The highly anticipated Fyre Festival in the Bahamas this weekend was supposed to be exactly that: fiyah!
It was a destination collaboration between rap star Ja Rule and techpreneur Billy McFarland, featuring G.O.O.D. Music, Blink-182, Migos, Lil Yachty, Major Lazer and others, and of course it was pumped up on social media, a place where you certainly don’t have to be discerning, or do any research on what you’re being sold.
But as it turns out, you can’t believe everything you read on Instagram.
Travelers, who spent as much as $12,000 for a luxury music festival arrived in the Bahamian district of the Exumas expecting to find Fantasy Island, actually got a nightmare reality. Many of the structures were half built, feral dogs were said to roam the area where the site was supposed to be set up and mass disorganization in general was a theme for the crowds of people expecting the time of their lives. Instead, the area looked a little too much like a refugee camp.
— Miguel Dante (@MiguelDante) April 28, 2017
— William N. Finley IV (@WNFIV) April 28, 2017
— Alex Sanchez (@AXELSCYTHE) April 28, 2017
Some on social media are even comparing the experience to the dystopian novel Lord of the Flies.
— Alex Carr (@RracXela) April 28, 2017
And these are just tweets, bro. We can’t even post what they’re saying on Reddit. But this video might give you an idea of what people are experiencing.
Attempting to set things right, festival organizers tried to explain what went wrong. On its website, they wrote:
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. 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. We ask that guests currently on-island do not make their own arrangements to get to the airport as we are coordinating those plans. We are working to place everyone on complimentary charters back to Miami today; this process has commenced and the safety and comfort of our guests is our top priority.
The festival is being postponed until we can further assess if and when we are able to create the high- quality experience we envisioned.
But by Friday afternoon, the damage was done. One of the main headliners, Blink-182, canceled its appearance early on. “We’re not confident that we would have what we need to give you the quality of performances we always give our fans,” the band announced on Twitter.
Even the Bahamian government, which largely depends on tourism as an economic engine was angered by everything that happened and apologized to those who came to the Caribbean nation.
— The Bahamas (@VisitTheBahamas) April 28, 2017
Organizers, including Ja Rule himself, have been working on getting charter flights from the Bahamas back to Miami for people still on the island. They also sent out apologies and promised to find out what went wrong.
— Ja Rule (@Ruleyork) April 28, 2017