Saturday 21 September 2019

'It's like the Hunger Games for rich people' - How Fyre Festival descended into chaos on a deserted island

Models promoting Fyre Festival and inset, the
Models promoting Fyre Festival and inset, the "luxury cabanas" festival goers were promised
Elsa Hosk, Emily Ratajkoski, Bella Hadid and other supermodels promoting Fyre Festival
Bella Hadid promoting Fyre Festival Newsdesk Newsdesk

A new music festival which was promoted by supermodels Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner has descended into chaos amid reports that guests landed on an island in the Bahamas to a virtually abandoned site.

Rapper Ja Rule co-organised the event with Billy McFarland and festival-goers were promised performances by headliners Skepta and Blink-182, who pulled out on Thursday.

Tickets were priced from $4,000 and it was sold as a "cultural moment created from an alchemic blend of music, art and food", informally, it was dubbed the "the new Coachella" with a steeper price tag, and was promising A-listers like Emily Ratajkowski and a host of Victoria's Secret Angels, who all promoted the event on Instagram.

The New York Post's Page Six reported that celebrities and modelling agencies were called in advance, warning them not to send any of their talent to the festival the first weekend and to wait until "the kinks had been worked out".

But rather than being greeted with luxury cabanas and bottle service, they were met with this.

The "private villas" were disaster relief tents used by the United Nations and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the "chef-curated culinary pop-ups", which was a piece of untoasted brown bread, a slice of cheese and some salad. Many compared it to the "Hunger Games for rich people" or "Lord of the Flies".

Blink-182 cancelled their appearance, explaining: "We're not confident that we would have what we need to give you the quality of performances we always give fans."

The festival issued a statement thanking ticket holders for "bearing with us as we attempt to accommodate guest needs" after the "unexpected start".

Guests were to be transferred from Miami to Exuma island, and it has been reported there was not enough food or water left to cater to everyone, while the US Embassy in the Bahamas even intervened in trying to get American guests back home.

Fyre Festival organisers said in a statement: "Due to unforeseen and extenuating circumstances, Fyre Festival has been fully postponed. After assessing the situation this morning and looking at best options for our guests, we cannot move forward as we hoped we could At this time, we are working tirelessly to get flights scheduled and get all travellers home safely."

Some are locked in an airport for their own safety.

Ja Rule issued a statement on Friday night, saying: "We are working right now on getting everyone on the island SAFE...that is my immediate concern.,,I wanted this to be an amazing event it was NOT A SCAM as everyone is reporting I don't how everything went so left but I'm working to make it right by making sure everyone is refunded."

McFarland told Buzzfeed that "we needed more manpower than the 300-person team we had" and it was "very ambitious in our part."

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