69°F
weather icon Clear

Nye County shoots down plan for UFO festival tied to Area 51

Updated August 20, 2019 - 8:09 pm

A group looking to stage its own “Storm Area 51”-inspired event was denied a permit Tuesday by Nye County officials.

The Nye County Board of Commissioners voted 3-1 to deny an outdoor festival license for the so-called Peacestock 51 event, which was slated to be held on 47 acres of land in Amargosa Valley.

Commissioners raised various concerns in denying the permit, including the safety of Amargosa Valley residents, possible environmental impacts from the event and the remoteness of the site.

“There’s gonna be people probably running out of gas and are probably going to get stuck in the lousy road that’s there,” Commissioner John Koenig said. “We have neighbors here that are really unhappy. Personally, I sit here because these people elected me. These people are No. 1 on my list. Their safety, their convenience and their welfare. Everything else is secondary.”

Festival organizers David Van Der Beek and Bryan Scott presented the board with a plan of more than 50 pages that outlined security, medical services, and operations and said they hoped the event could become an annual UFO festival.

“It would be a phenomenal event,” Van Der Beek said. “We didn’t start this movement. We all thought Storm Area 51 was a joke, it is not and we’re not prepared for it. What is the plan for the community for the people who will come? There is no plan. … The whole intention of the festival is to remove people from harm’s way.”

The plan listed rappers Cypress Hill and rock band Sublime as headliners for the planned Sept. 20 festival.

The plan detailed a $760,000 budget to stage the event, including $300,000 for securing Cypress Hill and Sublime at $150,000 apiece. The other acts in the festival lineup would have been local bands from Clark and Nye counties.

Security services for the festival made up $188,000 of the budget. Another $60,000 was allocated for medical services for the festival, and $61,000 was budgeted for site preparations.

Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly said the event plan answered all the department’s safety questions, on paper. She also said that if the event were approved, she and other county officials would conduct a walk-through to ensure everything promised came to fruition.

Residents who live off White Road, the main road that would lead festivalgoers to the site, were concerned with the effects of a large crowd storming the area.

“I live out there, I’m just so scared of fire,” said a visibly upset Elnora White, whose father-in-law homesteaded the area and whom White Road is named after. “If we have a fire, I lose everything. Everything I have. My husband’s family homesteaded that land many years ago. All it would take is just one cigarette. One lousy cigarette.”

Other residents were concerned with dust and environmental concerns from having even a small group gathered in their rural area.

Commissioner Donna Cox, who voted against the permit, said the event could serve as a meeting point for those who might try to breach Area 51 land.

“I’m all for freedom and I do not believe in everything the federal government does, I don’t support them in most things. But in this particular event they want to put on, I think they’re showing total disrespect for these people out at the test site,” Cox said. “They’re absolutely going out there and are going to push their weight around and create a big problem.

“If I was you, I think in the best interest for the people, I would put something out that says, ‘This event has been canceled.’”

The denial comes a day after neighboring Lincoln County approved two separate events in Rachel and Hiko tied to the Storm Area 51 phenomenon.

