FYRE Festival was sold as an uber-exclusive, one-of-a-kind, VIP music event that was sure to be the next big thing.
But, thousands were left starving and stranded when it all turned out to be a sham. Here’s what happened.
What was the Fyre Festival 2017?
Fyre Festival was a brand new festival that surfaced in 2017 and promised festival-goers a VIP experience.
The event took place on the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas.
The exclusive festival was billed as three days giving partiers access to private beaches.
Fyre Festival, sold as an “immersive music festival”, was promoted using a host of supermodels beloved by millions.
These stars, Hailey Baldwin, Emily Ratajkowski, Bella Hadid, Elsa Hosk and many others, posed on posh yachts and white sandy beaches.
Their marketing campaign drove countless people to buy tickets and start packing their bags dreaming of partying in paradise.
They were promised a VIP flight to the Bahamas, gourmet food, famous stars, luxury villas to stay in and more, which justified the ticket prices adding up to $10,000.
However, come April, things took a very unexpected turn and customers were shocked at the miserable situation they were stranded in.
What happened at Fyre Festival 2017?
Well, the right question might be, what didn’t happen?
The VIP flight they were promised, for starters, wasn’t that VIP at all.
Customers were left waiting for their flight for hours and hours and then made to collect their luggage from the back of a shipping container in the dead of night when they finally arrived on the island.
The gourmet food they were promised turned out to be two pieces of toast, two slices of cheese and a handful of salad in a takeaway box.
Also, the celebrities they were promised, for instance, Blink 182, dropped out of the festival.
As for the luxury villas, organisers seemed to have mixed up villas with cheap tents.
Starving and feeling mistreated, hundreds tried to make their way back home and ended up stranded at the airport.
Who were Fyre Festival organisers Billy McFarland and Ja Rule?
Billy McFarland is a convicted fraudster, best known for co-founding the infamous Fyre Festival.
In 2013, McFarland founded a card-based social club named Magnises using $1.5 million of investor funding.
After that, he set up Fyre Media along with rapper Ja Rule, which then founded its own festival.
Ja Rule is an American rapper and songwriter, known for his collaborations with R. Kelly and Ashanti.
Did the pair face any consequences?
In June 2018, Billy McFarland, the organiser of the event, was arrested for a separate fraud case.
He was charged with earning $100,000 (£77k) from selling fake tickets to events like Coachella and the Met Gala through his company NYC VIP Access.
In July he pleaded guilty for the ticket scheme he ran.
He also pleaded guilty to wire-fraud charges in relation to Fyre Festival in March 2018.
Billy was then sentenced to six years in prison in October 2018.
He was also asked to forfeit $26million, which equates to £20million.
Ja Rule faced more than a dozen lawsuits filed by ticket buyers and investors for the Fyre Festival scandal but was legally cleared of any wrongdoing.
How much did Fyre festival tickets cost?
The ticket providers sold day tickets from US $500 to US $1,500.
VIP packages which supposedly including airfare and luxury tent accommodation were on sale for an eye-watering US $12,000.
Seth Crossno, a blogger and podcaster, along with three friends spent $45,000 (£34,785) on tickets, travel and luxury accommodation for the festival.
Who cleaned up after Fyre festival?
Great Exuma was the island that hosted the Fyre Festival.
Although it is not clear who was responsible for the physical clean-up of the festival, the island was greatly impacted by the false promises of organisers.
In the proposals for the festival, organisers promised “the creation of hundreds of jobs for Bahamians.”
One businessperson on the island told Thrillist that people had pinned their hopes on the festival bringing money to the island.
He said: “I experienced local caterers, vendors, spa operators, security firms, and tour operators just dive head-first into the venture at a great risk to their livelihoods,”
“I am sure they were looking forward to increased business.”
View more information: https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/2441660/what-happened-fyre-festival-2017/