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Fyre Festival organisers release official explanation

‘We thought we were ready, but then everyone arrived’

The organisers of this weekend’s disastrous Fyre Festival have shared an official statement explaining where it all went so horribly wrong

The event, which was set up by Ja Rule and entrepreneur Billy McFarland, was billed as a luxurious music experience in the Bahamas. It promised guests “VIP-configured” jets, “geodesic” lodging, and an eclectic live lineup – and even received a seal of approval from names like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski. 

Unfortunately, due to poor (/non-existent) organisation, the festival quickly fell into post-apocalyptic pandemonium. According to a series of tweets, guests were greeted on arrival by half-built tents, rubbish heaps, “feral dogs” and sorry-looking cheese slices. Not ideal when you consider the tickets cost between $4,000 to $12,000. 

“We would like to fully explain what happened,” wrote a spokesperson for the festival on Saturday. “Billy McFarland and Ja Rule started a partnership over a mutual interest in technology, the ocean, and rap music. This unique combination of interests led them to the idea that, through their combined passions, they could create a new type of music festival and experience on a remote island. They simply weren’t ready for what happened next, or how big this thing would get.”

The lengthy statement, posted on the official Fyre Fest website, explained that organisers were unprepared for the sheer magnitude of the event. “We decided to literally attempt to build a city,” they wrote, describing the construction of the water and waste management. “We thought we were ready, but then everyone arrived.”

They continued: “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.”

McFarland, writing in Rolling Stone about the disaster, admitted he had perhaps been “a little bit ambitious” with the project. “We were a little naïve in thinking for the first time we could do this ourselves,” the entrepreneur explained. He also confirmed that the festival would be taking place again next year, and that preparations would “definitely start earlier.” 

Ja Rule also issued a brief statement earlier this week, revealing his “heartbreak” over the festival’s outcome. The rapper followed this up with a tweet, shared yesterday, which clarified that all guests were “safe” and ready for their refunds. 

Neither of the organisers have commented on the alleged $5 million class action lawsuit they’ve been hit with, however. According to reports on The Fashion Law, both McFarland and Ja Rule have been accused of fraud, breach of contract, and negligent misrepresentation. “(The) festival’s lack of adequate food, water, shelter, and medical care created a dangerous and panicked situation among attendees,” reads the complaint, which has been filed by attendee Daniel Jung. He added that the festival ended up being “closer to The Hunger Games or Lord of the Flies than Coachella.”

Read the full Fyre Fest statement here.