Fyre Festival was intended to be a luxurious weekend of music and partying on the white-sand beaches of Great Exuma in the Bahamas. Blink-182, Major Lazer, Migos, Tyga, and Disclosure were among the artists who were slated to perform, according to the festival’s promotions.
A host of supermodels had promoted it on social media, including Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Emily Ratajkowski, and Bella Hadid.
What happened instead was a disaster of epic proportions, with attendees c0mplaining of half-built tents, inadequate food and drink, and canceled performances.
Thousands of guests have been stranded as they wait for organizers to arrange flights back to Miami.
The event organizers issued a statement on their social media channels.
Fyre Festival set out to provide a once-in-a-lifetime musical experience on the islands of Exuma. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we must postpone this experience. We are working tirelessly to ensure each guest leaves the island safely and ask for everyone’s patience and cooperation as we continue to provide ongoing updates via email and our official social media channels as they become available, including refund information.
But according to the Wall Street Journal, there had been concerns about whether the event would be taking place for weeks. Its organizers had reportedly missed several payments owed to performers, though they seemed to have caught up recently. Some attendees were becoming nervous that they had few logistical details had been communicated to them. Sources told the WSJ that contractors worried about the organizers’ lack of festival experience.
According to a statement Business Insider received from the Stephen Starr-led Starr Catering Group, which had been contracted to provide food services to the Fyre Festival, agreements with the event’s organizers had been terminated earlier in April.
“After careful consideration, Starr Catering Group realized that there were significant business issues that could not be resolved and would not allow them to deliver a premium food and beverage experience that met Starr’s exceedingly high standards,” the statement reads.
Starr terminated its contact with Fyre Media, the company behind the event, on April 2. It is unclear whether Fyre Media struck up another agreement with a different catering company prior to the start of Fyre Festival.
“To resolve any confusion, Starr Catering is not providing any catering services at the Fyre Festival,” Starr Catering Group’s CEO, Simon Powles, said in a statement.
Many guests complained on Twitter about the quality of the food and accommodations.
— purplemiami (@purplemiami) April 28, 2017
The festival was put on by the rapper Ja Rule and Billy McFarland, a tech entrepreneur. They launched the entertainment startup Fyre Media in 2015. McFarland previously founded Magnises, a social-networking startup that charges members a $250 annual fee for discounted access to exclusive events. After speaking to several current and former Magnises members earlier this year, Business Insider revealed that the startup had not been delivering on the perks it was advertising.
Tickets ranged in cost from $450 to $12,000, but the WSJ reported that they could cost as much as $250,000 depending on the amenities.