lincoln County commissioners have agreed to hear Connie West’s proposal for another Alienstock festival in a future commissioners meeting.

• Lincoln County emergency manager Eric Holt said that “Permits last year were approved in an effort to give order to the chaos and assist in the planning of such an unknown event.” But this year, some commissioners “have voiced their concerns with it and have requested a resolution in non-support of an Area 51 event that would require any support or response on behalf of Lincoln County.”

• Holt says that Lincoln County is not looking to provide an annual response to this event, similar to what Clark County (ie: Las Vegas) does on New Year’s Eve. “[A]ny future events would have to be self-supporting with no burden placed on the county.”

 

            Matty Roberts

After attracting thousands of extraterrestrial fans from around the world to a rural Nevada desert town, Alienstock

                             Eric Holt

organizers are preparing for a second go round.

Owners of restaurant and motel the Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel announced the dates for Alienstock 2020, listing the second annual festival will take place Sept. 10-12 on its website.

Last year’s event was created after a viral Facebook meme to storm the gate of the secretive Air Force base commonly known as Area 51 — long rumored to house extraterrestrial technology — to “see them aliens.” The Area 51 Basecamp event at the Alien Research Center in Hiko was also created in response to the attention the meme received.

The meme’s creator, college student Matty Roberts, initially signed on to be part of the Alienstock event, before pulling out, citing safety and infrastructure concerns. Roberts went on to host an alien-themed party in downtown Las Vegas.

Roberts and his group Hidden Sound LLC and Little A’Le’Inn owner Connie West are now in a legal battle for the

         Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak
                       Connie West

Alienstock name.

Their case is slated to be heard in a bench trial in District Court beginning next February, according to court records.

On the final day of Alienstock 2019, West mentioned her desire to hold the event again and said she already had someone book a room at the Little A’Le’Inn for the event.

 

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Area 51 Festival Wraps Up in Nevada; Earthlings Head Home

Article by Associated Press                   September 22, 2019                    (latimes.com)

• Although more than 2 million Facebook users clicked their interest, and local officials anticipated a crowd of at least 30,000, only about 3,000 people made the trip to the small desert city Rachel, Nevada to “Storm Area 51”. Authorities said no more than 1,000 people visited Area 51 gates near Rachel on Thursday and Friday. No one was arrested there.

• Visitors hailed from France, Russia, Germany, Peru, Sweden, Australia and many U.S. states. A few hundred more camped and attended one night of an abbreviated music festival about 40 miles away in Hiko, Nevada. “It seems like a lot of good people chilling and having a good time,” observed Dave Wells, a 56-year-old stonemason from Cincinnati wearing a Day-Glo green festival T-shirt and taking in the scene Saturday in Rachel.

• Connie West, proprietor of the Little A’Le’Inn at the epicenter of the Alienstock event, said “[W]e found peace and friendship” as campers packed up to leave and volunteers began cleaning up. West wants to do it again next year. “As well as it turned out? Why the heck not?” she said. At a festival clinic in Rachel, one man was treated for dehydration, and one woman was treated for a drug-related issue.

• The “Area 51 Basecamp” at the Alien Research Center souvenir shop in Hiko, didn’t fare as well. Organizers pulled the plug Saturday on a second concert after drawing only about 500 ticket-buyers for a Friday show. Preparations had been made for up to 5,000.

• Sheriff Kerry Lee said he watched about 20 people feign a rush before dawn Saturday toward a base gate outside Rachel, before stopping short. In Lincoln County, six people were arrested for misdemeanors, mostly trespassing beneath the floodlights and cameras of two military base gates and the watchful eyes of sheriff’s deputies.

• Officials had feared unruly crowds would overwhelm water, electricity, food, fuel, internet and telephone service in a county with just 5,200 people covering an area the size of Massachusetts. “I’m going to call it a success from our end. It’s because we got out in front of it,” said Varlin Higbee, a Lincoln County commissioner who signed an emergency declaration to allocate $250,000 in emergency funds. Higbee said they might sue to recoup costs.

• Matty Roberts, a 20-year-old from Bakersfield, Calif., made the Facebook post to Storm Area 51 as a hoax, then promoted it, then broke away from the event just weeks before. Roberts hosted a Thursday evening event at an outdoor venue in downtown Las Vegas, also using the “Alienstock” name. He said he wants to trademark the name and take it on tour to reach people who couldn’t travel to Nevada. “That’s pretty much the plan for me,” Roberts said. “It’s been a ton of fun.”

 

HIKO, Nev. — The festivals are over and Earthlings from around the globe headed home Sunday after a weekend camping and partying in the dusty Nevada desert and trekking to remote gates of Area 51, a formerly top-secret U.S. military base long the focus of UFO and space alien lore.

They left in peace, officials and the host of a free “Alienstock” festival said Sunday.

Visitors hailed from France, Russia, Germany, Peru, Sweden, Australia and many U.S. states — many toting cameras — in answer to an internet post in June suggesting that if enough people rushed a military base to “see them aliens” at 3 a.m. Sept. 20, authorities couldn’t stop everyone.

More than 2 million Facebook users clicked their interest, but in the end only a few thousand made the trip to the tiny Nevada desert city of Rachel, population about 50, more than two hours north of Las Vegas by car.

