William N. Finley IV/@WNFIV(NEW YORK) — Fyre Festival organizers are still trying to explain what happened around their luxury concert event that was planned for this weekend in the Bahamas but postponed amid a storm of complaints posted on social media.
The festival, tickets for which cost up to thousands of dollars, erupted into what the island nation’s tourism office called “total disorganization and chaos” after hundreds of prospective concertgoers landed in the Bahamas. The planned lineup included performances by Ja Rule, Daya and Tyga.
In a previous statement released Friday, Fyre Festival said, “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.”
On Saturday, the organizers of what was to be the festival’s first year promised in a statement posted to its website that “all festival goers this year will be refunded in full. We will be working on refunds over the next few days and will be in touch directly with guests with more details.”
“Also, all guests from this year will have free VIP passes to next year’s festival,” the statement read.
So Fyre Fest is a complete disaster. Mass chaos. No organization. No one knows where to go. There are no villas, just a disaster tent city. pic.twitter.com/1lSWtnk7cA
— William N. Finley IV (@WNFIV) April 27, 2017
The statement also said that the Fyre Festival was created by rapper Ja Rule and technology entrepreneur Billy McFarland after a “partnership over mutual interest in technology, the ocean, and rap music.”
“This unique combination of interests led them to the idea that, through their combined passions, they could create a new type of music festival and experience on a remote island,” the statement continued. “They simply weren’t ready for what happened next, or how big this thing would get.”
The statement then explained that interest in the festival quickly went viral. Festival organizers experienced what they called “roadblocks” after realizing that the island of Great Exuma didn’t have the infrastructure needed for the event.
“So, we decided to literally attempt to build a city,” the statement read. “We set up water and waste management, brought an ambulance from New York, and chartered 737 planes to shuttle our guests via 12 flights a day from Miami.”
The Fyre Festival said that they plan to hold a festival in 2018 but “at a United States beach venue.”
Ja Rule spoke out Friday via social media, saying he was “heartbroken” about what happened in the Bahamas. He also maintained that it was not his fault but he is “taking responsibility” and is “deeply sorry to everyone who was inconvenienced by this.”
— Ja Rule (@Ruleyork) April 28, 2017
For his part, McFarland, 25, admitted to Rolling Stone that his team was “a little naive 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.”
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism in a statement Friday said it was “extremely disappointed” with how events unfolded around the festival. “Hundreds of visitors to Exuma were met with total disorganization and chaos. The event organizers assured us that all measures were taken to ensure a safe and successful event but clearly they did not have the capacity to execute an event of this scale.”
Hallie Wilson, one attendee who along with her friends spent $4,000 to celebrate a friend’s bachelorette party, told ABC News on Friday that she and more than 100 others landed back in Miami after spending hours trying to fly back in.
“It’s been the longest 24 hours of our lives,” she added.
Another attendee Trevor DeHass told ABC News that despite the Fyre Festival being promoted as an all-inclusive upscale weekend, he said that he and his friends were served two slices of bread, a slice of cheese and a small salad for dinner Thursday.
@FyreFraud Here’s the dinner they fed us tonight. Literally slices of bread, cheese, and salad with no dressing. #fyrefraud #fyrefestival #dumpsterfyre pic.twitter.com/NmNXakSFlq
— Tr3vor (@trev4president) April 28, 2017
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