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11 Sep, 2019 02:00

‘We don’t want another FyreFest’: ’Storm Area 51’ event canceled over ‘safety concerns’

‘We don’t want another FyreFest’: ’Storm Area 51’ event canceled over ‘safety concerns’

“AlienStock,” a music-festival spinoff of the “Storm Area 51” viral event, has been canceled out of fear for visitors’ safety amid armed and angry locals, military police, and punishing desert conditions.

Alienstock, set to take place in Rachel, Nevada – the closest town to the secretive Area 51 airbase – was canceled out of fear it would turn into “FyreFest 2.0,” the organizers announced on Tuesday, referring to the notorious music festival that bilked attendees for hefty ticket fees only to strand them on a tropical island in the Bahamas with no infrastructure and no festival.

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Due to the lack of infrastructure, poor planning, risk management, and blatant disregard for the safety of the expected 10,000+ AlienStock attendees, we decided to pull the plug,” a message on the festival’s website read. The festival had been scheduled for the weekend of September 20, the same day as the original “Storm Area 51” event.

We foresee a possible humanitarian disaster in the works, and we can’t participate in any capacity… we just don’t want anyone to get injured or stuck in the middle of the desert.”

The town of Rachel was also actively warning guests away, informing them that local landowners – many of whom were opposed to the festival – would “step up to protect their property” and that the military installation itself would be guarded not only by Air Force security but also by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department and “several federal agencies.” A lack of transparency from the owner of the Little A’Le’Inn, the town bar which held the permit for the event, contributed to the decision to cancel, according to Rachel authorities, who said she was unable to provide “proof of deposits or any paper proof of anything.”

Storm Area 51 Basecamp, a competing event scheduled to take place the same weekend at the Alien Research Center in Hiko, Nevada – a 45-minute drive away from Rachel – also received a permit, and appears to be still expecting 20,000 people with live entertainment including talks by ufologists, alien-inspired art, music, and films. Area 51, part of the sprawling Groom Lake Air Force Base, is believed by many to hold evidence of extraterrestrial life, including a crashed alien spacecraft, and is so secret the CIA refused to confirm its existence until 2013.

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AlienStock organizers have invited extraterrestrial enthusiasts to the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center for an “Area 51 Celebration” that will feature music and art, but it’s just not the same without the chance to “see them aliens” – which was the goal of the original viral event that convinced over two million people to click “attending,” even if most did so as a joke. When authorities began to panic at the thought of two million crazed ufophiles descending on the tiny town of Rachel and its environs, event founder Matty Roberts transformed the stunt into a music festival.

Lincoln County law enforcement is still stressed about the possibility of tens of thousands of wannabe Area 51-stormers showing up on its doorstep, but county planning director Cory Lytle told local media last month that granting the events permits was “the lesser of two evils” and that they could always be revoked if festival organizers failed to, well, organize. The county declared an emergency in preparation for the festival.

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