Campers and festival-goers in Rachel peaked at about 3,000 on Friday, said Eric Holt, the Lincoln County official who headed planning for a feared influx of at least 30,000.

A few hundred more camped and attended one night of an abbreviated festival about 40 miles away in Hiko, population 120.

“It seems like a lot of good people chilling and having a good time,” observed Dave Wells, a 56-year-old stonemason and festivals-seeker from Cincinnati wearing a Day-Glo green festival T-shirt and taking in the scene Saturday in Rachel.

Did anyone find actual extraterrestrials or UFOs? (As if anyone could really tell among the masked and costumed beings posing for photos and cavorting in the desert.)

“We didn’t,” said Little A’Le’Inn owner-turned-“Alienstock” festival host Connie West, proprietor of the 10-room motel and cafe that became the center of the extraterrestrial-seeking universe.

“But we found peace. And friendship,” she said Sunday as campers packed up to leave and volunteers began cleaning up.

4:45 minute video of people interviewed at Storm Area 51 event (Fox News YouTube)


10:16 minute video of the Storm Area 51 event (‘Explore With Us’ YouTube)

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‘Storm Area 51’ Creator Pulls Out of His Own Event, Calling it Fyre Festival 2.0

Article by Hannah Knowles                    September 10, 2019                     (washingtonpost.com)

• When “Storm Area 51 – They Can’t Stop All of Us” post got over 2 million Facebook responses, the original organizer, 21 year-old Matty Roberts (pictured above), turned it into a music festival in neighboring Lincoln County, Nevada called “Alienstock” for September 20-22nd. Then Frank DiMaggio stepped up to plan a competing music festival in nearby Nye County called “Peacestock 51”.

• But Nye County denied a permit for the Peacestock 51 event. So DiMaggio partnered with Roberts to make Alienstock, centered in Rachel, Nevada, a success. Although the county asked for state emergency support to accommodate the potentially hundreds of thousands of people, the organizers assured the public that this would not be another Fyre Festival (the May 2017 Bahamas festival that left visitors stranded and led to a fraud conviction for the organizer).

• When DiMaggio arrived in Rachel to meet with the third organizing partner, Connie West, the owner of the ‘Little A’Le’Inn’ in Rachel, he quickly deemed the event ‘beyond help’. DiMaggio says that West, who was handling most of the logistics for the event, became increasingly evasive about her preparations. West, in turn, accused DiMaggio and Roberts of betraying her after she’s confirmed the musical performers, paid for security and medical services, and sold 2,400 campsites. Other preparations include 130 portable toilets and additional police officers to support more than 250 first responders from state and local government.

• But DiMaggio and Roberts say they have seen no proof of any preparations made by West. Says Roberts, “There’s no safety or security that can really be promised.” Calling the event a potential “humanitarian disaster,” Roberts has pulled his name and support from the event.

• West still plans to go ahead with the event in Rachel. In a tearful interview with Action 13 News, West said Alienstock is still on. But the townspeople in Rachel are not surprised at the falling out. They have been dubious about the Storm Area 51 phenomenon from the start. The town’s website declares, in red lettering, the outcome was “just as we had predicted.”

• Roberts believes that anyone going to Rachel will find a “pretty sad affair with no bands, very little infrastructure and a lot of unhappy campers.” But if people do want to come to Nevada for a gathering, Roberts suggests that they go to Las Vegas for an “Area 51 Celebration” that is scheduled at a downtown events center for September 19th. Roberts himself may even attend the Las Vegas affair.

 

When the college student behind the online sensation “Storm Area 51” announced plans for an alien festival out in the Nevada desert, organizers tried to fend off worries that thousands of people would overwhelm the resources of a tiny town without a store or gas station.

Or, as they put it to The Washington Post: This is not Fyre Festival 2.0.

But that was before a public falling-out between organizers made the weird story of the Area 51 craze even weirder, months after the meteoric rise of a joke Facebook event that got more than 2 million to say they’d raid a secretive Air Force base for rumored extraterrestrials. Dueling accusations of dishonesty and sabotage have derailed “Alienstock” — a Woodstock for alien watchers — which creator Matty Roberts promoted as alternative programming to any plans to storm the base on Sept. 20 despite officials’ warnings.

                           Connie West

With just over a week to go until the event, Roberts and the host town’s website are both comparing Alienstock to the Fyre Festival, which was supposed to be held in April and May of 2017 in the Bahamas but became synonymous with “epic failure” and led to a fraud conviction. Roberts has pulled his name and support from the three-day gathering in Rachel, Nev., but the owner of a motel in the town who had signed up as a partner plans to go ahead.

“There’s no safety or security that can really be promised,” Roberts told The Post on Tuesday, calling the event a potential “humanitarian disaster.” “I didn’t feel comfortable with inviting even my friends and family out to this event, let alone these thousands of strangers.”

For Roberts, it all fell apart unexpectedly. But the town of Rachel — where residents were reportedly less than pleased with the “Storm Area 51” media swarm — has expressed less surprise.

The outcome was “just as we had predicted,” the town’s website declares in red lettering. Officials in two counties prepared earlier to declare emergencies, unsure how many people might descend on rural Nevada.

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