College student Matty Roberts has been on a wild roller coaster ride this summer. First, he gained massive social media popularity when his “joke” facebook post about storming Area 51 went viral. Then he got nervous when the FBI came to visit him. (That tends to happen if you announce plans to raid a secret military base.) But he perked back up when he decided to turn the event into a big music festival… Alienstock.
Now, unfortunately, the reality of his situation has sunk in. He was in way over his head and the whole thing was shaping up to be a disaster. Describing it as being likely to be Fyre Festival 2.0, Roberts has pulled the plug and will no longer be associated with the activities. (WaPo)
With just over a week to go until the event, Roberts and the host town’s website are both comparing Alien Stock to the 2017 Fyre Festival, which was supposed to be held in April and May of that year in the Bahamas but became synonymous with “epic failure” and led to a fraud conviction. Roberts has pulled his name and support from the three-day gathering in Rachel, Nev., but the owner of a motel in the town who had signed up as a partner plans to go ahead.
“There’s no safety or security that can really be promised,” Roberts told The Post Tuesday, calling the event a potential “humanitarian disaster.” “I didn’t feel comfortable with inviting even my friends and family out to this event, let alone these thousands of strangers.”
Roberts may no longer be facing the possibility of winding up in prison (or dead) for trying to storm the base, but he may still have some legal problems coming his way. His partner in organizing Alienstock is/was Connie West, the proprietor of the Little A’Le’Inn. (That’s the only hotel in Rachel Nevada and it has six rooms.) She claims she’s already covered a bunch of infrastructure costs and sold 2,400 campsites.
And now Robers is just going to walk away and wash his hands of the project? As if the roughly fifty residents of Rachel weren’t already mad enough at this mess, the founder has given them yet another reason to be angry. But what did he expect to happen? Putting together a massive festival hosting thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people with bands, vendors and food suppliers is a huge logistical undertaking even for experienced event planners. You’d probably need an entire year to pull it off even if you knew what you were doing. And these clowns obviously didn’t have a clue.
But even if Roberts isn’t going, this thing has clearly taken on a life of its own and there’s no stopping it now. A lot of people are still going to show up at Rachel next week, probably with expectations that are far too high. Some of them may still be planning to get high and take a run at the gates of the test range. If they do, they will wind up detained, in jail, or dead. (The cammo dudes have reportedly killed two people who crossed the fence in the past year.)
Those going for the music festival will, at least according to the town of Rachel website, be very disappointed. The bands that were signed will be playing in Las Vegas instead. There will likely be insufficient food and, most importantly, water for a large number of people showing up in the desert. There’s no place to park and there isn’t even a gas station to fill up your tank. I really hope there are news crews with cameras there, though. I’m sickly fascinated enough to want to see just how much of a disaster this turns into.