Caveat Emptor: Have You Been Following the #FyreFestival?!

Were you a Fyre Festival Production contractor or employee?
We want to hear from you.
contact us here ASAP.

Update, 15 May 2017:
Looks like nobody is getting paid from Fyre Festival.  You can listen to the entire call at Vice News right now via SoundCloud, and let me tell you, it is some unreal stuff.  He starts out saying that ‘hey, a lot of people will resign after this and we understand, but if you want to stay with the company, we welcome you to stay and maybe we can make payroll in the future.’  Say whaaaaaat?!

Also, they’re not letting anybody go so that they can claim unemployment.  What the hell is that???  Listen to the recording.  This shit is UN-REAL.  Click the red PLAY arrow below.  Ja Rule starts off the call saying ““I’m on the phone, but I can barely hear you all because of this fucking hum” this and that.  Then Billy McFarlane says ‘don’t delete any files, the FBI needs them.’

Whaaat?

Two incredible financial articles from Bloomberg on this mess:
Fyre Festival Promoter’s $90 Million Valuation Untethered to Reality
Fyre Festival was Buried Under Millions in Debt Before it Even Began


SOOOOO…  The FYRE FESTIVAL.

Right now there is a huuuuuuge controversy over a big festival planned by Ja Rule and some guy named Billy McFarland over the disaster situation called Fyre Festival.

The FYRE FESTIVAL dinner! FOUR GRAND for this

There are tons of links on this, bear with me — the crap hole seems to run deep on this one.  Here’s the ad video for the Fyre Festival:

Looks pretty cool so far, damn!  Jet skis, women in little tiny bikinis who don’t talk to guys built like me, big muscly dudes who they do talk to, famous people, a bunch of bands, catered and liquored, hobnobbing with other rich “influencers” and all that…  Fyre Festival looks pretty awesome from the outside advertising, no?!

Vice News:

If Fyre Festival seemed last-minute, that’s because it was. McFarland thought of the idea in October 2016 and announced the festival on Instagram a month later, spending millions on models, private jets, and yachts to promote what would be his first-ever large-scale event, sources familiar with the planning said.

He spent $250,000 on a single Instagram post from Kim Kardashian’s half-sister Kendall Jenner and laid out hundreds of thousands more on lesser-name “influencers,” none of whom were paid less than $20,000, one person familiar with the payments said.

Uh, what?  This guy McFarland started planning this thing two months before people were starting to arrive on the island.  I wonder if he thought he could throw some money around and just magically “white rich guy” shit into happening.  Wait, there’s more!  Here’s luggage pickup.  That’s a couple of guys unloading everyone’s luggage in the dark:

I guess things didn’t go so well. Early in my career a person I looked up to retaught me something my dad had always said — “Remember the 5 P’s of Performance: Piss Poor Planning Prevents Poor Performance.”

Right now, the Fyre Festival website URL directs you to a letter — an apology maybe?  I don’t know, what do you think?

In case the image doesn’t load through, here’s the text that I scanned from the Fyre Festival site on 5/4/2017:

Fyre Festival
April 29, 2017

Yesterday was a very challenging day for all of us. But we would like to fully explain what happened.

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. They started by making a website and launching a viral campaign. Ja helped book talent, and they had hundreds of local Bahamians join in the effort. Suddenly, they found themselves transforming a small island and trying to build a festival. Thousands of people wanted to come. They were excited, but then the roadblocks started popping up.

As amazing as the islands are, the infrastructure for a festival of this magnitude needed to be built from the ground up. So, we decided to literally attempt to build a city. We set up water and waste management, brought an ambulance from New York, and chartered 737 planes to shuttle our guests via 12 flights a day from Miami. We thought we were ready, but then everyone arrived.

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.

Everyone was very concerned for our guests. They needed a place to sleep and everyone did their absolute best to rebuild. We took everyone to the beach and built as many tents and beds as fast as possible, but as more guests arrived, we were simply in over our heads. Ultimately, we didn’t think security could keep up, so we had to postpone the festival. The response to the postponement was immediate and intense. We had no other options, so we began the process of getting guests quickly and safely back to Miami, which continued through the weekend. Our top priority as a company is to ensure the comfort and safe return home of all of our guests.

