Fyre Festival, a luxury music festival set to take place on Great Exuma in the Bahamas this weekend, has reportedly descended into chaos. Attendees have taken to Twitter to complain of disorganization, headliners backing out, and inadequate housing in a “tent city.” Thousands of guests who paid between $US1,000 and $US12,000 for weekend passes are stranded in the Bahamas as organisers arrange flights back to Miami.
The festival was put on by Ja Rule and tech entrepreneur Billy McFarland, who launched entertainment startup Fyre Media together in 2015.
McFarland previously founded Magnises, a social networking startup that charges members a $US250 annual fee for access to exclusive events. After speaking to several current and former Magnises members in February, Business Insider revealed that the startup had not been delivering on the perks it was advertising.
Members recounted similar stories of not receiving tickets on the timeline promised, of having to rearrange plans multiple times because of the startup’s scheduling snafus, and of trips being canceled outright — sometimes the day before they were scheduled to take place. Several of the members said they received unwanted charges to their credit cards from Magnises, which in some cases took more than a month to refund their money.
Since its inception in 2014, the New York-based startup has expanded to Washington, DC, and San Francisco. It now has nearly 40,000 members. The startup has raised $US3.1 million in venture capital since its founding, and it has been cash-flow positive for the past year. It has 25 employees.
McFarland did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment about the Fyre Festival snafu.
The dinner that @fyrefestival promised us was catered by Steven Starr is literally bread, cheese, and salad with dressing. #fyrefestival pic.twitter.com/I8d0UlSNbd
— Tr3vor (@trev4president) April 28, 2017