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Fyre Festival Chaos In Exuma

A photograph of Fyre Festival passengers stranded at the airport in Great Exuma early on Friday posted on Twitter

A photograph of Fyre Festival passengers stranded at the airport in Great Exuma early on Friday posted on Twitter

UPDATE: 'Heartbroken' Jah Rule says Fyre Festival was not a scam FULL STORY HERE.

THE Fyre Festival, a much-hyped luxury music event in Exuma with tickets costing up to $12,000, has been branded a “disaster” and postponed indefinitely, with reports of infrastructure and accommodation not ready, no security, cancelled flights and stranded passengers.

Headline performers cancelled their performances and the Ministry of Tourism offered a “heartfelt apology” in expressing its disappointment for the “total disorganisation and chaos”. The ministry, while saying it was not an official sponsor of the private event, said it was lending its support to help with the safe return of all Fyre Festival visitors.

On Friday morning, it was reported that flights were returning visitors to Miami. Exuma is busy this weekend, with the national Family Islands regatta in George Town the biggest annnual event on the island normally attracting ten of thousands of visitors.

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Fyre Festival Tweet 1

The organisers cancelled the event at the last minute after many people had already arrived this week and spent thousands of dollars on tickets and travel.

Fyre Festival, co-organised by Ja Rule, promised a “cultural moment created from a blend of music, art and food” over the next two weekends in Great Exuma. Festival organisers claimed they set out “to provide a once-in-a-lifetime musical experience on the Islands of the Exumas” and had billed it along the lines of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in southern California.

In a statement on its website on Thursday night the event organisers said: “Due to circumstances out of our control, the physical infrastructure was not in place on time and we are unable to fulfill on that vision safely and enjoyably for our guests. At this time, we are working tirelessly to get flights scheduled and get everyone off of Great Exuma and home safely as quickly as we can.

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Fyre Festival Tweet 2

“We ask that guests currently on-island do not make their own arrangements to get to the airport as we are coordinating those plans. We are working to place everyone on complimentary charters back to Miami today; this process has commenced and the safety and comfort of our guests is our top priority.

“The festival is being postponed until we can further assess if and when we are able to create the high-quality experience we envisioned. We ask for everyone’s patience and cooperation during this difficult time as we work as quickly and safely as we can to remedy this unforeseeable situation.

“We will continue to provide regular updates via email to our guests and via our official social media channels as they become available.”

Tickets had included a flight from Miami, a stay in a “geodesic dome” and activities including yoga and kayaking. Pre-publicity suggested festival-goers could pay up to $100,000 to mingle with models and be ferried around by private yachts and planes.

But visitors described the event as a “complete disaster” and it attacted unflattering international media coverage. William Finley, of North Carolina, posted on social media that he and his friends had arrived to find “disaster tent city” when searching for their accommodation. One British visitor said the festival site “was worse than a refugee camp”.

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Fyre Festival Tweet 3

There were also complaints of missing luggage, unsatisfactory catered food, fears for people’s safety, piles of garbage, feral dogs and looting of alcohol.

Blink-182, who were set to be the headline act, pulled out. In a Twitter post the band said “Regrettably, and after much consideration, we want to let you know that we won’t be perfoming at Fyre Fest in the Bahamas this weekend. We’re not confident that we would have what we need to give you the qualify of performances we always give our fans.”

Migos, Major Lazer, Skepta and Disclosure were all set to perform as well.

For those already in the Exumas, organisers said assistance would be available.

“We are working to comfortably accommodate guests and deliver a great experience,” they said. “If you have needs, please head to the Blue House on the main festival site. Security, first aid and Fyre Festival staff are here to assist immediately, 24/7.”

People were trying to leave the festival from Thursday but getting a flight proved a problem for some with delays and queues at the airport.

Ticket holders who were still making their way on flights to the island, were halted. “Due to circumstances beyond our control, and in line with a culture of safety, all inbound charter flights to the Exumas have been cancelled,” festival organisers said.

“Your ticket and any funds uploaded to your RFID band will be refunded. Thank you for bearing with us as we work through the growing pains that every first year event experiences. Revised itinerary information will be shared soon for the remainder of this weekend and weekend two.”

Ja Rule has yet to comment on what is happening at the festival. Earlier this week he shared photographs on social media of preparations. The event had been endorsed by a number of high-profile models and influencers such as Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and Hailey Baldwin.

A Ministry of Tourism statement on Friday read: “We are extremely disappointed in the way the events unfolded yesterday with the Fyre Festival. We offer a heartfelt apology to all who traveled to our country for this event. Tourism is our number one industry and it is our aim to deliver world-class experiences and events.

“Hundreds of visitors to Exuma were met with total disorganization and chaos. The organizers of Fyre recently asked the Ministry of Tourism for support for their private event. The Ministry of Tourism is not an official sponsor of Fyre Festival. Given the magnitude of this undertaking, the MOT lent its support as we do with all international events. We offered advice and assisted with communications with other government agencies.

