The highly classified U.S. Air Force facility, Area 51, has provoked questions for years, but over the past few months, it has turned into a national phenomenon.
It all started with a viral joke-event that was published on Facebook, dubbed “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All Of Us.” The event quickly grew out of control, garnering the attention of two million people who said they were “going” to the event, with another 1.5 million “interested” in attending. While the fake event was meant for kicks-and-giggles, creator Matthew Roberts decided to actually turn it into something, offering merchandise and even plotting a music festival dubbed Alienstock.
However, he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he had too many concerns about Alienstock, which was set to take place on September 19, and he had to pull out of the event and will instead attend the Area 51 celebration, which is a free event at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center on the same night.
“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,” the Alienstock website notes. “The permit holder (Connie West) was given multiple opportunities to provide us with the proof that things expected at this festival were in place. In fact, she refused to provide to us, as agreed upon, contracts, proof of deposits or any paper proof of anything.”
The statement goes on to note that Alienstock will no longer affiliate itself with West, the owner of the Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel, Nevada – which is about a dozen miles away from Area 51. Their logo, social media, and website will not be involved with the concert at the inn and will instead move to the secure venue in Las Vegas. The new celebration promises “EDM artists and some unique art being displayed for an ‘out of this world’ gathering.”
“It was either going to go one of two ways,” Roberts told the Review-Journal. “We saw the red flags and we pull out, or we could have ignored these and have it turn into a Fyre Festival 2.0 on our hands.”
Nonetheless, West told the Review-Journal that the show will go on and 20 bands are set to play.
“It’s going forward,” West said. “I’ve also got the medical paid for and all of my permits. We’re going to throw the best party that we can.”
Area 51’s facility operations are not publicly known, causing speculation among the public. While it’s reportedly used to test experimental aircraft and weapons systems, the Area 51 raid organizers are poking fun at the idea that the military base might be holding aliens.
September 19 might bring some answers.