As you probably already know, what started as the “Storm Area 51 -They Can’t Stop All of Us,” Facebook hoax, has now become a real Woodstock-Like “Alien Fest.”
The man who created the Internet sensation is planning a real-life festival called Alien Stock in Rachel, Nevada, a small town near the remote base within the Nevada Test and Training Range, a couple hours’ drive northwest of Las Vegas.
The three-day festival is set to start Sept. 20 – the original date of the raid, which attracted 2 million people!
According to the Washington Post, “Alien Stock” will be “a celebration of aliens that promises surprise performances, art installations and camping.” Given the enthusiasm that was generated by the original hoax event, the Festival is expected to pack a tiny town already overrun by media attention and a spike in interest in all things extraterrestrial.
Currently, the ONLY band booked to play “Alienstock,” explains why they do believe in aliens. The rock trio Wily Savage has confirmed that it will perform at Rachel’s Little A’Le’Inn, a 10-room motel, on Sept. 19 as part of the weekend’s happenings.
Speaking to Slate, the band’s singer and guitarist, Alon Burton, discussed what he expects to happen at the festival—and why, thanks to his own UFO sighting, he might be a believer.
“I like to entertain the ideas. I’m a skeptic at heart,” Burton said in response to the question, “Do you think there are aliens at Area 51.” He continued, “but personally I had a pretty intense UFO experience. I won’t necessarily say it was aliens, but it was definitely beyond my understanding of our current technologies.”
Burton then described his experience, “I saw a UFO out in the middle of the forest, near the border of California and Oregon about 20 miles inland from the coast. Initially it was a sound. My friend and I were out in a clearing looking at the sky, and we felt what we thought was earthquake at first. But then it became an audible, super-low rumble, like a subwoofer sound that permeated our bodies. Then we saw a light on the other side of the trees, which was just a massive light, like an ovular body. The whole thing was light. It wasn’t like it was a light on a structure. The pitch of the noise rose as this thing rose up over the trees. In that area, those trees are pretty tall. They’re smaller redwoods, but they’re still like a hundred feet tall. This thing was massive and it came up over the trees, and the pitch just rose up and rose up and it shot off like super speed and was just gone.”
What Can Visitors Expect at Alienstock?
While Burton admits that as far as he knows, Wily Savage is the only band currently slated to play at the 3-day festival of “Peace, Love, and E.T.,” he told Slate that, “Currently there’s a list that’s being vetted of something like, getting close to 200 bands or acts that have contacted the organizers. But at this point, nobody’s been verified besides us.”
With just over a month left to plan and some residents reportedly less than thrilled about the attention, the organizers are focused on the logistics of bringing thousands to a town of 54 people, as counted in the last Census.
The Internet frenzy over “Storm Area 51” has thrust Rachel, Nev., into a new limelight and tested patience of its small number of residents.
“Of course it’s scary,” said Connie West, whose alien-themed inn declares on its website that it is “BOOKED SOLID FOR ALIEN-STOCK.” “But I’m excited,” she told The Washington Post. “How can I not be?”
The U.S. government denied Area 51’s existence for decades before a public records request in 2013 showed it to be real. Government documents make no mention of aliens, describing the site as an aircraft testing area. But revelations two years ago of a $22 million Defense Department program on “anomalous aerospace threats,” commonly known as UFOs, have helped keep speculation about the Nevada facility alive.
Along with the more well-known Roswell, New Mexico – the legendary alleged site of a UFO crash – Rachel has capitalized on “Alien Tourism” long before the “Storm Area 51” internet hoax.
Because of the small town’s close proximity to the mysterious Area 51, Rachel has long embraced the rumors of hidden aliens and their spacecraft in the area. A town welcome sign notes an extraterrestrial population as well as a human one — there’s no head count, just a question mark — and visitors drive down the Extraterrestrial Highway.
But not everyone is happy about the prospect of so many visitors in September, Miss West said.
As the owner of what Rachel’s website calls the town’s only remaining business, West has been flooded with media requests since Area 51 blew up online. She says she stopped counting the interviews at 153.
“We live in a quiet little place because we like it quiet,” she said.
Brock Daily, an Arkansas college student and one of the organizers of the Festival, told the Washington Post he’s expecting 5,000 to 30,000 people to show up for Alien Stock, which Daily said he pitched to Storm Area 51 creator Mathew Roberts last month. The 20-year-old said it’s hard to share precise interest numbers because they just started publicizing.
Alienstock bills itself as “a meeting place for all the believers — people at least intrigued by the possibility of extraterrestrial life.” However, Daily guesses some will come “just to witness an online phenomenon come to life.” Most details on the entertainment have yet to be released; the only planned guest publicized online is a rock-and-roll group called Wily Savage.
But any total in the thousands will pose logistical challenges in a place as small and rural as Rachel. A prominent notice on the town’s website warns festivalgoers of the limited infrastructure. “There is no gas and no store. … We expect cell service and the Internet to be offline,” the note reads. “Credit card [processing] will not work, so bring enough cash.”
However, Burton who knows Miss West well said, “There’s still a lot of speculation as to what to expect, but [Connie] has definitely done a lot of work to get port-a-potties, water, gas, all of that sort of thing out there. Those logistics are coming together pretty quickly.”
But, he admitted that, “You know, I definitely think there’s a possibility of it being a little crazy…” and when asked by slate if he and the band had any kind of “contingency plan,” if things should go haywire, the musicians reply was a pretty laid back, “Yeah, we, uh, we don’t really…”