Organisers of the palaver in the Bahamas known as Fyre Festival have released a statement wholeheartedly apologising for orchestrating the biggest and most schadenfreude-heavy recreational fuck-up of the decade.
— William N. Finley IV (@WNFIV) April 30, 2017
In the apology, which is currently the sole piece of content on the fyrefestival.com website, they explain that they were “simply in over our heads.”
Rough weather, non-existent infrastructure and struggling security all contributed to their decision to call the festival off (not mentioned is the garbage truck-sized amounts of hubris required to think you can pull off an island festival with nothing but a marketing degree and a Tom Haverford attitude).
Speaking in third person, the statement says of creators Ja Rule and Billy McFarland:
“They simply weren’t ready for what happened next, or how big this thing would get. They started by making a website and launching a viral campaign. Ja helped book talent, and they had hundreds of local Bahamians join in the effort. Suddenly, they found themselves transforming a small island and trying to build a festival. Thousands of people wanted to come. They were excited, but then the roadblocks started popping up.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.”
The statement goes on to say that everyone who bought a ticket will be fully refunding, and also astonishingly suggests that Fyre Festival will rise from the ashes in 2018:
“Something amazing happened: venues, bands, and people started contacting us and said they’d do anything to make this festival a reality. 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.”
You can read the full statement here, as well as another that McFarland himself gave to Rolling Stone (in which he admits that he and Ja were “a little naive“) here.
This may be the ultimate test of that old bit of wisdom re: all publicity being good publicity. If Ja Rule and Billy McFarland can turn this Piggy’s ear into a profitable Hermés silk purse within a year, then they deserve their success.
Considering that video footage from the event looks like this, however…
Forgive me if I remain sceptical.
Source: Fyre Festival / Rolling Stone.
Image: Twitter / @WNFIV.