HIKO, Nev. – They may have been sparse, but they were still mighty.
As the sun set on Friday on the day of the “storming” of the enigmatic Area 51, those who came out for one of the festivals spawned from the viral event in Hiko, Nev. jammed out under the stars to a mix by Grammy-nominated electronic dance music DJ and recording artist Paul Oakenfold.
“I’m going play more of a psychedelic set that I feel is appropriate for the landscape behind us,” he told Fox News after arriving at the festival around 6 p.m. “Let’s see what happens.”
Oakenfold, who is about to embark on a European tour, said he was drawn to the sparse Nevada region about 116 miles north of Las Vegas out of curiosity.
“I do think there is something there. I’d like to think there is something there, so I want to know more,” he said, adding, “Let’s see what happens. Maybe we’ll see a UFO, who knows?”
Oakenfold took the stage to headline the event after an exclusive screening of Jeremy Corbell’s Netflix documentary, “Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers” that was part of the Storm Alien 51 Basecamp in Hiko that also featured speakers, an organized food and vendor area, in addition to the famous gift shop and giant alien outside.
The basecamp, which did not draw notable large crowds on Friday and at one point had around 40 people — including some who got very into their dancing, was one of two festivals in Lincoln County on Friday and Saturday tied to the Area 51 buzz.
Business owner George Harris said he expected a crowd of 5,000, but Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee told the Associated Press the audience and nearby campers appeared to number in the hundreds.
But for those attendees who did dance in the dusty field or sit out underneath the stars as lasers shot overhead, the trek to Hiko was well worth it.
“It’s dope,” Karla Tamayo told Fox News. Tamayo said she’s visited the site of the festival, the Alien Research Center on the “Extraterrestrial Highway” before, when it wasn’t so popular.
“It’s nice to have people here,” she told Fox News, adding that she didn’t expect many to come. “I really thought people saw it as a joke.”
Others felt that the event in Hiko compared to another big draw out west: the Burning Man festival.
“It’s absolutely amazing,” Johnny Blaze told Fox News, adding that he went to the festival in downtown Las Vegas on Thursday night but felt like it was too commercial and the “theme was lost.”
“I’ll definitely be back. They need to support the local culture more, the local business,” he said.
But the small crowds frustrated some vendors, who felt that a high-profile act like Oakenfold should have been on the last day, allowing for crowds to build. A vendor from out of state who asked to not be identified told Fox News they were led to believe that thousands were to show up at the event, instead of just dozens.
“If that was happening we should have seen at least an event,” the person said.
The festival in Hiko was one of two in Lincoln County. Lee said that crowds have grown to perhaps 3,000 people at internet-inspired festivals dubbed “Alienstock” in Rachel.
Officials said late Friday that two men were arrested in the rugged mountains inside the perimeter of Area 51 and one woman who made it clear at a busy gate that she was going to trespass no matter what. Lee added the number of people approaching base checkpoints near the tiny desert towns of Hiko and Rachel in recent days has topped 1,000.
A man reported missing after heading out Thursday toward an Area 51 gate was found safe Friday evening.
Emergency services chief Eric Holt says one man was treated at a festival in Rachel for dehydration, but no serious injuries were reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.