“The event organizers assured us that all measures were taken to ensure a safe and successful event but clearly they did not have the capacity to execute an event of this scale. A team of Ministry of Tourism representatives is on the island to assist with the organization of a safe return of all Fyre Festival visitors. It is our hope that the Fyre Festival visitors would consider returning to the Islands of The Bahamas in the future to truly experience all of our beauty.”

Comments

ThisIsOurs 1 year, 6 months ago

Caribbean Music Festival Junkanoo Carnival Fyre Festival

3 Straight

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happyfly 1 year, 6 months ago

I sent a letter to the MOT two weeks ago letting them know this concert was somewhere between ridiculously over-ambitious and an outright scam. MOT has now released a statement saying nothing is their fault. Seriously. This is going to turn in to another Anna Nicole 'infamy' for this country and all I can think is that everyone at MOT probably got well greased to permit this debacle

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 6 months ago

I was surprised when they admitted to knowing about it and giving advice. If permits were required, there should have been some due diligence to verify booked guests against suitable accommodations.

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Stanley 1 year, 6 months ago

Only people who have actually lived in the out islands extensively or currently live there and understand the logistical problems and nightmares with such events and adventures should be allowed to organize these kinds of events. You never see large village held parties and events go this horribly bad, Even when the weather is terrible they always are carried out smoothly and everyone leaves satisfied and happy. This was an easily predictable outcome given the promotion involved. The promotion itself was a red flag that this would not end well.

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 6 months ago

"Hundreds of visitors to Exuma were met with total disorganization and chaos."

Hmmm I wonder if they got more tourists than Junkanoo carnival...I say if someone were willing to..... these are people who were set for a week's vacation in the Bahamas, there's a festival in Freeport tonight and one in Nassau next week....

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ohdrap4 1 year, 6 months ago

a sucker is born every minute

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Clamshell 1 year, 6 months ago

Meanwile, the annual Eleuthera jazz festival came off without a hitch a few weeks ago -- because those people actually know what they're doing. It's not some half-baked scam run by phony celebrities.

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OMG 1 year, 6 months ago

Big difference because the necessary infrastructure is already here. However based on last years accounting the expenses to host this event were totally disproportionate to the small profit made and donated to the library.

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John 1 year, 6 months ago

Wasn't this event supposed to be next week? How did it come to clash with the Exuma Regatta and cause chaos with travel, hotel bookings, ground transportation and everything else? A good opportunity gone bad. Hopefully it will be re scheduled

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Clamshell 1 year, 6 months ago

Two separate long weekends, this week and next. Supposedly.

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Regardless 1 year, 6 months ago

...the attendees will not be coming back. There will be no confidence in returning.

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Porcupine 1 year, 6 months ago

What did this cost The Bahamas? Bad publicity seems the least of worries. Planning is not one of our strong points. Ever watch the country when a hurricane is 24 hours out.

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Islandboy242242 1 year, 6 months ago

Now they need to clean up their junk and head home to re-think/re-plan.

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The_Oracle 1 year, 6 months ago

This debacle hopped thru a few different islands before arriving in Georgetown. Just the Garbage alone would be a logistical nightmare. Meanwhile I understand those "disaster relief" tents are indeed and are owned by NEMA. Follow the money honey! We've time for a few more pre-election scams!

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sheeprunner12 1 year, 6 months ago

Did the US visitors come looking for fire?????? ....... Just follow the FNM rally schedule ....... BOL

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bahaymeeun 1 year, 6 months ago

Biggest blame is the local Exuma contact scammer who saw an opportunity to make some money and had no clue what he was doing.

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cx 1 year, 6 months ago

I would say the blame is all with the organizers. The guests didn't trust this "local exuma contact" with their money. Due diligence

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avidreader 1 year, 6 months ago

This is all over the Daily Mail website as well as RT.com out of Russia. How's that for worldwide publicity?

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ohdrap4 1 year, 6 months ago

and the attendees said they 'will throw an epic party anyway', the garbage and sewage will also be epic.

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alfalfa 1 year, 6 months ago

$12,000.00 to come to such an event. P.T. Barnum said a sucker is born everyday. He was right. Piss poor organizing, and lack of government concern for visitors who were duped. Great publicity for Exuma and all of the Bahamas.

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MassExodus 1 year, 6 months ago

Once a month the Bahamas makes international headlines for all the wrong reasons.

There should be a full investigation in to this immediately. If no due diligence was done, government officials responsible for reviewing event applications, such as these needs to be held accountable. Consistently the Bahamas looks horrendous worldwide.

First the Baha Mar debacle now this...? Foreign investors are not going to consider the Bahamas, as we are corrupt, have poor service, and are consistently disappointing paying customers for numerous things. The ease of doing business is at an all-time low.

Quite honestly at this point, I am surprised people are not running for the hills!!!

Please God any other party but the PLP on May 10th.

