(LINCOLN COUNTY, Nev.) — With or without aliens, those living near Area 51 are bracing for another worldly onslaught next month.
The highly-classified, remote portion of Edwards Air Force Base is on guard for tens of thousands of extraterrestrial fans to arrive in September. But the surrounding area, which has to host the event, is so afraid that “Alienstock” will overwhelm its resources that it has already prepared to preemptively declare a state of emergency.
“It all falls back on the county and we don’t have the resources to handle it,” Lincoln County Commissioner Varlin Higbee told ABC News, explaining that the county needs help from the state of Nevada to handle such numbers. “We’re paying up front. The county could go broke if we don’t get help from the state.”
“We’re going to declare an emergency so we can get ahead of it,” Higbee said. “So we don’t get in the middle of the emergency and you don’t have your medical evacuation team, the sheriff is going to have to deputize a lot more law enforcement.”
Lincoln County plans to submit the application a week or two before the event, Higbee said.
Anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 people are expected to descend upon Lincoln County — whose population is only 5,000 — from Sept. 20 to 22, for “Alienstock,” Higbee said. The event originated from a Facebook post from Matty Roberts, 20, who created “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us.”
Within days, one million users responded that they were interested in going to “see them aliens.”
While he started it as a joke, the overwhelming interest had prompted Roberts to turn it into an actual music festival, according to the festival’s website.
On July 30, Roberts, and another organizer, Brock Daily, met with Connie West, the owner of The Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel, Nevada, “so we can fix this monster he created that is beneficial to the people and my community,” West told ABC News.
The Little A’Le’Inn is the venue for “Alienstock,” and West said she is expecting 800 to 1,000 people on her property. She has 10 hotel rooms which were fully booked within two days of the Facebook event’s posting which can accommodate four to eight people each. She also has acres reserved for camping and parking.
Roberts is accepting donations to cover event costs like security, porta-potties, personnel and stages.
Still, the time frame is tight to pull off a mass event of such scale in such a remote area. Rachel, Nevada, at the time of the 2010 U.S. Census, had a population of 54.
“The whole thing from the get-go, is gone wrong,” Higbee said. “I’ve talked to different promoters, including where they do Burning Man. The first Burning Man they started planning a year and a half in advance. We’ve had two months.”
The town also doesn’t have a gas station so it’s advising attendees to fuel up on the way.
“We didn’t ask for this, people,” Higbee said. “People could just stay home and I’d be happy. It wouldn’t bother me a bit.”
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