Imagine spending thousands of dollars on an off-the-charts musical experience in the sunny Bahamas complete with luxurious beach tents, A-list performers, and food galore, all to have it canceled the moment you arrive. Cringing yet? This isn't a nightmare, festy friends, it's the reality of Fyre Festival 2017.
Social media lit up on Friday after the much anticipated event was abruptly canceled, leaving attendees stranded and blaming celebs who'd promoted it. That list includes models Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, Hailey Baldwin, Shanina Shaik, Kendall Jenner, and others.
On Saturday, Hadid shared a note to Twitter apologizing to any fans who'd had a negative experience and reminding them she had no part in the event's organization.
The event, created by rapper Ja Rule and entrepreneur Billy McFarland, was billed as offering "the best in food, art music and adventure," and had a price tag to match. Patrons could snag tickets at anywhere from $450 per day to a hefty $12,000 total.
As time goes on and details emerge, attendees have posted statuses and images that couldn't be more contradictory to Fyre's high-end promises. Fyre Festival released this statement early Saturday:
"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."
Maybe stick to Coachella?