With only days to go before various ‘Storm Area 51’ events, rural Nevada has become a hotbed of controversy. Last week, two Dutch YouTubers were arrested for trespassing onto the secretive air base. Two weeks ago, fearing a “possible humanitarian disaster,” the creator of the original Facebook Storm Area 51 event pulled out of the “AlienStock” festival, but organizers there insist the show will still go on.
Meanwhile, Lincoln and Nye counties are bracing for impact this weekend. While several festivals have gotten the bulk of the press, a smaller festival says it is offering more of a hang out than a party. The third festival, being thrown by a guy named Bryan Scott, is for people who who just want to talk about aliens, listen to some chill music, and relax under the stars. Oh, and it has running water and showers.
Motherboard reported earlier that, besides Storm Area 51 Basecamp and Alienstock, a third event, Peacestock 51, was planned in Nye county, but was denied its permit. While Peacestock 51 might be dead, one of its organizers, Bryan Scott, has continued the mission.
“This is an organic movement,” Scott told Motherboard in an interview. “This isn't about Storming Area 51. It's an open invitation to an amazing place and it's being held that weekend to let those pray from a distance for those who are coming to our area.”
Scott explained the event is about community and peace. Sounding like a weird mix between an alien themed conference, a folk festival, hippie love-in, and your dad’s cabin in the woods, this “spiritual gathering and campout” actually sounds kind of nice.
Scott explained that he’s had people as far as Germany already secure a camping spot. The number of attendees seems to be growing daily. At last count, Scott stated that by word of mouth and via private emails and messages alone, nearly 600 people have already confirmed attendance.
The festival is a two hour drive North West from Las Vegas sits a well known camping area off of Highway 95 called “Spicer Ranch.” Though the ranch is private property, owner David Spicer maintains it for public use. Scott reached out to Spicer while planning Peacestock 51, and it was decided to open the ranch up to any Storm Area 51 visitors who needed a safe and quiet place to camp.
“I want you to know my gates are open. I'm on the web,” Spicer told Motherboard. “The world knows I'm here...I am not going to close the gates. If people need respite or if they need help, if they need a safe site somewhere...I've got a lot of parking, I've got freshwater and I got some trails to walk on.”
Spicer, a local Nevada business owner, allows the ranch to be used for large events regularly. Last year, his ranch hosted an 11,000 person Tough Mudder event.
“If people come to something and there's nothing to do, they get irritated and then you've got problems,” Spicer said. “Our county is preparing for war and they're not quite sure who the battle is going to be with, or just how large it’s going to be. This is an opportunity. It's an opportunity for this county to get known for something besides controversy.”
Spicer’s main concern is that families will get stranded on the highway systems due to overcrowding, and suddenly, vehicles start getting turned around by men with guns. “It’s intimidating,” Spicer explained. “It’s going to be startling and people are going to have a horrific experience.”
Scott explained that the ranch has established infrastructure. With access to electricity, bathrooms, showers, BBQ areas and drinking water, Scott and Spicer are preparing to potentially host thousands. Medical services are being provided by the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe, and local volunteers will be handling security.
Staying at the Spicer Ranch is free during the Storm Area 51 weekend, however, Scott is asking for any visitors to make a donation to the ranch, which supports sustainable business development in the valley and, of all things, Nevada’s local toad habitats.