Luxury festival in the Bahamas descends into ‘chaos’

Ja Rule-backed Fyre Festival branded a ‘disaster’ as attendees are left stranded

A ‘luxury’ festival in the Bahamas has reportedly descended into chaos. File photograph: Getty Images

A ‘luxury’ festival in the Bahamas has reportedly descended into chaos. File photograph: Getty Images


It was billed as an Instagram-worthy luxury festival in the Bahamas - but the supposedly glamorous Fyre Festival seems to be anything but.

Tickets for the festival, which was co-organised by the rapper Ja Rule, cost up to $12,780 (about €12,000) for a luxury four-person package.

Festivalgoers were promised “a cultural moment created from a blend of music, art and food”.

However, ticketholders have called the festival a “complete disaster”, saying the tents were half-built and the luxury food failed to meet with their expectations.

Now, some are even stranded in the Bahamas.

Overnight, reports came in on social media from disappointed festivalgoers who expected an event to rival the ever-popular Coachella in California.

Among them was the writer William N Finley, who paid for an artist’s pass.

He told the Guardian: “In the week leading up to it some things seemed like they weren’t as advertised.

“We gave them the benefit of the doubt and figured they’d pull things together before we got there.

“And we were dead wrong. It was chaos. No organisation, no one was in charge, there was just a line and no one knew what to do.”

Some at the festival, including Finley, are attempting to leave the site, but have reported long waits.

Blink-182 was to headline the festival, but pulled out on Thursday as reports rolled in of chaos at the campsite.

On Instagram, the festival’s organisers wrote: “Things got off to an unexpected start at day one of Fyre Festival.”

They added that all inbound flights to the Exumas, where the festival was taking place, had been cancelled “due to circumstances beyond [their] control”.

The official Twitter account for the Bahamas released a statement addressing the controversy, saying: “We are extremely disappointed in the way the events unfolded yesterday with the Fyre Festival.”


Fyre Festival was set up by Fyre Media, a startup run by Ja Rule and the US tech entrepreneur Billy McFarland.

In December, it was promoted by a slew of models on Instagram.

All the social media buzz from these “influencers” and Instagram models meant general admission tickets sold out before the music lineup was released.

The price of a ticket ranged from $450 for a day pass to $3,995 for “curated tented accommodation”.

Some packages included chartered flights to the Exumas from Miami.

According to Vanity Fair, McFarland and Ja Rule paid more than 400 social media influencers to plug the festival, which was set to be held over the next two weekends.

Neither of them have commented on the posts coming from the festival site.

According to reports earlier this month, organisation of the festival was not going so well.

Page Six reported concerns that the organisers were “out of their league”, as they had not yet seen pictures of the luxury villas that they had promised on site.

At the beginning of April, the Wall Street Journal reported that there had been delays in paying artists who were scheduled to perform at the festival.

Guardian service