I headlined the most talked about festival of the year...at Area 51
It all started when @bradydeluxe and I saw the “Storm Area 51, they can’t stop all of us” Facebook page. We were in the first 5k to click “going”. We had no idea it was going to get as big as it did.
As it grew, we knew we wanted to get involved. @steeledreamrecords and I started planning a trip out there. We planned on bringing our own PA system strapped to a sprinter van BEFORE any talks of a festival or event. We just wanted to be part of the fun, and get some interesting content for you guys.
When the festival was announced in Rachel, we reached out to Matty (the meme creator), Brock, and his team, about playing the festival. They booked us! We were so excited to play! However as many of you know, controversy and a brutal breakup happened between them and Connie (owner of the little A’Le’Inn).
Prymrr and her mom Lisa, introduced us to Connie. After talking to her for over an hour, we felt that the allegations against her and the festival being “unprepared”, or “fyre fest 2.0” weren’t true. She wanted A’Le’Inn Stock to be “A safe place for people to have fun and make new friendships” and was working hard to make that a reality. At that point we pledged our support and joined team Rachel to help Connie make the event happen.
@steeledreamrecords and I put our noses to the grindstone. We wrote press releases and distributed it to press outlets all over the world to get the word out. A’Le’Inn Stock was not cancelled and was in fact alive and well. We started a social media campaign to combat the negative PR, we organized a second EDM stage in collaboration with @wily_savage (MainStage and Event Organizers), and spent hours preparing for the event.
We left late Thursday night. Tensions were high as we had no idea what to expect. As we arrived, we could see that everyone’s hard work had paid off, and our tension dissipated. There were countless RV’s and campsites spread all around the area almost as far as the eye could see. People from all over the WORLD had come to experience A’Le’Inn Stock 1.0 at Area 51. There were vendors, pop up parties, fortune tellers, food trucks, wifi hotspots, lots of law enforcement, and just about anything you would ever need.
The camaraderie was overwhelming. We met crews of volunteers who had come in from all over the country. We had brought enough emergency supplies for a week in the desert but didn’t end up using almost any of it because Connie, the other bands, and even their families provided almost everything we could need to be sustained and safe.
We spent the days going around the massive camp meeting people from all over this planet. They ranged from normies, meme-lords, anime lovers, conspiracy theorists, to full blown alien chasers.
We did interviews with the History Channel, news outlets from every major city in the area, youtubers, podcasters, a Netflix doc crew and more. Everyone was trying to get a handle on what was happening, and I don’t think anyone truly knew why each of us was there. It was all part of the mystery and fun. Who believed? Who didn’t?
As the first night drew in, we started prepping the EDM stage at the far side of the field. A local man Bill, had brought out a MASSIVE sound system and lighting rig. He is a retired sound guy, and volunteered his time and his gear to make our stage happen. My favorite quote from him was “No one wanted to help because it’s too high risk out here. It’s dirty, it’s Gotta be loud, it’s gonna ruin some gear.” He went on, “I’ve got one foot out the door, and the other on a banana peel, so f*ck it, lets have a good time! Go blow my gear!”
And sorry Bill but we did.@initiate.music started the night off CRUSHING his first-ever DJ set under the new moniker. Hundreds of people congregated to the EDM stage as soon as the music began playing. Initiate played one of the most fun sets of the entire weekend. @iamhvrcraft went on directly after and absolutely crushed it. @iamhvrcraft was followed by @scxrlet64 who played an incredible Star Wars themed set dressed as a powerful Sith Lord. @prymrr wowed the audience with her stage presence, catchy songs, and carefully choreographed backup dancers.
The first night I played A’Le’Inn Stock will be a memory I won’t forget for probably for the rest of my life. I played about 5 unreleased songs for the crowd and spent a lot of time in the audience dancing, and connecting with them; grabbing their hands from the stage as we sung our hearts out. I was struck with wonder that a simple joke on the internet could bring so many thousands of people together.
I played a LOT of mashups and throwbacks (The Killers, Panic! At the Disco, Owl City, etc…) and ended it by playing a beautiful cover of “Fix You” by Coldplay by @dannyolson ft. @jadelyn. We all hugged each other and sang along looking at the stars in the middle of the desert. It was a night to remember.
Bill told me it was my set that broke his speakers, and we were both totally proud of it.
The next day was much like the first, except a lot of naps during the day. I had the privilege of headlining b2b with @steelebeast on the MainStage the next day with full laser and fog production. We had so much fun. What a dream come true.
We also visited the gate to Area 51 that day. I never in a million years thought I visit the gate to Area 51. I even almost got arrested for putting my hand behind the “keep out” signs and got yelled at by a police officer. I may regret breaking the rules but I definitely don’t being the only Dj in the world to have successfully raided Area 51 (sorry, didn’t find any Aliens 😉)
Sunday morning we packed up satisfied but TIRED. We attended the artist brunch. There was such a sense of accomplishment and pride amongst the crew. The only topic being discussed was “Next Year”.
Despite varying opinions amongst the news outlets, A’Le’Inn Stock was a MASSIVE success in my book. There wasn’t a big business or promotional company making this thing happen. It was a grassroots movement of people helping other people make it happen. It may not have been the 30,000 people some were expecting, but let me tell you, all 3,000 people that showed up, brought the energy of any major music festival. Someone shared the fact that the first Burning Man took place in 1986 with only 35 people in attendance. You never really know when you’re in the presence of an empire being built.
We made our way over to the inn to say goodbye to Connie and her mom before heading back to Utah. We exchanged hugs and excitedly talked about next years festival, and how we could make it even bigger and better. We gave her and her mother a DVDDY hat and Connie proudly donned it on the spot, showing if off for all to see.
I honestly can’t have imagined a better weekend, it made sense, it felt right, and I got to spend it with all my friends. I can’t wait til A’Le’Inn Stock 2020.
Sidenote: HUGE shoutout to @bradydeluxe. He filmed and photographed the WHOLE weekend. We have SO much content to release and show. He’s such a champ and I’m so grateful we are friends.