What was supposed to be an extravagant, VIP festival for rich millennials, is starting to sound like a social experiment. Just search the hashtag #FyreFestival on twitter, and you'll see live updates and experiences from attendees begging for help. Fyre Festival, which was Ja Rule and a partners brainchild, which was promoted via models like Bella Hadid and Kylie Jenner, was supposed to be an exclusive Bahama's music festival with performances from people like G.O.O.D. Music, Blink 182, Rae Sremmurd, Tyga, Desiigner and more.
Attendees paid minimum 2k per ticket and up to $250k for what they expected to be villas yet they were greeted with unfurnished disaster tents. Gourmet meals were actually bread, cheese and salad without dressing.
After tapping a handful of Insta-models, such as Emily Ratajkowski, Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Elsa Hosk, to promote Fyre Festival on Instagram in December 2016, the music festival in Exumas, Bahamas is being labelled a “hoax” and a “scam." According to reports, organizers left festival-goers stranded at the Miami and Exumas airports and failed to provide other accommodations as promised in its pricey weekend packages before cancelling the festival in its entirety after guests arrived on Thursday evening.
Set to take place on a remote island in the Exumas on Fyre Cay, Fyre Fest was the brainchild of rapper Ja Rule and entrepreneur Billy McFarland. But the event - scheduled to make its official debut on Friday and for which tickets cost between $1,500 and $250,000 – got off to a rough start as soon as guests began to arrive on Thursday.
The festival grounds were littered with barely-erected, unfurnished tents and piles of trash. The gourmet meals that festival-goers were promised consisted of sad-looking cheese sandwiches. The guests' luggage was thrown from the back of a truck onto the ground, and security was nowhere to be found when attendees began engaging in verbal and physical confrontations.
Blink-182 announced that its members were pulling out of the festival, telling fans on Twitter that they were worried that festival organizers would not be able to provide the production needed for their performance. This is just the latest blow in a series of setbacks for the festival, which was supposed to last for two weekends, and be headlined by musicians from from G.O.O.D. Music, including Tyga, Desiigner and Pusha T.
According to one festival-goer's account: So, Fyre Festival was a complete scam. We arrived at Exuma International Airport and were told to get on buses if we are staying on site. So, Megan, Tobi and I get on our bus to go to what we think will be the ultimate glamping experience - king sized beds, solar powered lightbulbs, furniture, etc. What actually happened is that we go to a semi-constructed tent, a tiny stage and a huge line of very worried looking people who needed to check in to find their bags.
Unfortunately, they did not let us pick up our bags at the airport as we were told they would be waiting for us in our tents. That was a lie and it took us from 6:30 to 9:45pm to get our luggage back. Aside from this, the tents weren't even built yet, so of course there was not furniture inside (as promised). I spoke to a woman who had paid 10k for a VIP Villa Package - she was promised an exclusive villa, VIP access, and an upgraded culinary experience - instead she got a partially constructed tent and all of the stuff she put inside it was stolen.
Every single staff member had no idea what was going on which meant that all information we were told was wrong or contradicted what we had been told before. I didn't see any food but there were people going around encouraging people to drink. Obviously right off the bat we tried to leave but since it took us almost 4 hours to find our bags, we were stuck there and then lost the staff member who promised us a full refund as he (rather conveniently) did not pick up the phone.
So, now we are at Exumas International Airport waiting for a flight to Miami to arrive that was supposed to be here 2 hours ago. All of the flights from Miami to Exumas have been cancelled due to the deception, and the ones that are coming to Exumas from Miami have been labeled "rescue missions."
An article earlier this month in the Wall Street Journal stated that as of late March, Fyre's "organizers missed a series of deadlines to make advance payments to performers. Last week, some artists still hadn’t been paid what they were owed based on the terms of their contracts, according to people familiar with the matter, but the event’s promoters in recent days made progress in catching up with payments, and in some cases have paid acts in full."
The publication also reported that fans who had purchased VIP ticket packages, including airfare to and from the festival, were "nervous as the festival’s 'concierge' team has been slow to provide them with logistical details."
A source told Page Six, “It feels like [the event's organizers] have good intentions, but are out of their league … Several companies bailed on working with them because they were very disorganized. They don’t return calls.”
According to a statement provided by Fyre Festival on Thursday evening, "Due to over capacity on the island, we need to cancel all existing flights to ensure the safety of our guests. Fyre will reach out to every passenger individually to sort out details."
Now, Fyre Festival is scrambling to get things in order as more attendees are expected to arrive. They may want to re-think this given the huge social media response based on attendees whom are already there, begging for people to send help! Ja Rule may want to lay low for a little while.