Tag: Las Vegas

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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Festivals Planned for Nevada Towns Near Area 51 Get the Final Local OK

Article by Ken Ritter                      September 4, 2019                        (time.com)

• People in the small rural areas of Lincoln County and neighboring Nye County in Nevada are bracing for hundreds of thousands of visitor to the “Alienstock” music festival September 20-22 near Area 51. Both Lincoln and Nye counties have prepared emergency declarations to seek state help if needed. The impromptu festival began with the Facebook posting to ‘Storm Area 51’ to which over 2 million people responded.

• Lincoln County commissioners adopted a plan for a 5,000 person music festival in the town of Hiko, and 10,000 people in the town of Rachel. But the possibility of unmanageable crowds looms large. Nye County Commissioners denied any festival permits for what organizers were calling “Peacestock 51”.

• Despite the restrictions imposed by county commissioners, event organizers urged the counties and the state of Nevada to ensure that there will be enough food, water and entertainment on hand to help people survive in the desert, three-hours drive north from Las Vegas. Most concede that cellphone service will be overwhelmed.

• George Harris plans to repurpose his Alien Research Center gift shop into a music venue off of the road dubbed the ‘Extraterrestrial Highway’. Said Harris, “We’ll give people something to do so they don’t run amok.” Portable toilets, water, food, trash bins and security staff will be trucked in.

• Connie West, the owner of the Little A’le’Inn motel in Rachel, said she plans to collect parking fees to pay for security and medical personnel, and turn away people who bring guns or drugs. West told reporters outside Lincoln County Courthouse, “I’m elated and shaking inside”.

• The event organizers and business owners in the Nevada counties agree that they don’t want people to trespass on Area 51. People will be arrested if they approach Area 51’s gates. Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee said that more than 150 law enforcement officers would be on hand during the events. Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak promised that Nevada Guard units would be available for logistical help.

• Commissioner Keith Pearson remarked, “It could be ugly or it could be decent.” Commissioner Bevan Lister concluded, “The biggest thing is, people just have to be respectful and everyone will have a good time.”

 

PIOCHE, Nev. (AP) — A rural Nevada county approved strict guidelines Tuesday for a pair of festivals later this month in a desolate desert area well-known by UFO and alien hunters.

Lincoln County commissioners took the action amid concern about the possibility of unmanageable crowds attracted by an internet hoax dubbed “Storm Area 51” involving the nearby military installation that has been the focus of UFO conspiracy theories.

Matty Roberts, Facebook originator of “Storm Area 51”

The plan adopted by the commission involves a music festival for 5,000 people in tiny Hiko, and projections by Connie West, owner of the Little A’le’Inn motel in Rachel for as many as 10,000 people camping on her property for another event in the town closest to Area 51.

Event organizers said there needs to be food, water and entertainment on hand to help people survive in the desert that’s a nearly three-hour drive from Las Vegas. Most conceded that cellphone service could be overwhelmed.

“We’ll give people something to do so they don’t run amok,” said George Harris, who plans to repurpose his Alien Research Center gift shop into a music venue off a road dubbed Extraterrestrial Highway.

West said she has 700 camping reservations so far, and will allow eight people per campsite. She also plans to collect parking fees to pay for security and medical personnel, and turn away people who bring guns or drugs to her event dubbed “Alienstock.”

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