Tuesday 20 August 2019

Fyre Festival 'heartbroken' to have let guests down and offers refunds and VIP passes

By Zaina Alibhai

The Bahamas music event turned into a bit of a nightmare for some guests despite being billed a luxury experience.

Fyre Festival has said it’s “heartbroken” to have let disappointed revellers down as it offered full refunds and 2018 VIP passes.

The music event – organised by entrepreneur Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule – had promised a luxury, once-in-a-lifetime experience in the Bahamas, but guests reported scenes of chaos upon arriving on the island.

Fyre Festival has offered all festival-goers a full refund as well as free VIP passes to next year’s festival, which is reportedly to take place on a beach location in the US.

In a statement  it explained organisers simply “weren’t ready” for the magnitude of the festival, citing the island’s infrastructure, overwhelmed staff, and adverse weather – which supposedly destroyed a number of the accommodating tents – for the disarray.

The statement read: “As amazing as the islands are, the infrastructure for a festival of this magnitude needed to be built from the ground up. So, we decided to literally attempt to build a city.

“We set up water and waste management, brought an ambulance from New York, and chartered 737 planes to shuttle our guests via 12 flights a day from Miami. We thought we were ready, but then everyone arrived.

“The team was overwhelmed. The airport was jam packed. The buses couldn’t handle the load. And the wind from rough weather took down half of the tents on the morning our guests were scheduled to arrive.

“This is an unacceptable guest experience and the Fyre team takes full responsibility for the issues that occurred”.

Fyre Festival said its main priority had been guests and it tried its utmost to accommodate revellers despite the chaos. However, organisers and staff soon found themselves over their heads and chose to postpone the event.

It added: “Thank you for all your continued patience and understanding. We apologise for what all of our guests and staff went through over the last 24 hours and will work tirelessly to make this right”.

PA Media

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