Industry News

Organisers already planning Fyre Festival 2

The organisers of the ill-fated Fyre Festival are looking to a second staging in 2018 despite this year’s event descending into chaos in the Bahamas.

Festival goers paid between $1,500 (£1,170/€1,380) and $12,000 to attend the event on the Caribbean state’s island of Exuma at the end of last month, with the promise of great music, yacht parties, luxury accommodation and gourmet food.

However, the event, held between April 28-30, was a disaster with headline act Blink 182 pulling out, and patrons who had no way of leaving the island claiming that they were going without basic essentials such as secure accommodation, food, drink and electricity. The event was postponed after organisers admitted “we didn’t think security could keep up”.

Organisers Ja Rule, Billy McFarland and the Fyre Media brand deny many of the allegations, particularly the claim that disaster relief tents were offered as accommodation. They are offering all guests a refund and free VIP passes for next year’s festival, which they have suggested will be held at a US beach venue.

In a statement, organisers said: “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.”

According to the Complex culture news website, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism will not allow Fyre Festival to return in 2018, and plans to enforce a “stricter vetting system” for future music festivals.

“Hundreds of visitors to Exuma were met with total chaos,” the Ministry said in a statement. “Clearly [organisers] did not have the capacity to execute an event of this scale.”

Organisers are already facing a $100m lawsuit alleging breach of contract, fraud, breach of covenant of good faith, and negligent misrepresentation.

Trial lawyer Mark Geragos is seeking class action status in papers filed in California that allege that the “festival’s lack of adequate food, water, shelter, and medical care created a dangerous and panicked situation among attendees — suddenly finding themselves stranded on a remote island without basic provisions — that was closer to ‘The Hunger Games’ or ‘Lord of the Flies’ than Coachella”.

McFarland, a tech entrepreneur, told Rolling Stone: “We were a little naive in thinking for the first time we could do this ourselves. Next year, we will definitely start earlier. The reality is, we weren’t experienced enough to keep up.”