Imagine yourself on a secluded island in the Bahamas with your best friends and thousands of other amazing people. You’re drinking only the finest beverages and every meal is like a night-out at one of the top restaurants in your town. You think that’s all? When the sun goes down, you’ll get to see some of the world’s most popular artists live onstage, giving you performances that you’re sure to never forget. That’s the image that the 2017 Fyre Festival was trying to sell to the world, and it seems to have worked. The festival sold out weeks before it was scheduled to begin, and the hype around it grew rapidly as more and more people started feeling like they would be missing out on the greatest weekend in history. Of course, we all know that when a bubble like this gets so big, it doesn’t take that much to burst it.
The promised paradise turned out to be just too much to achieve for the very ambitious yet equally clueless organizers of the Fyre Festival. What was set to become their life’s biggest achievement eventually got them known by millions as the “scammers” that got people to pay thousands of dollars for a ticket to the worst experience ever. Sure, maybe some of it can be attributed to bad luck and less than ideal circumstances, but if they could at least get one thing right out of that very long list of promises. If you were there, we definitely feel sorry for you (and for your money), and if you were not, take notice so you won’t fall into the trap of great advertising and bad products.
15. The Lineup Was Great … Too Bad No Artists Showed Up
Considering this was not intended to be a huge festival like Coachella or Ultra, but a luxury private event for a few thousand people, the lineup looks pretty solid to me. Whether you like EDM, rock or hip-hop, there is at least one artist on that poster that you would look forward to seeing on stage. The guys at Fyre Festival really did a great job booking these artists, but it seems that they only got their names for the poster, as not even one of them showed up at the actual festival. Blink-182 announced on their Twitter one day prior to the event that they chose not to perform at Fyre Festival because they believed they wouldn’t be able to deliver the experience that their fans expected with the way the festival is set up. Rumors of artists not getting paid circulated weeks before the festival, but it seems that everyone believed it was going to work out eventually. Supposedly, the only performance that festival-goers could see was that of a local band that played at midnight on an improvised stage, while people were just praying to get back home faster.
14. The Promised Luxury Cabanas Were Actually Disaster Relief Tents
The ambitious festival promised to accommodate its guests in luxury “modern, eco-friendly, geodesic domes.” Of course, this is so vague that you may even say that the disaster relief tents that they managed to offer to their clients may actually fit the description. They are dome-shaped and they must’ve been built in this millennium, so that makes them modern. And for the eco-friendly part, let’s be honest, everyone just pretended to care about that. Now, if you’re thinking that they don’t look quite that bad, just think about the fact that the people that were supposed to stay inside paid upwards of $1,500 for their tickets and were promised a luxury experience. Should I say that again? LUXURY!
13. “Gourmet Meals Produced By Celebrity Chefs”
12. It Was Promoted By Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, & More
The guys behind this sure knew how to create hype around their festival and it looks like most of the money from those very expensive tickets went to promoting the event. They flew supermodels Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, and a few other gorgeous friends to the Bahamas so they could film a 2-minute promotional video that got everyone buying tickets like crazy. Kendall Jenner also promoted the event on her Instagram and even urged fans to buy tickets using the promo code “KJONFYRE” in order to gain access to some exclusive afterparty. There are rumors that she received as much as $250K to promote the festival but it seems that she stands to lose a lot more, as some of the lawsuits against the festival are taking aim at the famous models that promoted it too.
11. They Said The Island Was Once Owned By Pablo Escobar
Yeah, that was literally part of the story that they were selling. The promotional video for the festival features this very interesting bit of trivia that isn’t quite true. But who cares about that? Actually, it’s true that Escobar used an island in the Bahamas as headquarters for his drug-smuggling operation for a few years, but that island is Norman’s Cay, not Great Exuma, the location of Fyre Festival. And he never really owned it. He just used it. But who cares about that? It sounds cool that the most ruthless drug lord in history owned the place and now we’re organizing an over-the-top music festival here. It was just that little something needed in order to intrigue people so they forget about everything and just buy that thousand-dollar ticket.
10. It All Looked Like They Just Put It Together That Morning
It didn’t take long for the first guests that arrived on the festival grounds to realize that there wasn’t going to be anything going on that weekend. The whole place looked like a construction site, and not even one that is anywhere close to being finished. Everything was still in boxes and the promised long, beautiful beach looked more like a gravel pit. Also, just a small number of tents had been set up and the stages where the artists should’ve performed were nowhere to be seen. I guess they realized at some point that it wasn’t going to work, so they just stopped really trying at all and hoped that a big storm would come along so they could at least blame it on that. Too bad the weather was the only thing that went well that weekend, although they still said that part of the problem was the “rough” wind that took down some of the tents. Did you guys really expect to get windproof tents for just a couple thousand bucks?
9. The Tickets Were How Much ???
I guess this “fyre” really burned a lot of cash. The tickets ranged from about $1500 all the way to $12,000. Yeah, that’s no mistake! There are people who paid $12,000 for a cheese sandwich and a round trip to a mostly empty island. However, the organizers did offer to give everyone their money back or VIP passes to next year’s Fyre Festival. That’s right, they’re going to do it again. This time, on a beach in the US so that they don’t have to build all the infrastructure from the ground up. I guess they must’ve learned a lot from their mistakes, and I bet if there’s going to be a Fyre Festival in 2018, it’s going to be nothing like this one. Many people called it a scam, but I think that they were just not ready to cope with the immensely difficult task of organizing a music festival in a place like that. Their festival may now be famous for all the wrong reasons, but you know how it goes, any publicity is good publicity.
