ApeFest, the gathering for enthusiasts of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), took an alarming turn as attendees began reporting severe eye pain and skin burns, leading to advisories from event creator Yuga Labs to seek medical attention.
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The three-day event in Hong Kong, promoted as a grand family reunion for BAYC members, ended up causing distress rather than delight for some.
The afflictions suffered by participants immediately following the event, which ran from November 3 to 5, have led to speculations that the cause might have been the intense UV lighting used during the festivities. BAYC enthusiasts, or ‘Apes’ as they refer to themselves, described waking up to “eyes burning” and skin that felt “burned”, necessitating hospital visits for many.
Attendees have shared their experiences on Twitter (X), with one attendee detailing a harrowing morning after.
Such firsthand accounts point to a serious oversight in event safety measures. The symptoms suggest photokeratitis, a painful condition akin to sunburn of the cornea, often a result of exposure to artificial UV light sources. This incident sheds a starkly literal light on the term ‘laser eyes,’ a playful trope within the cryptocurrency community.
Yuga Labs responds
In response to these alarming reports, Yuga Labs has been actively contacting attendees to understand the situation better. They took to Twitter (X), stating:
“Apes, we are aware of the eye-related issues that affected some of the attendees of ApeFest and have been proactively reaching out to individuals since yesterday to try and find the potential root causes.”
The company has been quick to downplay the scale of the incident, highlighting that less than 1% of the attendees showed any symptoms. Nonetheless, the affected individuals’ plight has cast a shadow over the event’s aftermath.
Reassuringly, the majority of those affected have reported an improvement in their symptoms. Yuga Labs continues to urge those feeling unwell to seek medical care as a precaution. The sense of urgency conveyed by Yuga Labs underlines the potential severity of the injuries sustained.
ApeFest unforeseen challenges
While the event was meant to be an escapade of camaraderie and celebration, the distressing aftermath for some attendees has prompted a serious evaluation of event safety, particularly concerning the use of UV lighting in entertainment venues.
This incident at ApeFest is not just a wake-up call for event organizers regarding participant safety but also serves as a reminder of the unforeseen risks in large-scale gatherings. As BAYC holders hope for a swift recovery, the broader implications for Yuga Labs and event safety standards remain to be seen.