- Bored Ape NFT holder Asif Kamal issues legal notice to Yuga Labs, concerning injuries from ApeFest.
- Nearly 1% of the event attendees were affected by eye and skin injuries.
The aftermath of ApeFest in Hong Kong, involving eye and skin injuries, became a wake-up call, prompting the NFT community to demand accountability from event organizers — Yuga Labs.
Yuga Labs, the creator of the famed Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), hosted a three-day flagship event for its Ape community in Hong Kong. Nearly 2,250 attendees gathered at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal on November 4. The DJ booth, the neon lights, and the community’s fiesta vibes created a buzz in the space. However, concerns arose when reports of photokeratitis and skin injuries surfaced on Twitter.
TheNewsCrypto interviewed Asif Kamal, founder, and CEO of ArtFi, one of the affected attendees who shared his distressing post ApeFest experience.
What Exactly Happened After ApeFest?
Kamal did express his love and support for the positivity and vibe that Yuga Labs brings to the NFT space. He shared two personal, “good experiences” that from ApeFest. First, he purchased his first BAYC NFT worth over $60,000. Second, the purchase happened in the presence of Garga (Greg Solano), co-founder of Yuga Labs, and a subsequent 10-minute conversation with him.
Despite these optimistic incidents, it was the aftermath the following morning that shook the community. Kamal stated, “I had to admit myself to the hospital for 3-4 hours due to a serious condition — with injured eyes and a swollen face.”
Attendees started reporting this on X (Twitter), pointing out their discomforting symptoms in their eyes and skin, the anxiety, and the fear of losing their eyesight. As stated by Yuga Labs, 1% of ApeFest attendees and staff were affected in
Days after investigating on Thursday, Yuga Labs reported that the root cause of the incident was the UV-A emitting lights installed in the event’s venue. When asked if attendees were given any warning or prior information about the usage of UV light, Kamal replied that they were not well-informed about it.
Yuga Labs’ “Negligence” Prompted a Legal Move
Affected by the incident, Kamal conveyed his disappointment with Yuga Labs’ handling of the aftermath. He highlighted the lack of genuine outreach and “manipulative” communication from the company in times of distress. According to him, a simple acknowledgment coupled with timely assistance such as providing helpline numbers in Hong Kong would have pacified the “anxiety” of those affected attendees.
Kamal has taken the step of moving the conversation with Yuga Labs to the legal arena. ArtFi, his company, has issued a letter before action, also known as a legal notice, to Yuga Labs, but as of now, there has been no response. The purpose of this legal move is to demand that the ApeFest organizer “take responsibility for their actions.”
Moreover, in advocacy for all those affected by the event, Asif Kamal has initiated a change petition. He commented:
“By signing this petition, you are supporting a safer environment at public events where our health isn’t compromised due to negligence or lack of regulations. […]I, along with others from the ecosystem, am not here to attack, claim, or blame. We are here for common safety measures.”
In closing, Asif Kamal, through this initiative, insists companies adopt necessary precautions during public events, avoiding any actions that might put attendees’ health at risk.