The Fyre Festival, the glitzy music festival in the Bahamas that was marketed as an alternative to Coachella, has gone up in flames. Based on reports from the social media feeds of people who attended the very expensive event, it was a complete disaster. The luxury glamping tents ended up being leftover disaster relief tents, the promise of sumptuous meals turned out to be dry cheese sandwiches, and flights to the “private island venue” were canceled because it was overbooked. Stranded Americans were calling on the U.S. Embassy in Nassau to get them out of there.
And then, Blink 182, the headliner, canceled.
But as Twitter User @fyrefestivalfraud has been pointing out for a while now, there were signs that the Fyre Festival would turn out to be a complete dumpster fire ahead of the event.
Fyre Festival is changing people's itineraries at the last second. Can't afford charter planes. Prepare to be stuck in Miami. #fyrefestival— FyreFestivalFraud (@FyreFraud) April 25, 2017
Here’s a list of some of the warning signs that attendees should have heeded before paying for their tickets.
Fyre Festival’s problems were highlighted by the media long before the event
On April 2, the Wall Street Journal published an article with the headline “At Up to $250,000 a Ticket, Island Music Festival Woos Wealthy to Stay Afloat.” In the piece, writer Hannah Karp outlines the struggles Fyre Festival’s organizers were going through to pay artists and confirm attendee flights.
As we mentioned before, Fyre Festival was billed as an alternative to established music festivals like Coachella. However, although Coachella is marketed as a millennial version of Woodstock, it’s actually organized and managed by AEG Presents, a huge corporate entity that has the money and the infrastructure to run a huge music festival year after year. It seems pretty clear that the organizers of the Fyre Festival did not have anything close to the same resources.
The Fyre Festival more than likely blew their budget on paying the Instagram star models who started hawking this event in December 2016. Models like Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, and others appeared in video ads for the event and also posted pictures to their social feeds to promote it.
The evidence of false advertising started to pop up before the Fyre Festival’s first day
Festival organizers told attendees that the event would take place on a private island, but as Twitter user @fyrefestivalfraud points out the actual venue, Exuma island, is anything but. There’s a Sandals resort right next to the festival location.
Also, this Twitter account, run by an anonymous user, has been retweeting complaints from angry and confused ticket buyers who have been trying to get answers from the official Fyre Festival account. All of these tweets happened before the scheduled start of the event. They eventually turned off comments on the official Fyre Festiva account. This does not paint a picture of a well-organized event.
@fyrefestival I have been trying to get in touch for several days, multiple emails, left several voicemail messages etc. No response! HELP!— Janet Moreira (@janetcmoreira) April 19, 2017
According to an article by the Observer, the person behind @fyrefestivalfraud claims to be someone with an exclusive source on the island who provided them with behind the scenes info. In their opinion, the people behind the fest should be locked up.
“These people deserve jail and the ‘influencers’ need to be called out for shilling for them,” they said.
The organizers of the festival seem very apologetic for the trauma they caused their attendees, but that probably won’t make up for it.
“Fyre Festival set out to provide a once-in-a-lifetime musical experience on the Islands of the Exumas,” a spokesman for the event told MarketWatch by email when they were in the midst of trying to rectify the situation. “Due to circumstances out of our control and difficulties with coordination internationally, 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.”
So, the moral of the Fyre Festival debacle is to do your research before you spend upwards of $1,000 on a ticket to a first-time music festival. Don’t believe everything you see on Instagram, kids. I leave you with some of the funniest tweets/memes to come out of the #fyrefestival hashtag. Enjoy!
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]