Fyre Festival was hyped as a luxury music festival and “cultural experience.” However, it was canceled late Thursday night after it became evident the event was poorly planned and coordinated.
Fyre Festival was supposed to last for two weekends, but it didn’t even make it to the first day. Organizers canceled the event and placed a notice on the festival’s webpage, saying the following.
“Due to circumstances out of our control, the physical infrastructure was not in place on time, and we are unable to fulfill that vision safely and enjoyably for our guests.”
The event organizers, which include rapper Ja Rule, immediately began arranging transportation back to Miami from a private island in the Exumas Islands and apologized for the problems fans experienced. Tickets for the festival ranged from $1,000 to $12,780, and some packages went as high as $250,000. Advertising included slick videos portrayed Frye Festival on a beautiful island surrounded by luxury yachts on crystal clear water. Organizers made it a point to highlight the fact Pablo Escobar used to own the island.
However, tweets and other reports showed a much different scene. The first signs of trouble began when Blink-182, the headliner for the show, canceled their appearance Thursday night. A tweet from the band said, in part, “We’re not confident that we would have what we need to give you the quality of performances we always give our fans.”
Other artists scheduled to perform at the Fyre Festival were Disclosure, Major Lazer, Migos, Captone, Le Youth, and Pusha-T. It is unknown if any of those performers also canceled their appearances before the whole festival being shut down.
The first fans to arrive began to tweet the disorganization and poor quality of food and housing that had been prepared for the festival. Pictures showed half-assembled tents and lackluster meals in plastic containers. One picture showed a very bare and unimpressive stage with no wiring or decorations.
A chartered flight on a specially designed 747 from Miami to the island was part of the ticket price, but on Thursday night the flights were canceled, and passengers were told there were no places to stay on the island. On Friday morning the Bahamian Government tweeted that they were disappointed with the outcome of the festival and they were working with organizers to return attendees back home as fast and safely as possible.
Tourism is the number one industry of the Bahamian government, but they were not official sponsors of the event. However, they are still working to help the concert organizers in hopes that disappointed fans will return to the islands for other events or vacations.
Fans reported problems from the outset including lost luggage, no transportation, and little to no support from Fyre Festival organizers. Instead of being served meals made by celebrity chefs they were given a box lunch that consisted of a cheese sandwich and lettuce salad. Accommodations, advertised as “modern, eco-friendly, geodesic domes,” were described by the first arrivals as disaster relief tents that were unsecured and flimsy.
Problems began appearing for Fyre Festival a few weeks ago when it was reported in the Wall Street Journal there were problems with payment for the bands. As the dates for the festival approached, word began to spread that the organizers weren’t answering phone calls and the festival was already showing signs of disorganization at the early stages of preparation.
The website for Frye Festival, once filled with splashy photographs, the lineup, and other information was taken down and replaced with their apologetic letter. However, there was no mention of ticket refunds for disappointed guests.
Other than messages on social media and the announcement on the festival’s web page, there has not been an official statement from organizers.
[Featured Image by Yuri Arcurs/iStock Images]