The luxury Bahamian Festival created by rapper Ja Rule that offered promises of private beaches, intimate performances by acts like Major Lazer and Pusha-T, along with six-figure VIP packages is quickly devolving into a dystopian nightmare more akin to the Hunger Games than a top-shelf VIP experience. Earlier today, Fyre Festival organizers posted this message on their site:
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. We ask that guests currently on-island do not make their own arrangements to get to the airport as we are coordinating those plans. We are working to place everyone on complimentary charters back to Miami today; this process has commenced and the safety and comfort of our guests is our top priority.
The festival is being postponed until we can further assess if and when we are able to create the high- quality experience we envisioned.
We ask for everyone’s patience and cooperation during this difficult time as we work as quickly and safely as we can to remedy this unforeseeable situation. We will continue to provide regular updates via email to our guests and via our official social media channels as they become available.
-The Fyre Festival Team
From unfinished overnight accommodations to a general lack of food and staffing, the festival first plugged by supermodels and Instragram influencers is said to be on the brink of collapse with planes being dispatched to the elite Exumas island to begin evacuating patrons. Now that Blink-182 has canceled their appearance, many believe it’s simply a matter of time before the entire event is officially shut down.
— FyreFestivalFraud (@FyreFraud) April 27, 2017
How the luxury Fyre Festival descended into chaos. https://t.co/B1BCWQrdz9
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) April 28, 2017
— Tr3vor (@trev4president) April 28, 2017
— William N. Finley IV (@WNFIV) April 28, 2017
— Ziggy (@colortheghost) April 28, 2017
— William N. Finley IV (@WNFIV) April 28, 2017
Fyre Festival was famously launched in December by Ja Rule and entrepreneur Billy McFarland, set to take place on a private island in the Bahamas once owned by drug lord Pablo Escobar. The April 28-30 and May 5-7 event was launched with a dazzling sizzle video featuring Instagram models galavanting in the sand cruising the exclusive Exuma islands on a private yacht.
“Organizers say the weekend event will feature treasure hunts with clues to $1 million worth of loot,” Amplify reported at the time. “While the lineup has not yet been announced, the festival is promoting the other amenities that will be offered on the beaches of Fyre Cay. Attendees can spend the weekend sea-bobbing, snorkeling, playing on water trampolines, and doing yoga on the beach.” VIP packages were fetching as much as $250,000 with promises of luxury accommodations, dinner with celebrities and access to a private yacht.
Despite the promises, early reports about problems at the festival site began to drip out. The Wall Street Journal reported that as of late March, “Some artists still hadn’t been paid what they were owed based on the terms of their contracts,” although “the event’s promoters in recent days made progress in catching up with payments, and in some cases have paid acts in full.” As for fans who had purchased VIP ticket packages, many were reportedly “nervous as the festival’s ‘concierge’ team has been slow to provide them with logistical details.”
On Thursday, headliners Blink-182 pulled out of their festival headlining slot, tweeting they had concerns that the Fyre site would not be able to meet their production demands.
— blink-182 (@blink182) April 27, 2017
Hours after the announcement, the festival appeared to be on the brink of collapse with many festivalgoers arriving in Exumas, only to find out their tents and accommodations were not ready.
“They held us captive on a beach for 9-plus hours because 1-2 hours of rain ‘ruined’ everything,” social media influencer Tico Lorenzo told Amplify. “They were giving us bottles of rosé and tequila to try and cover it up. It worked for a few hours but pushing six hours everyone was starting to get antsy. Finally they bring us to the site at around 7 p.m. only to be waiting in line for 1.5 hours for a wristband (when they promised we’d get it at the airport which is why we had to arrive at 3:30 a.m.). After this torture, we got to our tent to find the floor soaking wet, bed without a pillow, and just not at all what they tried to make it seem it would be. Honestly beyond disappointed.”
Many took to social media to complain about the festival and an anonymous account called @FyreFraud documented the disaster, retweeting complaints from attendees who felt ripped off after spending thousands of dollars on a Fyre package.
By late Thursday night, flights on to Exumas island had been halted, with many believing the available charter planes were now being used to rescue passengers from the doomed island paradise.
Patrons on the island are reporting that about half of the attendees have left for the Exumas airport and are trying to leave the island, while many still remain at the Fyre Festival site amid reports of food shortages, a lack of security and safety concerns.