Following the Yuga Labs’ ApeFest event in Hong Kong on 4 November, attendees have come forward with alarming reports of burns, impaired vision, and, in some cases, enduring “extreme pain” in their eyes.
These experiences have been attributed to what they perceive as inappropriate lighting conditions.
Notably, a recurring observation is that the majority of individuals encountering eye-related problems were situated in close proximity to the lighting display at the event’s main stage.
A guest who attended ApeFest and goes by the pseudonym “Feld” on X (formerly known as Twitter) corroborated these symptoms, further amplifying concerns about the lighting setup.
Of the hundreds of attendees at ApeFest, at least 15 reports of vision impairment have surfaced on social media, pointing to a specific association with those who were situated near the stage lighting.
It is worth noting that Hong Kong has witnessed previous instances of event-goers experiencing medical issues due to exposure to inappropriate UV lighting.
On 20 October 2017, attendees at a party hosted by the streetwear brand HypeBeast reported painful burns and eye damage.
Subsequently, on 26 October, it came to light that the contractor responsible for the event’s lighting had used a series of Philips TUV 30W G30 T8 light bulbs.
According to information available on Philips’ website, these bulbs emit 12 watts of UV-C radiation, primarily utilised for surface disinfection.
The reported symptoms in both cases align with a condition known as photokeratitis, often referred to as “Welder’s eye.”
This condition results from prolonged exposure to exceptionally high levels of UV radiation, typically emanating from artificial sources such as welding lamps.
However, it can also occur due to natural sunlight reflecting off intensely bright surfaces, a condition commonly recognised as snow blindness.
One user warned that those who got their eyes burned at the ApeFest event needs to seek medical attention.
At the time of writing, there has been no news from Yuga Labs with regard to this incident, just a post thanking everyone.