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Alienstock lawsuit reaches tentative settlement

Updated May 3, 2021 - 10:58 am

More than a year and a half after the Storm Area 51 events, a lawsuit surrounding Alienstock has reached a tentative settlement, according to court records.

Little A’Le’Inn owner Connie West organized the Alienstock festival in September 2019, when a few thousand UFO-seekers and meme-lovers descending on the tiny desert down of Rachel, which boasts of a population of about 50 and is located near Area 51 in the Nevada Test and Training Range. But the weeks leading up to the 2019 event ended in bad blood between West and the creator of the internet joke — then-20-year-old Matthew (Matty) Roberts — who backed out of the festival and instead organized a competing event in downtown Las Vegas.

Shortly after the event, West filed a lawsuit against Hidden Sound LLC and its backers — Roberts, Brock Daily, Frank DiMaggio and John Grego. The lawsuit alleged the defendants breached an agreement with West to help organize and finance Alienstock, as well as intentionally published false and defamatory statements about West.

During a Wednesday hearing in District Court, West’s lawyer said the parties had reached a tentative settlement agreement that should be finalized within 30 days, according to court documents.

Court records also indicate the settlement is “to be kept confidential.”

The lawsuit originally sought relief in excess of $50,000.

West has said she was contacted by Roberts and Daily to work together to organize Alienstock, which spawned from a viral Facebook joke. Court documents show that the Little A’Le’Inn ended up spending or incurring expenses exceeding $109,000, while West spent up to $6,000 of her personal money.

A year after Alienstock, West told the Review-Journal that she believes the event cost her $200,000, plus the ongoing legal fees involving the lawsuit and a countersuit.

Hidden Sound said it organized an event in Las Vegas because of safety concerns, while West alleges it was a money grab for the group.

The group’s attorney has previously disputed the claims in the lawsuit.

The event also brought on the wrath of West’s neighbors, but she still had plans last year to host another Alienstock once Rachel is safe from the coronavirus pandemic.

Another hearing in the lawsuit is scheduled for June 9, court records show.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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