A viral Facebook post calling for an Alienstock festival in Rachel, situated near the US air force base Area 51, hasn’t gone well with the local authorities as they are considering pressing charges for covering the additional $250,000 of expenses incurred by the county to deal with the upcoming slew of visitors.
Earlier in June, Matty Roberts created an event under the title “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” on Facebook. Originally intended to be a joke event, it however turned out viral and became an actual event called Alienstock, hosted at the Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel, Nevada, which is situated in the vicinity of Area 51, the US Airforce base which sits at the center of several alien conspiracy theories.
When the event neared, Roberts, along with his partners had bailed out and mentioned on their website that they “foresee a possible humanitarian disaster in the works.
“…the lack of infrastructure, planning, and risk management, along with concerns raised for the safety of the expected 10,000+ attendees, we decided to transition Alienstock away from the Rachel festival towards a safer alternative,” wrote Robert.
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While Robert and co. shifted the event to Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, the owner of Little A’Le’Inn however said that she would still host her own Alienstock event, in spite of the fact that Robert had sent her a legal notice asking her to not use the name “Alienstock.”
The Lincoln County Sheriff expressed his frustration at the fact that people had already started arriving at the inn and that his county has to spend a quarter of a million dollars. For this reason, the authorities are planning on suing both Facebook and Matty Roberts.
“I’m not happy about it because you’re looking at a county that does not have a lot of financial resources and this could potentially cost the county. The county could still be spending upwards of a quarter of a million dollars and that’s not including the salaries of all these 300-plus first responders that are coming here,” said Sheriff Lee.
Facebook may be immune from the potential lawsuit filed by the local authorities of the Lincoln County as it’s covered by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which typically protects the social media company against legal action due to the content created by the users on its platform.