Then something amazing happened: venues, bands, and people started contacting us and said they’d do anything to make this festival a reality and how they wanted to help. The support from the musical community has been overwhelming and we couldn’t be more humbled or inspired by this experience. People were rooting for us after the worst day we’ve ever had as a company. After speaking with our potential partners, we have decided to add more seasoned event experts to the 2018 Fyre Festival, which will take place at a United States beach venue.

All festival goers this year will be refunded in full. We will be working on refunds over the next few days and will be in touch directly with guests with more details. Also, all guests from this year will have free VIP passes to next year’s festival.

We’re grateful for the Bahamian Government and The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism for their assistance during this challenging time—their efforts have been exemplary. We want to thank the people of the Bahamas for their support and for graciously allowing us the privilege of visiting their islands. We apologize for any inconvenience the past 24-hours has caused and we look forward to making a considerable donation to the Bahamas Red Cross Society as part of our initiatives. We need to make this right. And once we make this right, then we will put on the dream festival we sought to have since the inception of Fyre.

Thank you for all your continued patience and understanding. We apologize for what all of our guests and staff went through over the last 24 hours and will work tirelessly to make this right. Please check our official social media channels (@fyrefestival) for further important updates.

Oh, and Ja Rule’s tweet.  It’s not his fault either:

Honestly, I gotta tell you that it seems like with the proper planning, some actual event professionals as ourselves could have put on a pretty massively cool festival there, albeit at pretty massive expense to the people buying the tickets — but those tickets, some of them were upwards of FORTY GRAND, so instead of the creators pissing away millions on jets, models, and that kind of rich people stuff, they could have been putting in some money on infrastructure and planning — OR, cancelled the thing before a single person was put in that pretty precarious situation.  I am not an attorney, but knowing that place was in such unprepared shambles as it was, with the main acts dropping out…letting people fly there is pretty dangerously illegal behavior, is it not?

Were you a Fyre Festival Production contractor?
We want to hear from you
contact us here ASAP.

Toilet and plumbing situation:

Serious logistical planning for the festival didn’t even begin until late February or early March — less than two months before the thousands of people McFarland had sold a luxury vacation on a private island were scheduled to arrive.

The toilet and shower supplier, who did not get the Fyre Festival contract, told the organizers it would cost north of $1 million just to order the equipment — a rush-order mark-up he unironically referred to as “disaster pricing.” That number did not include the cost of shipping the equipment to the island or the high cost of the barge needed to dispose of the wastewater created by thousands of people showering and using the toilet for four days.

From ABC on the actual shutdown of the island the festival was on by the Bahamanian government:

The site in the Bahamas where the now-postponed Fyre Festival was to happen is on “lockdown” by the island country’s government.

Private security guards were seen Saturday protecting the main site where people had been slated to sleep in luxury tents.

On Sunday, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism told ABC News, “Customs has the area on lockdown because [festival organizer] Billy [McFarland] has not paid customs duty taxes on the items that he imported” for the event. “He and his staff have left the items with a security company guarding it.”

ABC News is attempting to reach McFarland for comment in regard to the tourism ministry’s statement.

Customs duty taxes are often levied on goods transported internationally.

Fyre Festival said in a statement Friday that it had to import many items to essentially build a city because the private island of Fyre Cay where the luxury concert event was to take place, lacked “the physical infrastructure” needed “to fulfill on that vision safely and enjoyably for our guests.”

News of a lockdown at the site comes after festival organizers released a statement Saturday trying to explain what happened with the festival, which was postponed amid a storm of complaints posted on social media.

The event, tickets for which cost up to thousands of dollars, erupted into what the tourism office called “total disorganization and chaos” after hundreds of prospective concertgoers landed in the Bahamas. The planned lineup included Ja Rule, Daya and Tyga.

On Saturday, the organizers promised in a statement posted to the festival’s website that “all festival goers this year will be refunded in full. We will be working on refunds over the next few days and will be in touch directly with guests with more details.”

