Rapper Ja Rule promised concert-goers a uniquely luxurious experience at his new Fyre Festival. With tickets ranging from $1,200 to a super-VIP $250,000 package, fans were promised the "best in music, culture, art, and food all while surrounded by one of the most beautiful and pristine settings in the world" in the Exumas, Bahamas.
Instead, the hundreds who arrived at the festival yesterday say they found mass chaos: a shoddy tent city with little light or security, scarce food and water, and mass cancellations by promised artists. Flights from Miami to the island were reportedly canceled last night amidst the turmoil, stranding many would-be partiers in South Florida.
"Fyre Festival was a complete scam," writes an Instagram user named mainizzl, who presumably paid for a piece of a $12,000 "glamping" package that was supposed to include a luxury tent and four passes. "What actually happened is we got to a semi-constructed tent mess with a tiny stage and a huge line of very worried looking people."
At 8:30 a.m. today, the festival's planners finally threw in the towel, tweeting that the festival had been "postponed."
At this time, we are working tirelessly to get flights scheduled and get all travelers home safely— Fyre Festival (@fyrefestival) April 28, 2017
But for those who made it to Fyre, the experience sounds nothing short of a hipster Lord of the Flies.
The first indication that something was off came when one of the headliners, Blink-182, abruptly canceled, citing poor planning and the fact that artists allegedly hadn't been paid in advance as planned. Anyone disturbed by that warning sign was in for a hell of a surprise once they actually got to the Bahamas.
The "gourmet cuisine" promised on site?
The "gourmet cuisine" this weekend was included in the ticket cost. We are being fed salads and ham and cheese sandwiches out of this tent pic.twitter.com/MRv7U0RiyM— dylan (@DylanACOP) April 28, 2017
Hmmm. Well, what about the glamping accommodations in high-end tents?
Well, at least you could drink away your woes while stuck in a hellish tent city on a remote island in the Caribbean, right?
"There is a bar, but unless you have a (VIP) band, liquor is $14. And there's no beer, they forgot to order the beer. So that's great," said an attendee named William M. Finley IV in a livestream from the festival last night. "I talked to a girl who'd taken a shower and she said the water was yellow."
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Festival organizers are now supposedly trying to get everyone back to Miami International Airport on chartered flights, but reports yesterday suggest the tiny local airport was also overwhelmed by all the traffic. As for refunds, that process seemed to be about as well organized as everything else at this catastrophe:
UPDATE: they are having us sign papers for full refunds. They are just pieces of computer paper but I mean...refunds pic.twitter.com/oNa8EIojl1— dylan (@DylanACOP) April 28, 2017
Update 10:30 a.m.: The effort to get festivalgoers back to Miami does not seem to be going extremely well: