The Fyre Festival, a luxury music festival created by Ja Rule, was supposed take place this weekend on a “remote and private” island in the Bahamas that was “once owned by Pablo Escobar,” according to The Washington Post.
Concert goers were seduced by ads that promised a glamorous event, and tickets cost between $5,000 and $250,000, Rolling Stone reports.
It was supposed to be a weekend in paradise.
But when attendees arrived on the island Thursday, everything was a disorganized mess. Tents were half-built, there were feral dogs running around and the promised gourmet grub was actually sad-looking cheese sandwiches, based on numerous social media reports.
Starr Catering group told HuffPost in a statement that despite reports suggesting they were involved with the festival, their agreement with Fyre Festival was terminated on April 2, long before the event took place. Starr did not provide food for the festival.
Blink-182, one of the bands headlining the festival, also canceled at the last minute.
“We just realized it was all a complete cluster and nothing was ready, there was no organization, there was no leadership,” William Finley a concert-goer from Raleigh, North Carolina who spent $8,000 to attend the festival told CNN.
“It was horrible, (like) summer camp,” he said. “Everything about it was a sham.”
Disenchanted, many who shelled out thousands to attend the bougie event took to Twitter and Reddit to express their dissatisfaction.
Festival organizers have decided to postpone the event, according to the official site — which is now nothing more than a single page with a statement that acknowledges the festival’s issues.
“We ask for everyone’s patience and cooperation during this difficult time as we work as quickly and safely as we can to remedy this unforeseeable situation,” the statement reads. The “Fyre Festival Team” also states that they are organizing “complimentary charters” to transport everyone back to Miami.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism said it was “extremely disappointed” with the disorganized event.
“The event organizers assured us that all measures were taken to ensure a safe and successful event but clearly they did not have the capacity to execute an event of this scale,” the tourism ministry said in a tweet.
A $100 million proposed class-action lawsuit was filed Sunday in California against the organizers of the now infamous Fyre Festival on the grounds of fraud, claiming a “lack of adequate food, water, shelter, and medical care created a dangerous and panicked situation among attendees — suddenly finding themselves stranded on a remote island without basic provisions ― that was closer to ‘The Hunger Games’ or ‘Lord of the Flies’ than Coachella,” ABC News reported.
The lawsuit was filed by concertgoer Daniel Jung and his attorney, Mark Geragos, who says the whole debacle “was nothing more than a get-rich-quick scam from the very beginning” and that they “intended to fleece attendees for hundreds of millions of dollars by inducing them to fly to a remote island without food, shelter or water — and without regard to what might happen to them after that.”
The festival, organized by entrepreneur Billy McFarland and Ja Rule, was promoted (with the help of supermodels like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid) as a luxury music experience on a “remote and private” island in the Bahamas with the promise of posh accommodations and adventure for a cost between $5,000 and $250,000.
Alas, when attendees arrived, they realized the reality of #DumpsterFyre was a stark contrast from the advertisements.
The suit, which expects more than 150 plaintiffs, claims attendees “were hamstrung by their reliance upon Defendants for transportation, as well as by the fact that Defendants promoted the festival as a ‘cashless’ event —Defendants instructed attendees to upload funds to a wristband for use at the festival rather than bringing any cash. As such, Attendees were unable to purchase basic transportation on local taxis or buses, which accept only cash. As a result … at least one attendee suffered a medical emergency and lost consciousness after being locked inside a nearby building with other concert-goers waiting to be airlifted from the island,” according to an excerpt from Variety.
Defendants are accused of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract, and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Plaintiffs are seeking damages in excess of $100 million.
Fyre Festival organizers Billy McFarland and Ja Rule pose together at PHD Terrace Dream Midtown on December 14, 2016 in New York City.
McFarland, the 25-year-old Fyre co-founder who has landed in hot water before with his other business ventures, wrote a piece for Rolling Stone saying that the organizers were “overwhelmed.” He promised to refund customers and offer a make-up event next year.
“We thought we were making timeframes that were correct,” he wrote. “We were a little naïve in thinking for the first time we could do this ourselves. Next year, we will definitely start earlier. The reality is, we weren’t experienced enough to keep up.”
Geragos was not immediately available for further comment.