Fyre Festival, a two-weekend Bahamas getaway advertised as a luxurious retreat for patrons willing to spend thousands of dollars on travel packages, fell to pieces on Thursday as guests found themselves in dangerous and rundown living quarters. Acts like Blink-182 who were set to perform during the weekends announced cancellations, citing inadequate resources. Following a wealth of photos and videos from the disaster, as well as a large helping of memes and jokes, the event’s founders now find themselves in damage control mode.
Billy McFarland, head of the festival alongside rapper Ja Rule, wrote a guest feature on Rolling Stone today to shed further insight on the proceedings, as well as offer his apologies to the affected attendees.
He begins by describing he and Ja Rule’s early friendship and shared love of the Bahamas. The two quickly started a festival marketing campaign using models and event footage, and moved on to the logistics of holding a large scale event on a small island.
“There wasn’t water or sewage,” McFarland wrote. “It was almost like we tried building a city out of nothing and it took almost all of our personal resources to make this happen, and everything we had, to make this festival go on.”
A bad storm hit the area the morning of the festival, which McFarland said tore down many of the tents and busted water pipes.
“Guests started to arrive and the most basic function we take for granted in the U.S., we realized, ‘Wow, we can’t do this.’ We were on a rush job to fix everything and guests were arriving and that caused check-in to be delayed. We were overwhelmed and just didn’t have the foresight to solve all these problems.”
Because the crew began construction so close to the scheduled start date of the festival, McFarland said, there was simply not enough time for proper building to take place. The result was a minefield of safety hazards that forced organizers to figure out refunds and comped return flights from the island.
“We were a little naïve in thinking for the first time we could do this ourselves. Next year, we will definitely start earlier. The reality is, we weren’t experienced enough to keep up.”
Despite the chaos, McFarland said the festival plans to return next year.
“There will be make-up dates, May 2018 in the U.S., free for everybody who signed up for this festival. We will donate $1.50 [per ticket] to the Bahamian Red Cross.”
Since tickets for this started around $1,000, that’s about .15% of GA ticket sales…
Source: Rolling Stone