The Fyre Festival Controversy Explained: Ja Rule’s Festival Leaves a Bunch of Rich Kids Terrified
The Fyre Festival has been all over social media today, after photos and video footage emerged of the event and offered an insight into what appears to be a very expensive reenactment of Lord of the Flies.
The “luxury” festival, co-organized by Ja Rule (whose involvement has inevitably prompted a myriad of Dave Chappelle “where’s Ja Rule?!” memes), was held in the Bahamas and cost up to $12,000 per ticket. This included a flight from Miami to the event, which was described by organizers as a “cultural moment created from a blend of music, art and food.” This “cultural moment” seemingly turned out to be a pile of tents thrown onto a long stretch of nothingness, missing luggage and a whole heap of unimpressed rich kids.
Held on the Exuma islands, footage has been emerging from the festival over the past 24 hours and it looks as far away from luxury as imaginable. With it being promoted on Instagram by a variety of “influencers” such as Emily Ratajkowski and Bella Hadid, affluent teens and twenty-somethings booked their tickets and are now left complaining via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram that the experience hasn’t been representative of what was advertised.
— Alex Sanchez (@AXELSCYTHE) April 28, 2017
The level of complaints directed at the festival’s organizers led to Fyre Festival trending worldwide, and many social media users were humored by the events that had reportedly taken place on the island. According to a Reddit post, the dinner that had been advertised to festival-goers as being catered by restaurateur Stephen Starr was “literally bread, cheese and salad with dressing.” Starr Catering Group had pulled their support from Fyre Festival prior to the event, with the company’s CEO Simon Powles releasing a statement addressing their withdrawal. He said: “To resolve any confusion, STARR Catering is not providing any catering services at the Fyre Festival. The Food Services Agreement STARR Catering entered for the Fyre Festival was terminated on April 2, 2017 and since that date STARR Catering has not been involved with, or provided any services in connection with this event.”
Another Redditor took a photo of what was reportedly the kitchen of the “boutique festival,” and yeah, we can see why a cheese sandwich was the only food on the menu.
The sleeping arrangements didn’t look particularly luxury, either:
— FyreFestivalFraud (@FyreFraud) April 27, 2017
Those who had reportedly attended the festival began to complain about their treatment from members of the event’s security, with their luggage reportedly being thrown out at them from shipping containers, while they were also allegedly locked in a room by officials at Exuma airport.
— Janan Buisier (@JananBuisier) April 28, 2017
— William Needham Finley IV(It’s real. I made it up) (@WNFIV) April 28, 2017
Blink 182 also cancelled their appearance at the festival, saying that they were “not confident that we would have what we need to give you the quality of performances we always give our fans.”
At the time of this writing, Fyre Festival has cancelled flights to Exuma islands. “Due to circumstances beyond our control, and in line with a culture of safety, all inbound charter flights to the Exumas have been cancelled,” festival organizers said. “Your ticket and any funds uploaded to your RFID [contactless payment] band will be refunded.”
There’s no word yet on what the organizers have planned for the rest of the festival, but they stated that “revised itinerary information” will be shared for attendees. Perhaps that revised itinerary will include some mayo for those cheese sandwiches?