Friday, September 13, 2019

Don't Actually Storm Area 51

Back in July I reported on the viral success of the Storm Area 51 event on Facebook. The event was pretty clearly a joke, but people started passing it around until millions had indicated that they were "Interested" or "Going." The creators of the event decided to turn into a music festival called "Alienstock" to capitalize on all the publicity. But then reality set in. The town closest to Area 51, Rachel, Nevada, is tiny - far too small to support tens of thousands of festival attendees - so the organizers just announced they were canceling the festival

The creators of the viral “Storm Area 51” Facebook event announced that they no longer want to be associated with the Alienstock festival that was originally planned to take place in Rachel, Nevada, in late September. “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 on the festival,” a statement on the Alienstock website reads. “We foresee a possible humanitarian disaster in the works, and we can’t participate in any capacity at this point.”

In July, the satirical “Storm Area 51” Facebook event made headlines when millions of people indicated that they were “interested” in or “going” to “see them aliens” by invading the fabled military base. Building off of the online hype, event creator Matty Roberts decided to hold an actual festival in Rachel, the town closest to Area 51. While Roberts had envisioned a weekend of arts and entertainment, the town itself was worried about whether it had the infrastructure to support the 5,000 to 30,000 people who were expected to attend. There were concerns that organizers wouldn’t be able to obtain enough food, water, and gas for thousands of people in a few short months.

So don't actually storm Area 51, at least not in those sorts of numbers. The operators of the Little A’Le’Inn motel in Rachel still are planning to put on an event with bands and comedians, but probably for fewer than tens of thousands of people. There also will be another event going on at the same time featuring ufologists. This could still turn out to be a good time, but it will probably be a better one with a smaller crowd of attendees than what the festival organizers originally suggested.

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