Government troops didn’t have to stop thousands of people from storming Area 51 in search of aliens. In the end, it was human secrecy and sabotage that did it for them.
The man behind a viral Facebook event to “Storm Area 51 (they can’t stop all of us)” says he’s become alienated from the music festival that replaced his original plan, and he no longer wants his name attached to it.
Matty Roberts says he’s worried there won’t be enough food or infrastructure to support thousands of people in rural Nevada for Alienstock, a music festival that was slated to take place from Sept. 19-22. He backed out of co-hosting the event this week amid concerns that his co-organizer was being too secretive about the money and infrastructure.
“I can’t have my name associated with something that could be Fyre Fest 2.0,” Roberts told Las Vegas-based news station KTNV.
He was referring to the Fyre Festival, an infamous luxury music festival that left thousands of attendees stranded at a half-built concert site in the Bahamas in 2017.
More than 2 million people pledged to help Roberts storm Area 51 after his tongue-in-cheek Facebook event went viral in July. He responded to the hype by promising a safer, simpler celebration: a music festival for alien enthusiasts in tiny Rachel, Nev., the closest town to Area 51.
Roberts originally teamed up with Connie West, owner of Rachel’s Little A’Le’Inn, to host the event and set up campsites around her hotel. Several sponsors also pledged to back the event, despite outcry from many Rachel residents who said the town was simply too small to accommodate a large festival.
Roberts’ partnership with West has since broken down, and the two are now pointing fingers at one another just a few days before the first human invaders are expected to arrive in Rachel.
“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,” Roberts wrote in a statement on the Alienstock website.
The statement blames West for the collapse, alleging that she did not provide her fellow organizers with proof that the infrastructure was in place.
“We foresee a potential humanitarian disaster in the works, and we can’t participate in any capacity at this point,” the statement says.
WATCH: How did Area 51 become a site for conspiracy theories?
West says she feels betrayed by Roberts, and that he is trying to sabotage the festival.
She told KTNV that she didn’t realize that “people around you that you depend on could go away the way they do.”
KTNV reports that West has the receipts for 130 portable toilets, 15 security personnel, 25 first responders, 16 medical providers and five ambulances for the event.
“I’ve got the security paid for, and the medical as well,” she told the station. “I have stages being built.”
She tearfully added that she still plans to hold the event.
Frank DiMaggio, whose rival Nevada alien festival fell apart, says Roberts and West asked him to join their operation earlier this month. After some infighting, Roberts split from West and joined forces with DiMaggio to hold a separate alien-themed celebration in Las Vegas on Sept. 19.
“We don’t have a good feeling about people going 150 miles into the desert without the resources that they need,” he told KTNV. “I would not do business with this anymore. It needs to go away before it becomes the biggest disaster that southern Nevada has ever seen.”
West’s website says her hotel is still “booked solid” for Alienstock.
The town of Rachel celebrated the concert’s apparent collapse with a statement on its website.
“The Alienstock event in Rachel just became Fyre Fest 2.0 as we had predicted,” town officials wrote. They added that no preparations have been made, and encouraged potential visitors to attend Roberts’ Area 51 Celebration in Vegas instead.
“If any event still happens it is going to be a pretty sad affair with no bands, very little infrastructure and a lot of unhappy campers.”
The city says it still expects West to host an event, but it will be scaled down. It also reiterated an earlier warning to visitors.
“Stay away from the residential part of Rachel. Local landowners will step up to protect their property.”
The festival appears to be dead, though we may never know who the real losers are in this story: Roberts, West, the thousands who pledged to storm Area 51 — or the little green aliens still (potentially) imprisoned inside.Follow @JoshKElliott
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