“Also, all guests from this year will have free VIP passes to next year’s festival,” the statement read.

Next year’s festival?  Really!  Here’s the chaos before night fell, the guy who posted this in the comments on the tweet said “night has fallen, we still have no luggage.”  Whoa.

This right here might be the funniest representation of the festival, so bear with me, it’s not English, but it is subtitled and outstanding:

Variety has an outstanding article with two former employees of the Fyre Festival Funk — check this out, this makes me want to punch this dumbass in the neck because what he has done is to degrade our entire industry as some kind of half-assed hope-and-pray squad when what has happened is that this rich jerk fired everybody who told him this was impossible:

The two production professionals became concerned as soon as they came on board. “They had fired a [previous production company], so we took a look at how much had been done — and there were so many red flags,” one said. “Things like water [supply], bathrooms and other everyday structures that should have been in place six months before — none of that had been done. We all said to them, ‘It takes at least eight months to a year to produce a festival, you have to push the date’ — we stressed that and said that over and over. And they were like ‘It’ll be fine, it’s not that big of a deal.’ They kept making it seem like we were exaggerating. It was like they didn’t care.”Even appealing to the young entrepreneurs’ reputations among the rich-millennial set they coveted had little effect.

“We said, ‘What you’ve promised [in statements and advertising promoting the festival] as opposed to what we’re even maybe capable of delivering in this amount of time is not the same. You’re going to destroy your brand if you try to have it on this date and don’t deliver what you promised. If you push the date a year, people will be upset. But once you deliver what you promised, they’ll get over it.’ But it was like they didn’t care: They literally kept saying, ‘We’re gonna be legends.’”

And therein lies what may be the most baffling element of the entire Fyre fiasco. Being “legends” and catering to rich VIPs seems to have been the main motivation in establishing the festival.

“I actually don’t think it was about money,” the second professional said. “I think they were just rich guys who had always been able to pay their way through things and pull them off somehow, and they just didn’t understand that the timeline was too short and they didn’t want to hear it. I think their friends and the people they wanted to have a good time — the VIPs — would be staying at [nearby] villas and resorts and on yachts and be safe, they didn’t worry as much about infrastructure and the everyday ticket-buyer.”

The level of disorganization was so deep that as recently as mid-March, it’s likely that several vital elements of producing a festival had not yet been secured (and it’s unclear whether they ever were). “I kept stressing that they had to get festival insurance, you can’t run a festival without it, and I honestly don’t know if they ever got it,” the first former employee said. “And I know for a fact that even though the [emergency medical services] company and staff they’d hired was certified, the festival hadn’t secured the proper permits for them to be able to practice in the Bahamas.”

Here’s a millennial account of what went down because she was there — you can listen to all of it or fast forward about three minutes in, your choice.  It does have some footage of the clusterfuckery at that island…

I highly, highly recommend checking out William Finley’s twitter account, because that dude was there and he has some unreal footage.  This was a galactic cluster.
WHICH REMINDS ME, HERE’S THE PDF OF THE FIRST LAWSUIT!!!  Both links can be right-clicked and “save-as”

Geragos and Geragos complaint on behalf of Daniel Jung

Now some other rich people who were staying on the island in a villa made a video talking about his experience at the festival — he was on the ground and was participating until the festival was cancelled.  It’s a long rant, but it’s insight:

And then these two guys here are about to crack you up with a no-holds-barred recap.  Not safe language, FYI.

YIKES.  Well, I guess it will be interesting to see the lawsuit on this sucker.

 

Hat tips:

Fyre Festival Employees Reveal Details Behind the Disaster: ‘It Was Incompetence on an Inconceivable Scale’

https://news.vice.com/story/fyre-fest-organizers-blew-all-their-money-months-early-on-models-planes-and-yachts

William Finley’s twitter

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/fyre-festival-organizers-attendees-refunded-full/story?id=47103941

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/ja-rule-speaks-fyre-festival-controversy-im-heartbroken/story?id=47089576