November 13, 2023   

UV Light at NFT Event Leads to Eye Injuries

2023 11 apefest uv light eye injuries.jpg

Attendees report vision problems and pain after event's lighting mishap


A recent event by the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), an organization in the non-fungible token (NFT) space, has come under scrutiny due to numerous reports of attendees suffering eye injuries. This incident raises significant concerns about the organization's approach to event safety and its use of lighting technology.

During the November 3-5 ApeFest in Hong Kong, over 20 attendees reported severe eye pain and vision problems. The celebration for Bored Ape NFT enthusiasts, intended as a joyous occasion, took an alarming turn when attendees began experiencing symptoms resembling intense sunburn of the eyes after the event concluded. Several sources, including MSNBC, Fortune and The New York Times, confirm these claims.





Clarissa-Jan Lim from MSNBC reported that more than a dozen attendees experienced eye pain and temporary vision loss, attributing the cause to ultraviolet light from the stage. Similarly, Callie Holtermann of The New York Times noted that over 20 individuals reported burning eye pain, with Yuga Labs, the parent company of BAYC, acknowledging these concerns.


Lighting Choices: The Cause of Distress

The suspected culprit behind these injuries is UV light exposure, a common yet potentially harmful element when used in a stage lighting application. Attendees described the sensation as akin to microwaving their eyes, a vivid depiction of the severity of their discomfort. Dr. Will Flanary, an ophthalmologist, identified the symptoms as photokeratitis, a condition resulting from UV light exposure.

Images and videos from the event showed a stage with what appeared to be purple-colored lights directed at the crowd, potentially responsible for the injuries. The event's layout, including decorative elements illuminated by intense lighting, may have inadvertently contributed to the exposure.



This incident not only affected the physical well-being of the attendees but also cast a shadow on the BAYC event. Bored Ape Yacht Club now faces questions about safety and responsibility measures it takes at live events.

The saga at the BAYC event is a stark reminder of the need for responsible and informed use of technology, especially in public gatherings.