From Area 51 Raid to Alienstock

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From Area 51 Raid to Alienstock

Valentina Chavarria, Co-editor

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It all started out as a joke. An event on Facebook that was supposed to be funny. Everyone would see it, have a laugh, and move on with their lives. Instead, the event titled “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” became a national phenomenon, with people actually wanting to participate in the event. Matty Roberts, the creator of the event, was visited by the FBI; the United States Air Force warned that they were ready for anything, and Nevada is ready to declare a state of emergency. Memes were made, news stations covered the story, and one million people came together to achieve one goal: Storm Area 51.

The event was scheduled to happen on Sept. 20th, but not to worry, the event has been cancelled and replaced with a music festival called Alienstock, an event created and coordinated by the same person who created the Area 51 Facebook post. The festival is described as a “party in the desert” with camping, music, art installations, and surprise musical guests. The festival is intended to bring people together who want to celebrate aliens. Despite this being a celebration of aliens and of the small town of Rachel, Nevada, many of its local residents are opposed to this forthcoming event. Rachel is a desert town with a population about 100 people and no cell-phone service. The town’s only motel, which doubles as a bar and restaurant, is booked for the weekend of the event, meaning that the alien enthusiast attending this event would have to camp, with the closest grocery store being 50 miles away. Campers would have to bring a lot of supplies, and even supply their own water and the nearest hospital is about two hours away in Las Vegas. Locals are worried about damage to public and private land, and since there is no fire department, the town fears for extreme damage. Yeah, things aren’t looking great.

Nonetheless the festival is schedule to happen from Friday, Sept. 20nd through Sunday Sept. 22rd.  The organizers expect a crowd of between 5,000 and 25,000 people based on the number of subscribers to the festival’s e-mail list and donations made for the event.

Based on the description and the circumstances in which this event is happening, it could be a success or a disaster. One thing is for sure though, the only thing being raided on Sept. 20th are going to be the grocery stores near Rachel, Nevada.