It's Area 51 weekend thanks to the now-infamous Facebook event "Storm Area 51". The original event, "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us" took social media by storm this summer prompting over a million people to join the "raid" online but it also inspired real-world events as well such as the Alienstock festival in Rachel, Nevada, an Area 51 Celebration in Las Vegas, and the lesser-discussed Area 51 Basecamp event at the Alien Research Center in Hiko, Nevada. Unfortunately, anyone hoping to check out that event on Saturday are out of luck. The Area 51 Basecamp event has officially been cancelled.
According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, event executive producer Keith Wright pulled the plug on Area 51 Basecamp due to low attendance on the event's first day on Friday as well as low presale ticket numbers for the Saturday event.
"Lack of attendance yesterday and the anticipated lack of attendance today," Write said as reason for the cancellation. People who had already purchased tickets through Ticketmaster will be refunded.
The Area 51 Basecamp event featured DJ Paul Oakenfold as one of the featured artists on Friday, but only around a 100 people came out for his performance. In contrast, there was an estimated crowd of around 2,000 people at Alienstock in rural Rachel, Nevada on Friday. That festival was set up after the Facebook event took off, a way to make the "joke" raid something that would be both fun and profitable for rural Nevada, according to Facebook event creator Matty Roberts.
"I want to make this something as positive, enjoyable, safe and profitable for the rural area of Nevada," Roberts previously said. He later shifted his event to the Area 51 Celebration in the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, though Alienstock has continued on without him in Rachel.
In addition to Oakenfold, the Area 51 Basecamp event had been set to feature other alien-themed attractions, such as visits to the Alien Research Center as well as presentations and exclusives screenings as well as appearances by the cast of Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell's Netflix documentary Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers. Arby's even had a food truck presence at Area 51 Basecamp offering a special "top-secret" alien-themed menu. For Wright, who reportedly made a six-figure investment into the event along with Alien Research Center owner George Harris, the event's cancellation means a failure to recoup that investment, but it's something he says he will be able to move on from.
"It hurts, but it won't kill me," Wright said.
Are you participating in any of the Area 51-related events this weekend? Let us know in the comments below.