The inaugural Fyre Festival, a luxury event in the Exuma islands in the Bahamas, co-organized by rapper Ja Rule and tech entrepreneur Billy McFarland, has been postponed.
Many participants have deemed it a "disaster," citing "mass chaos," including robberies, fights over food at the "refugee camp" event site and difficulties getting a flight back to the United States.
Organizers had promised a "cultural moment created from a blend of music, art and food" and the event was promoted by celebs such as Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and Kendall Jenner, who in January announced on Instagram the festival's first headliners—artists from G.O.O.D. Music, the record label founded by Kanye West and which includes artists such as Tyga and Big Sean on its roster. Kendall has since deleted the post.
"Due to unforeseen and extenuating circumstances, Fyre Festival has been fully postponed," read a message posted on the event's Twitter page Friday. "After assessing the situation this morning and looking at best options for our guests, we cannot move forward as we hoped we could. At this time, we are working tirelessly to get flights scheduled and get all travelers home safely."
"Heard someone yell "ITS THE F***ING HUNGER GAMES" #fyrefestival," tweeted Austin Rose from Atlanta.
Tickets for the two-weekend festival ranged from $1,000 to $12,000 and $250,000 group packages were also offered. The tickets included a flight from Miami, a stay in a "geodesic dome" and activities such as jet skiing, snorkeling, yoga and kayaking. It appears the only thing festival-goers got was the flight—in.
"#fyrefestival refugee camp settling in for the night!!! humidity has everyone's belongings SOAKED," he said, alongside a photo of large, white tents.
"So Fyre Fest is a complete disaster. Mass chaos. No organization. No one knows where to go," William N. Finley wrote on Twitter. "There are no villas, just a disaster tent city."
"This is how Fyre Fest handles luggage. Just drop it out of a shipping container. At night. With no lights. #fyrefestival," he added.
"@USEmbassyNassau Help I'm at the
#fyrefestival and all my stuff has been stolen. My passport is gone. Wallet gone. What do I do?" tweeted Steven Stubbe from Texas. "My phone dying Please send help 2 festival grounds Its chaos,tents are on fire, people fighting for food #fyrefestival. My phone is dying, please call for me and beg for them to send help. I'm hiding in tent 27."
so potentially stranded with no place to stay tonight ???? #fyrefestival— Tahnee (@itstahnee) April 28, 2017
Many said they were stranded at the festival site, where makeshift tents were erected, or at the airport.
#fyrefestival trying to leave for the last 8 hours. barley any food or water or security or electricity," Lamaan Gallal, a student at Northeastern Universty in Boston, said on Twitter.
still at the airport, its been 15 hours...— Tahnee (@itstahnee) April 28, 2017
"Don't even get me started about the 'site' of the festival. It was designed for terrible things to happen there," Gallal told Business Insider. "The moment we got there and I started to realize all the legal and safety concerns. I got this adrenaline rush that we had to get out."
"There was no light for night time. The tents could not be closed and there was no security," Gallal added. "Everyone you spoke to had a different answer and no-one knew who was in charge. The ultimate thing was that there were no chargers or electricity outlets. We couldn't charge our phones and there was barely service."
Another person on Reddit said they got kicked out of their tent, while their computer and camera were inside, and that security said people could not return. They also said "one guy got punched out by security and they took his wallet. "There are no police I can go to," the person added. "Holy f--k I am freaking out."
"This is insane. We almost played this thing," the band The Knocks tweeted.
Blink-182 had canceled scheduled performances at the festival, saying on Twitter Thursday, "We're not confident that we would have what we need to give you the quality of performances we always give our fans."
Organizers said in a statement that "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." The Ministry of Tourism said it has sent reps to "assist" with a "safe return of all Fyre Festival visitors," saying that hundreds of them were "met with total disorganization and chaos" and that organizers "did not have the capacity to execute an event of this scale."
In an interview with Rolling Stone, McFarland revealed that there would be makeup dates for those who bought tickets and that organizers will donate $1.50 [per ticket] to the Bahamian Red Cross.