Bring on them aliens.
On Sept. 3, the Lincoln County Commission gave two “Storm Area 51”-themed festivals — Alienstock from Sept. 20-22 in Rachel and Area 51 Basecamp from Sept. 20-21 in Hiko — the green light during a meeting in Pioche, according to Eric Holt, emergency manager for the county.
“They got the final approval, and they are moving forward with promoting and hosting those events,” Holt said.
Neighboring Nye County recently made an emergency declaration, as unpermitted gatherings are expected in the area near the Area 51 Alien Travel Center in Amargosa Valley.
During a special meeting held Wednesday, Aug. 28, the Nye County Commission took preemptive action to prepare for the anticipated onslaught of people, voting unanimously to approve the signing of a declaration of emergency.
“Pre-signing the declaration allows the county to expedite the process of requesting help from the state should an emergency arise, including reimbursement for some costs incurred during the event,” a post to the county’s Facebook page detailed. It is important to note that though the declaration has been signed, it is not officially in effect and will only be placed into effect if the Storm Area 51 frenzy does, in fact, create an emergency situation in the county.
In a Facebook post last week, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office said that it is is “working with local, state, and federal emergency response entities to ensure that all resources are available to protect the community during Storm Area 51.”
In Lincoln County, the commission there had already approved special event permits for both festivals (Alienstock and Area 51 Basecamp) last month, contingent on the organizers providing detailed plans and insurance coverage at the Sept. 3 meeting. Those plans, however, did not include the musicians slated to play at each event, Holt said.
A large law enforcement and emergency responder presence will be stationed throughout the county near both events to handle the influx of up to 15,000 people. About 150 members of law enforcement organizations, up to 60 medical personnel and other officials will form a roughly 300-person team, Holt said.
The alien-inspired events were spawned after a Facebook post about storming the gates of Area 51, where conspiracy theorists believe extraterrestrial secrets are being kept, went viral. Although the original creator said the idea was a joke, the page has garnered the interest of over 2 million people on the social media site.
Lincoln County pre-signed a declaration of emergency last month ahead of the proposed events. The move was made to help streamline the process if an emergency situation arises and county resources are depleted.
Despite the issues the mass of visitors might create for the area, Lincoln County Commissioner Varlin Higbee said the organizers are doing them a favor by gathering people at two planned locations.
“We’re thankful they’re doing this,” he said. “Or otherwise it would be helter-skelter.”
The festival has sold 700 parking passes, Holt said. Organizers said to expect musical acts including country, rock ‘n’ roll and electric dance music, with other activities and possible book signings.
Mobile shower units, port-a-potties and water stations will be available to attendees.
The festival offers the option to preorder meal tickets from its food truck vendor, The Truck Stop. The company, which advertises itself as a gourmet food truck, is offering prepaid meal vouchers for $12. Customers can add a drink or side for an additional $4, according to the company’s website.
The Southern California-based food truck company will offer vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and paleo food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, according to the website.
The Truck Stop plans to donate 20 percent of preorder meal proceeds to the Little A’Le’Inn to assist in providing supplies and support for the festival.
Alienstock is not charging for entry to the festival grounds, but it is charging for parking and camping spots, which start at $60. Weekend passes are good for Sept. 19-22 and are available at alienstockparking.com
Area 51 Basecamp
The festival has sold 250 tickets, Holt said, but organizers expects to sell most of their tickets the day of the event, through walk-up customers.
Basecamp will have areas for general parking, RV parking, camping spots, an emergency service staging area, port-a-potties, vendor areas and a VIP section.
The lineup of speakers includes cast members of the Netflix documentary “Bob Lazar: Area 51 &Flying Saucers,” ufologists, musicians and artists, according to its website.
Event hours are 1-11 p.m. daily during the festival, while the Alien Research Center is open from 9 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. Those without camping or RV parking will have to leave the area at 1 a.m. each night.
General admission tickets start at $47 a day, and camping spots start at $57.
Tickets are available via Ticketmaster online.
Robin Hebrock of the Pahrump Valley Times contributed to this story.
At a glance
Although Area 51 is in Lincoln County rather than Nye County, when Matty Roberts, the creator of the Storm Area 51 event, originally published it to Facebook, he directed attendees to meet at the Area 51 Alien Travel Center in the Nye County town of Amargosa.
Roberts later redirected people to meet in Rachel in Lincoln County for the Alienstock festival he devised as a method of dissuading people from actually attempting to breach the military base where Area 51 is located.
However, concern remains that thousands of alien enthusiasts may still make their way to the various towns of Nye County the weekend of Sept. 19, 20 and 21 and officials want to be prepared for that possibility.
Earlier this week, the creator of “Storm Area 51” pulled out of Alienstock, the main event tied to the Facebook hoax-turned- phenomenon, citing concerns about the event’s organization and funding.
“It’s a fantastic relief,” Roberts said in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I’ve had a lot of concerns leading up to Alienstock. Just to see all those come to a head 11 days before the event is kind of a relief.”
Roberts and event producer Frank DiMaggio said they instead will link up with the Bud Light Area 51 Celebration taking place Sept. 19 at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, with Roberts serving as host.
“They’re going to have a 40-foot flying saucer, they’re turning the pool green. … There’s all kinds of stuff going on,” DiMaggio said about the 21-and-over event in Las Vegas. “It’s going to be a spectacle.”
Roberts alerted Connie West, owner of the Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel, where Alienstock is taking place, early Monday that he was no longer going to be part of “Storm Area 51” just 11 days before it was slated to begin.
— Robin Hebrock, Pahrump Valley Times and Mick Akers, Las Vegas Review-Journal