November 10, 2023
By Sharan Kaur Phillora
In a recent NFT event held in Hong Kong, at least 22 attendees reported severe eye discomfort, with symptoms ranging from a burning sensation to temporary blindness. The event, ApeFest, organized by US-based Yuga Labs, saw complaints emerge following the use of UV light during the festivities at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal.
Here’s what we know:
Bored Ape Yacht Club posted an update on their X profile, stating that “much less than 1% of those attending and working the event had these symptoms.” The company is scrutinizing various aspects, including the fluorescent paint used at the venue and the event’s UV lighting setup.
The Hospital Authority noted six individuals sought emergency treatment for eye discomfort post-event, with their conditions now stable. Technology entrepreneur Evan Luthra described his and his friends’ afflictions, suffering intense eye pain and inability to face screens.
ApeFest, an annual event by creators of the famed Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT brand, was held outside New York for the first time, running from November 3 to 5. The Saturday night party was illuminated with colorful lighting, which some attendees later linked to their eye issues. Online testimonies recounted experiences of photokeratitis, a UV light-induced corneal damage, though no lasting eye damage was reported.
Specialist ophthalmologist Dr. Chow Pak-chin suggested the condition, akin to snow blindness, may stem from UV ray exposure and advised immediate medical attention for similar symptoms. While the investigation continues, the incident has raised concerns about the safety protocols at such high-tech events.
About the author
Sharan Kaur Phillora’s thirst for knowledge has led her to study many different subjects, including NFTs and Blockchain technology – two emerging technologies that will change how we interact with each other in the future. When she isn’t exploring a new idea or concept, she enjoys reading literary masterpieces.