Fyre Fest: Ja Rule’s Luxury Weekend Postponed After Disastrous Start

If you were wondering what Ja Rule is up to these days, here’s your answer: He’s the face of a catastrophically halfassed music-festival experience! Yesterday, Billboard reported on everything going wrong with Fyre Fest, a new luxury festival in the Bahamas, which Ja Rule put together alongside 25-year-old tech entrepreneur and alleged scam artist Billy McFarland.

Blink-182, booked as headliners, pulled out of the festival at the last minute, claiming, “We’re not confident that we would have what we need to give you the quality of performances we always give fans.” Meanwhile, organizers have reportedly been frantically trying to renegotiate payment with the acts, and people showing up to the festival have reported that the site isn’t ready yet. For a festival where the VIP packages cost up to $250,000, that’s not good. And now, after people had already arrived at the island (and gone through reportedly hellish experiences), the festival is “fully postponed”:

Now Fyre is in damage-control mode.

On Instagram this morning, organizers wrote that the start of the festival, which at that point was still supposed to go down this weekend, had been “unexpected.” (This is a two-weekend festival; they’re also supposedly running next weekend.) They also claim that they are “working to comfortably accommodate guests and deliver a great experience.” But, they said, all incoming charter flights to the Bahamas island of Great Exuma have been cancelled:

Things got off to an unexpected start at day one of Fyre Festival. FOR THOSE CURRENTLY ON GREAT EXUMA We are working to comfortably accommodate guests and deliver a great experience. If you have needs, please head to the "BLUE HOUSE" on the main festival site. Security, first aid, and Fyre Festival staff are here to assist immediately, 24/7. FOR THOSE WITH PENDING TRAVEL TO THE EXUMAS TOMORROW Due to circumstances beyond our control, and in line with a culture of safety, all inbound charter flights to the Exumas have been cancelled. Your ticket and any funds uploaded to your RFID band will be refunded. Thank you for bearing with us as we work through the growing pains that every first year event experiences. Revised itinerary information will be shared soon for the remainder of this weekend and weekend two.

A post shared by FYRE FESTIVAL (@fyrefestival) on

Alongside Blink-182, who are still advertised on the festival website, the festival is set to feature the G.O.O.D. Music crew (including Pusha-T, Desiigner, and Tyga), as well as Major Lazer, Disclosure, Rae Sremmurd, Migos, Skepta, Kaytranada, and others. It’s also supposed to include things like a flight from Miami, accommodations in a “geodesic dome,” and amenities like yoga and kayaking. It was advertised with a video of a bunch of supermodels on a yacht, with text onscreen claiming that the festival location was a private island “once owned by Pablo Escobar.” Social media “influencers” like Kylie Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Hailey Baldwin were paid to promote the fest on Instagram, but didn’t even bother to disclose the sponsorship aspect, as required by the Federal Trade Commission.

Like all great stories, this one begins with a voyage

A post shared by FYRE FESTIVAL (@fyrefestival) on

Per NY Times:

Attendees were told they could “start each day with morning yoga and guided meditation on the beach,” while also enjoying “massages, henna tattooing, sound healing, chill-out sessions and a festive Bahamian junkanoo parade kicking-off each weekend.” Descriptions of the food options pledged “a uniquely authentic island cuisine experience,” with “local seafood, Bahamian-style sushi and even a pig roast.”

Co-founder McFarland told Vanity Fair, “Obviously we think our lineup now is pretty awesome, but the experience is what we’re really packaging here.” But, Vice reports, “Fyre Media had initially intended to purchase the private island but moved to the location near Sandals after realizing the island lacked the infrastructure to host a festival with thousands of people in attendance”:

“It’s not a private island at all,” the person who worked on the event said. “It’s literally right next to Sandals. Like the place that people are supposed to park their yachts, if they bring them, is actually a dock owned by Sandals.”

As BBC reports, the ticket-buyers at the festival whose planes weren’t cancelled have complained about things like lost luggage, terrible food, and “cabanas” that are actually disaster-relief tents. And it looks like people trying to leave haven’t been able to get on their flights, either, and they’ve been locked in the airport overnight. Ticket-buyers are already threatening a class-action lawsuit. Here’s some of the social-media reporting:

Ja Rule has yet to comment.

UPDATE: Fyre Festival Disaster: The Best Burns On Twitter.

UPDATE 2: Ja Rule has shared an apology…