Area 51 festival fizzles out from low turn out
Born out of the viral “Storm Area 51” Internet phenomenon, organizers of the themed affair cancelled the festival following low attendance. Organizer Keith Wright brought the event to a halt Saturday, after its Friday commencement, featuring a headline performance from Paul Oakenfold, attracted approximately 500 attendees to the Alien Research Center souvenir shop in Hiko, Nevada. Wright expected a party upwards of 5,000. The turnout disparity led full operation of the event to be infeasible.
“We put on a safe event for the people that showed up,” Wright told Time. “But we had to make the decision today because it costs tens of thousands of dollars to staff each day. It was a gamble financially, we lost.”
Lincoln County authorities reported six arrests as of September 19, mostly contained to a sundry of trespassing charges. A group of about 20 people reportedly “acted like they were going to storm” a gate surrounding the military base, Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly said the crowd “stopped short.”
Photo credit: Bridget Bennett/AFP/Getty Images