The supposedly luxurious Fyre Festival, an event promising “the best in food, art, music, and adventure” on a private island in the Bahamas, has been “postponed” after festivalgoers reported conditions that more closely evoke Lord of the Flies than Coachella. Tickets for the event, which promised performances by Tyga, Desiigner, Major Lazer, Pusha T, and Blink-182, sold for anyhere between $1,500 and $12,000 (though some reports have that number as high as $250,000 for a private villa stay). But accounts from the island itself suggest that the festival was immediately plagued by a total lack of organization, shoddy accommodations, and luggage mishaps, in addition to unconfirmed reports of violence, theft, and feral dogs.
The entire medical team is gone. THE MEDICAL TEAM. MISSING. pic.twitter.com/2vy23SF626— dylan (@DylanACOP) April 28, 2017
The "gourmet cuisine" this weekend was included in the ticket cost. We are being fed salads and ham and cheese sandwiches out of this tent pic.twitter.com/MRv7U0RiyM— dylan (@DylanACOP) April 28, 2017
Eyewitnesses told Billboard that the festival grounds in the Exumas appeared half-finished when guests arrived, with shelters comparable to disaster relief tents. What's more, festival attendees have shared photos of “gourmet cuisine,” supposedly included in the ticket price, that amounted to ham and cheese sandwiches served with salad.
A piece in the Wall Street Journal foresaw the festival's woes almost a month ago, noting that organizers were delayed in paying performers and confirming flights. For now, remaining scheduled flights from Miami to the island have been canceled, with attendees who had already arrived being evacuated—though even that seems to be going disastrously, with reports that passengers have been locked into the airport without food or water, allegedly for their own safety.
Fyre Festival was created by rapper Ja Rule and entrepreneur Billy McFarland and promoted by the likes of Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski. Given the exorbitant ticket prices and the high-profile celebrities involved, it’s no surprise that Twitter was quick to mock the less-than-luxurious outcome.
Most of us only dream of putting the wealthy in a gulag, Comrade Ja has actually gone and done it #fyrefestival— netflix & phil🏴 (@PaleCompanion) April 28, 2017
If you all aren't reading about #fyrefestival then you are missing out. Hunger Games for rich people is taking place on an island right now.— Braden (@Braden1013) April 28, 2017
Free idea: Tweets from #fyrefestival dramatically read like Civil War letters in the Ken Burns documentary.— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) April 28, 2017
The #fyrefestival is really a social experiment where rich people get to live like the majority of people in developing countries.— Travis Keys (@thewritetbkeys) April 28, 2017
Its messed up wat happen at #fyrefestival but i have a festival coming up for only $8k thats being headlined by 2pac and biggie dm for info— Jai T (@jaithefuture404) April 28, 2017
On its website, Fyre Festival posted a statement: “Fyre Festival set out to provide a once-in-a-lifetime musical experience on the Islands of the Exumas. Due to circumstances out of our control, the physical infrastructure was not in place on time and we are unable to fulfill on that vision safely and enjoyably for our guests. At this time, we are working tirelessly to get flights scheduled and get everyone off of Great Exuma and home safely as quickly as we can.” The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism issued its own statement apologizing for the disorganization and promising to assist in getting attendees off the island.
Update, April 28: Ja Rule has issued a statement via Twitter.