In the aftermath of the ill-fated Fyre Festival, schadenfreude has become the order of the day on social media, with rapper Ja Rule getting grilled over Twitter for organizing a “luxury” version of Coachella turned into an unmitigated disaster.
As Junkee related, the Fyre Festival was a high-profile event co-organized by Ja Rule and tech entrepreneur Billy McFarland and promoted by Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, and other glamorous young celebrities. Tickets for the Exumas, Bahamas, event were priced at $1,000 to $12,000 for regular concertgoers, but Heavy noted in a separate report that some packages were priced as high as $250,000 per person, with all attendees promised “first-class culinary experiences and a luxury atmosphere.” As for the musical acts, pop-punk icons Blink-182, Deadmau5, and Migos were among the many acts scheduled to perform at the festival.
Instead of the premium experience one would expect from paying a premium amount of money even for the cheapest tickets, attendees instead found themselves in a scenario Junkee and other publications compared to the William Golding novel Lord of the Flies, only with mostly 20-something music fans in place of the young children stranded on a strange island.
Concertgoers claimed that drinking water was in short supply, with organizers plying them with alcoholic beverages until they ran out. And instead of a “first-class culinary experience,” these fans were apparently served cheese sandwiches and a salad, as one Twitter user had documented. Accommodations were reportedly limited to half-built tents, adding to the general air of chaos at the festival.
When it was all said and done, the Fyre Festival was canceled, leaving thousands of fans stranded in the Bahamas, desperate to go home and put the debacle behind them.
As for those who couldn’t afford concert tickets and airfare to the Bahamas, it’s been a case of Fyre Festival schadenfreude, as several memes have started trending on social media, seemingly mocking the perceived incompetence of the organizers and suggesting that most of the stranded attendees were young, rich, and entitled millennials. Editorials, such as this one from In These Times, turned up the snark and suggested that the supposedly wealthy millennials duped into buying Fyre Festival tickets were “rubes,” but it was still their affluent parents “running the show” in corporate America.
The ongoing Fyre Festival schadenfreude has also inspired some creative trolls, one of whom created a fake Ja Rule Twitter post “admitting” that the disastrous festival was actually a “social experiment.” Another one of these ersatz posts poked fun at the remoteness of Exumas, suggesting that “those who enter the island will never leave.”
Uh oh, looks like Ja Rule has gone into damage control mode: pic.twitter.com/bFMVm3TRlr— Pixelated Boat (@pixelatedboat) April 28, 2017
An editorial from Mashable’s Jason Abbruzzese summed up the ongoing debacle, taking note of how the Fyre Festival and the post-cancellation schadenfreude reminded many people of how so-called social media “influencers” focus too much on materialism and consumerism, effectively turning popular internet platforms into a virtual version of high school, where they rule as the “cool kids.”
“Are we all going a little overboard in our enjoyment of this disaster? Yes, but not without reason. Fyre Festival brought together so much of what many people find disgusting about social media influence — crass materialism, braggadocious vanity, empty aspirations — and packaged them into a single event. Then, it confirmed our assumptions that the entire scene is fake.”
Amid all the backlash following the cancellation of the Fyre Festival and the schadenfreude-charged posts circulating on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, Ja Rule (real name Jeffrey Atkins) took to Twitter, promising a more detailed statement, as well as refunds to everyone who attended the event. He stressed that the chaos that ensued was “not (his) fault,” while also apologizing for the general inconvenience and taking responsibility for making things right for affected attendees.
[Featured Image by Chris Smith – Invision/AP Images]