8. Who Were The People Behind It?
There are two names behind the failed attempt at a music festival that was Fyre 2017—entrepreneur Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule. As the story goes, the pair was flying from New York to the Bahamas when their plane ran out of gas and they’re forced to land on the Exumas. Stranded on the secluded island, they couldn’t help but fall in love with the surroundings. One thing led to another and before you know it, they’ve already sold out the festival, or at least the idea of it. Billy McFarland is a 25-year-old entrepreneur who has started multiple businesses, the most notable being Magnises, an exclusive membership club aimed at millennials that promises to offer access to exclusive events or hard-to-get reservations at the most popular restaurants for a yearly fee of $250. Jeffrey Atkins, known by his stage name, Ja Rule, is an American rapper who most of you have probably heard of. Being that he’s the more famous of the two, he was seen as the face of the festival and many media outlets called it “Ja Rule’s festival.”
7. The Festival Was Organized To Promote A Talent Booking App
The Fyre App, which was masterminded by the same two people behind the eponymous festival is aiming to become a global marketplace for booking talent, from artists to models and social media influencers. Visiting their website, it really doesn’t seem to be as bad as you’d expect after the whole festival fiasco. They have quite a respectable number of famous people you can supposedly book for your event, like Fetty Wap, Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Wayne, DJ Khaled, Queen Latifah, and of course, Ja Rule. They really seemed to have a lot going on with this venture, but it’s going to be hard to keep all of these celebrities from pulling out after the whole mess that was Fyre Festival. Supposedly, Comcast Ventures was planning on investing $25 million in the app but declined days before the festival. I guess they must’ve anticipated what was to follow for the whole Fyre brand.
6. The Best Things About It Were The Tweets That Emerged
In difficult situations like this one, the best thing you can do is laugh it off, and what place is better to make fun of this ridiculous festival than Twitter. As soon as photos of the blown over tents and half-finished festival site appeared on the internet, people put their creativity to work in order to make the best jokes possible about the failed event. The premise was in itself quite funny: a bunch of rich kids and Instagram models that paid thousands of dollars are forced to stay in disaster relief tents and eat cheese sandwiches. For example one user by the name of @JohnnKlein Tweeted: “Out here reporting live from #fyrefestival. Someone just blew into a conch shell and is now the leader.”
5. People Hilariously Compared It To The Hunger Games
It was everyone for himself at this year’s Fyre Festival, the only event that you’re not guaranteed to come back from. As soon as they arrived, people were told to run and grab a tent if they could find one, and keep in mind that these are people who spent thousands of dollars for a luxury retreat in the Bahamas, so for them the dusty tents probably didn’t qualify as habitable. The biggest competition once everyone arrived at Fyre Festival was for who could get back home first, as people quickly realized that the whole experience was going to be more about survival than about fun. I wonder how many times the Bahamian people from the airport have heard the phrase: “Do you know who my dad is?”
4. The Founders Are Now Banned From The Bahamas
After the whole fiasco unfolded, the Bahamian government stepped up and blamed it all on the organizers. Also, they reportedly banned Billy McFarland and Ja Rule from ever organizing any kind of event in the Bahamas. Sources at the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism said that the Bahamas will take appropriate steps to protect its name and image, and vouched to implement a stricter vetting system for future festivals. In regards to the Great Exuma’s alleged lack of infrastructure that the founders of the Fyre Festival blamed for their shortcomings, the Bahamian authorities gave the following statement: “Exuma is one of the most beautiful and developed islands in The Bahamas, and we in the Ministry are so disappointed that there have been false claims surrounding the island. ”
3. Getting Off The Island Was A Real Struggle
As it started to become clear for everyone that the whole thing was an epic fail, people hurried back to the airport so they could leave the ill-fated island as fast as they could. But just like anything else about the Fyre Festival, leaving it had to be another frustrating experience. Some people thought they were lucky, as they were boarded as soon as they arrived at the airport, but little did they know… After staying inside the airplane for hours, they were informed that the plane just couldn’t leave as there were legal issues with the passenger manifesto and the pilot was not allowed to take off. So, the already very angry tourists were taken back to the airport, where they were crammed in a waiting room and locked inside. Some of them went on Twitter and expressed their frustration at the way they were treated: locked inside a burning hot waiting room, with no food or water. Nonetheless, we can’t blame the good people at the Great Exuma Airport for this, as it’s clear that the small crew was not really prepared to cope with such a large number of angry people.
2. Seth Rogen and The Lonely Island Are Making A Movie About It
On Friday, after news of the Fyre Festival disaster broke out, Seth Tweeted that he has been planning a movie together with the members of parody band The Lonely Island that has a plot quite similar to what happened in the Bahamas that weekend. The band also confirmed Rogen’s Tweet by joking that they were considering taking legal action against Fyre Festival founders, Billy McFarland and Ja Rule, for infringing on their plot. We don’t know anything else about the movie other than that, but if there is one thing you can be certain of is that it’s going to be way better than the canceled fest. And cheaper, much cheaper.
1. The Lawsuits Are Piling Up
Well, the nightmare might be over for the thousands of people that thought they were attending the most exclusive event of the year, but it’s only beginning for co-founders Ja Rule and Billy McFarland. After no more than a week since it all went down, they’ve been hit with six lawsuits, claiming as much as $100 million for the pain and suffering of the people that attended the event. The lawyers handling these cases are going to do anything in their power to make the people behind it pay for their mistakes. Also, some of the lawsuits are also targeting the models and influencers that promoted the event, from Kendall Jenner to Bella Hadid and many others. Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos was the first to start the legal offensive against Fyre Fest, with a proposed $100 million class action lawsuit filed on behalf of client David Jung. He accused organizers of fraud and stated that some of the attendees suffered from health problems as a result of the lack of food, water, shelter and medical care. It’ll be interesting to see how the whole story will unfold, but if the organizers will lose these lawsuits I don’t think there’s a chance in hell that we’ll ever see another Fyre Festival.
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