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OMG 1 year, 6 months ago

The Ministry of Tourism has a large part of the blame as they full well know that during the Exuma Regatta all accommodation is taken and all flights including charters full.

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truetruebahamian 1 year, 6 months ago

Like the plp - they suck cockroach balls.

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banker 1 year, 6 months ago

This came across the Bloomberg screen as well. Every investment professional in the world will see this story. (Bloomberg picked it off Reuters).

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ashley14 1 year, 6 months ago

Your right! It was on the Today Show NBC this morning. Showed the whole disaster down to the dinner box with salad, bread and cheese. They told the high cost the tourists had paid. They showed tents for housing and the to go box with the bread, salad and cheese. It was aired in United States on a Saturday morning when most of us are home. Not good publicity.

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Cas0072 1 year, 6 months ago

I have seen this story across multiple international news sources, which is not at all surprising for a failure of this magnitude and in the era of social media. Nowhere is the Bahamas being blamed for this debacle. While we can all agree that the MOT proved inept in just trusting that everything was in place as advised by the organizers, it was still a private event that was grossly mishandled by the investors themselves. The MOT could have confirmed with other gov agencies that the information provided to them was correct and they could even have made a site visit. The article below actually corresponds with the MOT's claim that they were contacted just recently, since that is exactly what they did to the author of the article. Apparently they fired anyone who told them that it was not plausible to hold the event given the time frame. They outright rejected someone's proposal that they postpone it to next year, with one guy saying "let's be legends man."

http://nymag.com/thecut/2017/04/fyre-...">http://nymag.com/thecut/2017/04/fyre-...

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concernedcitizen 1 year, 6 months ago

Who approved it for regatta week ? ., Dam looking at the site for the last two weeks ,and who and what equipment was contracted a blind man could of told you this was a disaster .People from local government ,some who had contracts , on up to the MOT who have a fully staffed office on the Island,to enviromental health , to the MP that was on site days before should of been saying ,,NO WAY ,NO HOW ,,and pulled the plug ..

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Cas0072 1 year, 6 months ago

Apparently the festival attendees made it to Exuma just fine. If the island (Norman's Cay?) was prepared as the investors envisioned, both events could have been pulled off successfully. From the perspective of not verifying information, the MOT was definitely wrong. No matter how much percentage of the blame can be assigned elsewhere, the investors were repeatedly warned that they were being too ambitious and still they moved forward. Ultimately, the blame falls on them.

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concernedcitizen 1 year, 6 months ago

I watched this unfold for the last month ,,Somebody should of pulled the permit a week ago ..and we approved it for regatta week ,,I saw who was getting a contract and turning a blind eye ,,there is blame for everyone ,,but the promoters are not responsible for our "Brand " we are,,,,, and for a couple dollars to a couple well connected cronies we dropped the ball

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Cas0072 1 year, 6 months ago

While you and others on here want to hold the MOT equally or more responsible for this failure, that is not the message being conveyed by the media. I don't doubt there was some paying off and looking the other way involved, but it was not Bahamas FyreFestival. It was Ja Rule's FyreFestival named after his existing business enterprise and tied to his celebrity image, which is why he is catching the heat more than anyone.

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Chucky 1 year, 6 months ago

So what, we are an ass of a nation and we reap what we sew.

Is anyone really surprised?

To pull this off, the first step would have been to eliminate all Bahamian involvement/ dependancy on Bahamians ,then bring full staff and all infrastructure from the states.

We all lnow that we cant do anything here with our people.

We also know, that there is no extra anything on any of our islands, each island, just barely able to function at the pathetic level of existance that we call normal.

Its only better in the Bahamas , if better, is living with everything substandard and 50 years behind the times.

Notice that even our latest great achievement (bahamar) is mostly being done by everyone but us. Notice we dont run it. Notice all the cruise lines run their own islands. Notice the airport is run by canadians. Notice all banks and large companies are run by foreigners. Notice that anything that works here is run by non Bahamians.

We can all sit here and lie to ourselves and put blame on the party company, as if we could have done better. But the reality, is that theyre mistake was to believe in our people and our places. A fools mistake yes, but being honest, that means its on us.

How come we are so useless as a people and a nation. Im tired of being ashamed of our people and our country.

All we have is false pride. Sadly we have so much false pride that we refuse to see what a crap nation and people we really are.

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Chucky 1 year, 6 months ago

There is so much work to be done in our nation, and yet our people cant get past the whats in it for me attitude, and out people refuse to do the work to fix it. We all want to be paid well, with our disgusting entitled attitude, yet we are generally useless lazy and stupid.
We are not a nation of hard working highly skilled people, but rather an arrogant bunch of lazy dummies who demand to earn more than the truly skilled and hard working people of the real developed world. Other than the rare athelete , and a few other exceptional people, we have none who should walk and carty such pride. show me a bahamian with pride and i'll show u a deluded individual ( with few exceptions i admit).

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