Attendees of a recent ApeFest event organized by Yuga Labs in Hong Kong have reported experiencing burns, damaged vision, and extreme pain in their eyes. These issues are believed to be a result of improper lighting used at the event. One attendee, CryptoJune, took to Twitter to share their experience, stating, “Woke up in the middle of the night after ApeFest with so much pain in my eyes that I had to go to the hospital. Doctor told me it was due to the UV from stage lights. I go to festivals often but have never experienced this. I try to understand how it could happen… it seems like the lamps [were] not safe.”
Another attendee noted that many of the individuals reporting eye problems were those who were up close to the lighting display on the event’s main stage. A picture of the stage at ApeFest supports these claims, as some attendees claim they were standing near it. One attendee, who goes by the pseudonym Feld, described experiencing identical symptoms, stating, “Anyone else’s eyes burning from last night? Woke up at 3 am with extreme pain and ended up in the ER.”
Multiple reports of vision damage have surfaced on social media, with at least 15 cases mentioned among the hundreds of ApeFest attendees. These reports suggest that the concerns were primarily limited to guests who were in close proximity to the stage lighting. Yuga Labs, the organizers of the event, have not yet responded to requests for comment.
This is not the first time partygoers in Hong Kong have experienced medical issues due to improper UV lighting at an event. In 2017, attendees at a party thrown by streetwear brand HypeBeast reported painful burns and eye damage. It was later discovered that the lighting contractor had used light bulbs that emit 12 watts of UV-C radiation, which is primarily used for disinfecting surfaces.
The vision damage reported in both cases aligns with a condition called photokeratitis, also known as “Welder’s eye.” This condition is caused by prolonged exposure to high levels of UV radiation, typically from artificial sources. It can also occur from natural sunlight reflecting off bright surfaces, such as snow.
It is important for event organizers to prioritize the safety and well-being of their attendees, including proper lighting practices to minimize the risk of such incidents.
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