THE FYRE FESTIVAL RUNDOWN
Late last year, a gaggle of supermodels — including Alessandra Ambrosio, Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin, Emily Ratajkowski, Elsa Hosk, and Paulina Vega — all flew to the Bahamas together on a private jet for a fab-looking if a bit mysterious working vacation. Later, it was revealed what they were all up to: They were promoting the Fyre Festival, coming to the Bahamian private island Fyre Cay for two weekends, said to be packed with music, culture, art, food, and more than $1 million in real treasure and jewels hidden on the island.
There were signs that things weren’t going to be well.+ Source Page Six
On April 17, 2017-Page Six reported: Reps for the April 28-30 and May 5-7 event assure us there’s lodging, and say it’s “going to be one of the biggest and most exclusive events of the year. The island is ready, and our partners and the performers are stoked.”
A source says that attendees have not yet seen pictures of their “villas” on the fest’s private Bahamian island. Another source said, “It feels like they have good intentions, but are out of their league …
And now, months later, just as those dates are kicking off, things aren’t shaping up quite the way organizers intended when they booked that pricey roster of models to promote it. In fact, things are looking so bad for the festival on social media, it would be fair to call it an official trainwreck.
Organized by Ja Rule and Billy Mac Farland promoted by a gaggle of supermodels, the Fyre Festival promised a luxury experience on a private island in the Bahamas. But it’s been canceled after the first day because virtually nothing seemed to have been completed in time.
— Tr3vor (@trev4president) April 28, 2017
A source on the ground who wished to remain anonymous told The Daily Beast the festival was in shambles from the get-go, explaining that guests arrived to what was supposed to a “tent village” but “the village is not finished. And there is no one in charge.” The source continues, “There was no infrastructure to support the 2000 people that had been expected and people began demanding their money back…There are reports that booze is being looted. I’ve heard one claim that at least 50 to 60 thousand dollars in booze was given away in order to keep people happy.” Artists scheduled to perform have also begun pulling out of the festival. One group of performing artists, the source says, was “placed in a house for lodging and had to leave as it was allegedly overrun with rats and rat shit.”
THE BAHAMAS Ministry of Tourism Response
In a previous statement, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism was working tirelessly with Fyre Festival organizers to ensure that the 2017 festival is unforgettable for the over 5,000 guests expected to descend on the island between April 28-30 and again on May 5-7.
“We (the Ministry of Tourism) are proud that Exuma has been selected as the 2017 festival location and official Fyre Festival launch pad. We are even more proud that within a very short period of time, the festival is a first for the group, and has sold out its first weekend. Organizers have attracted more than 100,000 interests on the event, and we realize that the exposure from a festival of this magnitude is already tremendous,” said Carla Stuart, senior director of National Planning and Special Events in the Ministry of Tourism.
The Ministry of Tourism is a partner for the festival and serves as a liaison between the organizers and various government and local entities on the island, (Source- Bahamas Weekly) By Kendea Smith, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
The airport in the Bahamas locked patrons in the airport.
— Lamaan (@LamaanGallal) April 28, 2017
— The Bahamas (@VisitTheBahamas) April 28, 2017
Fyre Fest Isn’t the First Sketchy Business Venture From Co-Founder Billy McFarland
Ja Rule isn’t solely responsible for the nightmare, and the business history of Billy McFarland, his Fyre Media co-founder, might provide some insights as to what went wrong at the festival. This isn’t McFarland’s first poorly planned venture. The 20-something entrepreneur also founded Magnises, a kind of social club that originally aspired to be the American Express “black card” for millennials. New members paid a $450 entry fee for the privilege of carrying around a credit card-sized slab of shiny black metal in their wallets. But it wasn’t really a credit card: as the New York Times noted in a 2013 piece
The co-founder of Ja Rule’s disastrous Fyre Festival has lots of excuses as to why the event advertised as a luxury experience turned into what looked like a refugee camp. Billy McFarland tells us his team was in over their heads from the start.