Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) creator Yuga Labs has advised a number of attendees of its recent ApeFest event to “seek medical attention” after they reported disturbing issues, including “burned skin,” loss of vision, and severe eye pain.
It’s been speculated that these unfortunate effects could have been caused by overly powerful UV lighting used at the three-day event.
ApeFest, held in Hong Kong from 3-5 November, was billed as “three days of meetups and mayhem” and was, according to the event’s website, intended to be “Less of a music festival, more of an epic, unhinged family reunion.”
However, things appear to have been a little more unhinged than expected with members of the BAYC ‘family’ who attended taking to X (formerly Twitter) to report that organizers have, in essence, blinded them.
“Woke up eyes burning I could barely open them,” wrote one, while another complained “Had so much pain and my whole skin is burned. Needed to go to the hospital.”
This attendee went on to claim that their doctor told them that the UV lighting on-stage caused the issues and had the “same effect as sunlight.”
The symptoms, which bring a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘laser eyes,’ are strikingly similar to a condition called photokeratitis, also known as ‘Welder’s eye’ and ‘snow blindness.’ This is usually caused by exposure to artificial sources of UV light, but can also be caused by sunlight reflecting off surfaces such as snow.
In an X post earlier today, the Bored Ape Yacht Club wrote:
“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. Based on our estimates, we believe that much less than 1% of those attending and working the event had these symptoms.
While nearly everyone has indicated their symptoms have improved, we encourage anybody who feels them to seek medical attention just in case.
Some affected BAYC holders have since reported that their symptoms have started to subside.