We are now weeks away from the event of the decade: the Storm Area 51 festival.
After millions signed on to attend a raid of the extremely-secretive US Air Force base, the organiser turned the joke into fun event, set to take place in Rachel, Nevada – the closest town to Area 51 – on September 20-22.
However, the surrounding area isn’t prepared for the surge of people – two rural Nevada county’s have even declared a state of emergency.
An emergency declaration for Nye County took effect a day after county disaster preparation and sheriff officials told lawmakers they were unsure of exactly how many people would turn up for Alienstock – taking place over the course of three days, with live music and camping.
As reported by ABC15, emergency manager Scott Lewis said:
The information we’re receiving would suggest… we could have overwhelming population surges in various parts of the county.
Despite having only 44,000 residents, Nye County is nearly the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined.
Jon Koenig, chairman of the Nye County Commission, believes there will be a mass shortage of commodities like water, food and gas. He also expects phone service to be extremely poor as their towers aren’t equipped for a high volume of usage.
As reported by ABC15, Koenig said during a meeting last week:
There will probably be no water… or ice available, because everything’s going to sell out. There will be no gas left in the gas stations. No food. Nowhere to go potty.
If you’re coming, be prepared, because it’s not going to be nice.
Sheriff Capt. David Boruchowitz added that the police department were also advising people not to come to the event due to their concerns.
The neighbouring Lincoln County also drafted an emergency declaration – citing concerns over traffic jams, crowded makeshift campsites and a lack of nearby medical services. Officials also counted just 184 hotel rooms in the entire county.
Matty Roberts, the man behind the event, shared a picture of the permit on the Storm Area 51 page, writing:
We had to jump through some hoops to make this legitimate.
Alienstock is happening- just got this bad boi approved!
The 20-year-old told Metro the event will be free, though they will charge for camping and parking spaces. He said he and his planning partner have ‘both massive and small’ performers lined up.
The enthusiastic organiser added:
I’m so excited for this thing man, it’s the biggest thing I’ve ever done and it’s so cool.
While it sounds like there’ll be a lot of activities over the weekend, ‘seeing them aliens’ probably won’t be one of them as the US Air Force have warned people against approaching Area 51.
However, the creator isn’t discouraged as he commented:
The only word from the base so far is the Air Force spokeswoman basically saying its a live training ground for the US Air Force and trespassing is strongly discouraged.
Really though it amazes me how smoothly this has gone, I think the majority of Lincoln County is just very excited to be part of something global like this, and pieces just keep falling into place.
It’s quite remarkable that a silly joke has managed to turn into such a global phenomenon. Only time will tell whether keen alien hunters will actually try and enter Area 51; but the event looks to be a quirky, fun weekend for the world’s Naruto-running extraterrestrial fanatics.
Sometimes, the internet is a wonderful place.
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After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.