Lincoln County officials also pre-signed a declaration of emergency to expedite the process if local resources are depleted during the possible three days for the pair of events.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Local Videos
Live music and EDM dominate the night on day 2 of A’Le’Innstock
After sunset bands rocked the crowds at A’Le’Innstock in Rachel, Nevada on the second night of the event.
Aliens Invade City National Arena for Competition
Aliens attended the City National Arena for a competition to see who was best dressed. The prize was out of this world.
CSN Food Pantry
The College of Southern Nevada has opened a food pantry at each of its three campuses to offer free snacks and groceries to students and staff facing food insecurity. (Aleks Appleton/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cat survives 15-mile commute in car bumper – Video
A Las Vegas Review-Journal employee was surprised to learn she had a passenger during her 15.5-mile commute to the office on a September Sunday. (Tony Morales & James Shaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Incident Command Post for Storm Area 51 - VIDEO
Various first responders gathered in Tickaboo to form the Incident Command Post for the Storm Area 51 events. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Candlelight vigil for Mark Garcia and his daughter, Monet - VIDEO
People gather at the Sobe Ice Arena during a candlelight vigil for Mark Garcia and his daughter, Monet, in Las Vegas. Garcia, 42, and his 12-year-old daughter were on their way to meet the girl’s mother when they were killed in a fiery crash in the central valley Friday night. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Getting ready for events near Area 51 in Nevada - VIDEO
Preparations are underway for a pair of Area 51 events taking place this week in Lincoln County. (MIck Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Shortages of OB-GYN doctors in the Las Vegas Valley - Video
Dr. Michael Gardner discusses the shortages of OB-GYN doctors that will happen and what steps are being taken to entice them to come or stay in the Las Vegas area.
Setup underway for Area 51 Basecamp
Setup is underway at the Alien Research Center in Hiko ahead of their Area 51 Basecamp event. Setup will ramp up over the next 2 days, with event taking place Friday and Saturday. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Las Vegas Fire Department introduces its new therapy dog - VIDEO
Blaze, a 5-month-old black lab and retriever mix, was introduced as the Las Vegas Fire Department’s new therapy dog on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Gov. Steve Sisolak met Blaze at Fire Station 1. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
First case of vaping-related illness in Clark County
The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting the first confirmed case in Nevada of severe respiratory illness linked to e-cigarette products. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
“Storm Area 51” creator hosts event in Las Vegas instead of Rachel - VIDEO
Matty Roberts, the man behind the “Storm Area 51” movement has been abducted to now host an alien-themed event in downtown Las Vegas.
Amber Unicorn Books tries to raise operating funds for the store
Owner Myrna Donato has begun a GoFundMe campaign to raise operating funds for the store, which has suffered a potentially lethal drop in business since the closure of a Trader Joe’s that anchored the shopping center in which the book shop sits. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dry conditions and winds gusting up to 40 mph bring a red flag warning
Dry conditions and winds gusting up to 40 mph bring a red flag warning for much of Monday by the National Weather Service. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Southern Nevada is in a West Nile virus hot zone - VIDEO
Southern Nevada, along with Central Arizona and Southern California, make up a “hot zone” that is reporting the highest number of mosquito-borne West Nile virus cases in the country. The Southern Nevada Health District recently reported 28 cases of West Nile virus in Clark County. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pinkbox Doughnuts opens third store in Las Vegas area
Las Vegas-based Pinkbox Doughnuts, which opened its third store at 9435 W. Tropicana Ave., specializes in doughnuts such as the new Station Wagon, with Butterfinger; pink-velvet Pretty in Pink; and hybrid Glazed DoughCro Bites. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal, with image courtesy of Pinkbox Doughnuts
Some of the best dog parks in Las Vegas - VIDEO
When taking them on walks just isn’t enough, there are plenty of dog parks sprinkled throughout the Las Vegas Valley where dogs can play and owners can get to know the other pet parents in their area. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gail Hudson surprised with Teacher of the Year honor
Gail Hudson is surprised with recognition as Nevada's Teacher of the Year in the courtyard of Hummel Elementary on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Silver State Heath CEO Ryan Linden - VIDEO
Ryan Linden, Silver State Health’s CEO and executive director, talks about the focus of the organization, which is to provide affordable mental health and medical care for low-income and underserved Southern Nevadans. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegan part of the Harlem Globetrotters
Scooter Christensen, who grew up in Las Vegas, will play with the Harlem Globetrotters at The Orleans in Las Vegas Sunday, Aug. 25. (Mat Luschek / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Person struck and killed by a train near downtown Las Vegas - VIDEO
Police investigate after a person was struck and killed by a train near downtown Las Vegas near West Owens Avenue and Stocker Street on Wednesday. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Paul Browning Released from Ely State Prison - VIDEO
Paul Browning greets his mother, Betty Browning, after being released from Ely State Prison. Browning served 33 years on Nevada’s death row. (Rachel Crosby/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mother upset over her child's cornea donation being sent overseas - Video
Lindsey LiCari, the mother of Ayden and founder of Ayden's Army of Angels, is upset that her child's corneas were sent overseas and was told that she would be able to see her son's eyes again. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Seven Magic Tires
“Seven Magic Tires,” created by Las Vegas artists Justin Favela and Ramiro Gomez, substitutes piles of tires for hefty boulders to recreate the scale model. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Tortoise Group of Las Vegas helps tortoises find homes
The Las Vegas Tortoise Group wants you to adopt a desert tortoise. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Warehouse fire in North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas Fire Department PIO Nino Galloway gives an update on the fire at a warehouse on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Woman's memoir reflects on her fresh start in Las Vegas
Etta Baykara, 91, who plays accordion in a polka band, wrote a memoir that includes growing up on a farm to her move to California and then Las Vegas where she claims she is the happiest. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas pinball wizard Spittin' Jerry Kaczmarek
Jerry Kaczmarek, also known as “Spittin’" Jerry, talks about his days as a pinball hustler in Vegas in the 60’s and 70’s. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Behind the scenes at Broadacres Marketplace
Evelyn Sanchez, Broadacres Marketplace marketing and event director, talks about the offerings at the dynamic swap meet in Las Vegas. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Teen talks about alleged sexual assault at Las Vegas grocery store
A 17-year old says she was groped and then sexually assaulted by a loss-prevention specialist at an Albertsons store in east Las Vegas. The subject's voice has been distorted to protect her identity. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Henderson officials tried to lure Arizona Diamondbacks from Phoenix
Henderson officials tried to lure Arizona Diamondbacks from Phoenix with four potential stadium sites in mind, including one behind the future home of the future Raiders headquarters. Discussions between the team and the city stalled out, but Henderson still wants to attract professional sports to the area.(Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Grasshoppers swarm Las Vegas Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is swarmed by pallid-winged grashoppers on July 25, 2019. The grasshoppers have infested the Las Vegas valley after an unseasonably wet winter and spring, experts say.(@365inVegas/Twitter)
Aviators splash pad lets fans stay cool
Las Vegas Ballpark’s splash pad area is the perfect place to keep cool while enjoying the game. (Cassie Soto/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Grasshoppers invade Las Vegas
The grasshoppers came out at night in northwest Las Vegas on Thursday. Lights at a local gas station attracted hundreds of the insects. (David Guzman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CCSD superintendent says dean positions will not be eliminated
Clark County School District Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara discusses budget adjustments for the district after listening sessions with principals, teachers and support professionals. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Henderson rain
Rain falls in Henderson on Wednesday, July 24, 2019.
Henderson Fire Department on checking back seats in the heat - Video
The Henderson Fire Department talks about double-checking car seats in the Las Vegas heat to remember children who may be in the car. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST