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'Heartbroken' Ja Rule: Fyre Festival Was Not A Scam

Fyre Festival co-organiser Ja Rule. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune staff

Fyre Festival co-organiser Ja Rule. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune staff

By AVA TURNQUEST

and KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporters

AMID ongoing chaos at the Fyre Festival in Exuma, “mortified” co-organiser Ja Rule pushed back on Friday against mounting claims that the luxury music festival was a scam.

The American rapper, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, told The Tribune that he was heartbroken and confused by the ordeal but was now focused on the safe departure of all guests and facilitating refunds.

Ja Rule lamented that he and his partner, tech entrepreneur Billy McFarland, pumped $20 million into the event, and “everyone hates us for it”.

“Heartbroken is an understatement,” he wrote to The Tribune via WhatsApp.

“I’m mortified at what those people had to go through, me and my partner Billy are very upset. We spent $20 million to make this event special and everyone hates us for it.

“But I’ll live with that,” he said. “God knows my heart and intentions were in the right place. Now I just want everyone to get home safe and get refunded.”

Ja Rule stressed that the total breakdown experienced by festival-goers was not his fault, but committed to accepting responsibility for the debacle.

In an earlier message, he wrote: “We are working right now on getting everyone of the island SAFE, that is my immediate concern.

“I will make a statement soon. I’m heartbroken at this moment. My partners and I wanted this to be an amazing event. It was NOT A SCAM as everyone is reporting.

He continued: “I don’t know how everything went so left but I’m working to make it right by making sure everyone is refunded ... I truly apologize as this is NOT MY FAULT ... but I’m taking responsibility. I’m deeply sorry to everyone who was inconvenienced by this.”

Comments

happyfly 1 year, 9 months ago

Have you ever organized an event in the Bahamas before you A'hole ! Throw a few bucks at corrupt government officials and think you are going to show us all how to do it ? Can you imagine if a Bahamian went to the Ministry of Tourism and said they were going to fly in thousands and thousands of people and set them up in tents......camping.....outdoor music concert, alcohol, sanitation.......what kind of license you need for that boyo !!!

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proudloudandfnm 1 year, 9 months ago

This dude lies on a Trump scale!

20 million for tents?!?

I'd punch him right in his mouth if he saiid that nanny in front of me....

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 9 months ago

They're NEMA tents. So they weren't in his plans. I'm betting he had nothing to do with the actual organization. He just gave money. I bet this turns out like Sarkis and Bahamar, naive investor screwed and some Bahamian official right in the middle with a huge "contract"

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ohdrap4 1 year, 9 months ago

there is a sucker born every minute

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sealice 1 year, 9 months ago

recall sitting in on a conversation about planning logistics for this thing and laughing a month ago at the clear and obvious fact that if they were only at the level of planning they were discussing there was no way this thing was gonna get off the ground because every single stinkin bahamian that can be is already in Georgetown for the regatta. What dumb ass told them this was a good weekend to hold the event? Clearly whoever they bribed in the PLP to try pull this off is even more of a dumbars then your average PLP....

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MassExodus 1 year, 9 months ago

It's like 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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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 9 months ago

Exactly. Something isn't right about the statement from the MOT. They're acting as if they were powerless in the situation. Jay Rule says he spent 20 million....,if that's the case, I wonder if any was spent for someone to look the other way

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Chucky 1 year, 9 months ago

MassExodus It's funny that you state "Consistently the Bahamas looks horrendous worldwide"; reason being, if it were any different, i.e. if the Bahamas didn't look horrendous world wide, then we'd have a reason to be surprised. This nation is horrendous, the vast majority of our people are, along with the majority of our leaders. We can't help but be seen for what we are. We are a joke, we've got a few people who can sing, a few who can run fast, and a bunch of top notch thieves and con men / corrupt leaders. After that the bulk of the population are lazy people who for the most part run bad scams rather that working for money. Of course there are the few good people, but they likely amount to less than 10% of the total populace.

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 9 months ago

Is it possible that he paid people to take care of everything and they didn't? I don't know many major stars who get their hands dirty organizing the event.

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proudloudandfnm 1 year, 9 months ago

Nobody hands over 20 million and just leaves it to other people. He is lying...

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 9 months ago

Sarkis? It's easy to check too late....

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ohdrap4 1 year, 9 months ago

co-organiser Ja Rule pushed back on Friday against mounting claims that the luxury music festival was a scam.

you should run for the PLP.

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