What was supposed to be a VIP multi-day music festival in the Bahamas devolved into a nightmare of flight delays, stranded concert-goers, and “luxury accommodations” that were actually disaster relief tents.
The Fyre Festival was billed as a high-class concert with luxury accommodations on a private island, featuring such draws as Blink-182, Major Lazer, festival producer Ja Rule, and faces like Kendall Jenner.
But massive disorganization saw headliners cancel their appearances, expensive trappings replaced by flimsy tents and sad cheese sandwich boxed lunches, and worst of all, long delays returning to the mainland, after airlines started refusing to fly ticketholders to the overcrowded island of Exumas and the whole thing was officially postponed.
Blame is falling on the young and inexperienced Fyre organizers, who were too overwhelmed to lay down a proper infrastructure on a tight time frame. Other production professionals were brought on board and immediately saw the problems. As one told Variety:
Things like water [supply], bathrooms and other everyday structures that should have been in place six months before — none of that had been done. We all said to them, ‘It takes at least eight months to a year to produce a festival, you have to push the date’ — we stressed that and said that over and over. And they were like ‘It’ll be fine, it’s not that big of a deal.’ They kept making it seem like we were exaggerating. It was like they didn’t care.”
They also seemed to be missing such vital elements as insurance, permits, electricity, or security.
And yet despite the mounting lawsuits and fraud investigations, according to a member of the festival management team, 81% of guests who filled out the refund application are ready for next year’s event.