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After The Fyre: A Brief History Of Other Festival Disasters

By now we’re all aware that Fyre Festival — in theory a three-day luxury music festival in the Bahamas for supermodels and rich dudes who thought they could fuck them (brought to you by Ja Rule), and in practice a piece of cheese on bread for Twitter to laugh at — was a disaster. Though it may seem like the biggest disaster in music fest history, Fyre Festival is actually in good company. To demonstrate, we’ve put together a brief roundup of festival disasters that we are sure you will remember once you are reminded of them.

Rage Against The Machine Pledges Support For Tipper Gore

Year: 1993
Location: Pinkpop Festival, Landgraaf, Netherlands
Disaster: “Yeah, we love the PMRC,” Zack de la Rocha said to jeers from a confused Landgraaf audience. “That stands for Parents Music Resource Center, if you don’t know. Yeah, it’s our faaavorite thing. It’s sooo good. We love it.” The crowd rushed the stage, resulting in many injuries and light property damage. Festival-goers reported they eventually “got” the sarcasm (“I guess”), but took offense at the assumption that they may not know what PMRC stands for.
Refund Issued: Yes.

Father John Misty Attempts To Pass Off Emil Cioran Line As His Own And Everybody Picks Up On It Immediately

Year: 2015
Location: Pitchfork Music Festival, Paris, France
Disaster: “It is not worth the bother of killing yourself, since you always kill yourself too late,” Father John Misty said onstage in Paris. “I thought of that. Not just now, but earlier.” Everybody knew it was a Cioran line and trampled each other in attempt to reach the liar, injuring many and destroying the Grande Halle de la Villette in the process.
Refund Issued: Upon request.

Noel Gallagher Raps At Glastonbury To Prove He Is A Better Rapper Than Jay Z

Year: 2009
Location: Glastonbury Festival, Pilton, Somerset, England
Disaster: In the year following Jay Z’s headlining slot at Glastonbury, a petulant Noel Gallagher took the stage to prove “rap is not hard,” and that “[he is] a better rapper than Jay Z.” He wasn’t and the crowd was audibly upset to see him pretty much as soon as he walked onstage.
Refund Issued: Upon request.

Mac DeMarco Says He Is “Happy to Be At Beach Goth” When Everyone Is Mad To Be At Beach Goth

Year: 2016
Location: Beach Goth, Santa Ana, CA
Disaster: Mac DeMarco was like, “happy to be here at Beach Goth.”
Refund Issued: No.

Wall Street Firm Pays Jello Biafra $30,000 For Spoken Word Performance

Year: 1991
Location: The Paine Webber Group, New York City
Disaster: Not exactly a “festival,” per se, but certainly a disaster! After losing $55 million in 1990 largely due to reorganization but also to an increase in the firm’s reserves against its merchant banking investments, Paine Webber Group invited Jello Biafra to speak ahead of the release of his third spoken word album, I Blow Minds For A Living, to “mix things up.” He did it and the Wall Street guys liked it fine enough, but did it affect their behavior in any meaningful way? Not really, no!
Refund Issued: No.

Solange Pulls Beyoncé Prank

Year: 2014
Location: Coachella, Indio, CA
Disaster: While in the middle of “Losing You,” her final song of the night, Solange told the crowd she wanted to bring up a special guest. “It’s Beyoncé!,” she said, immediately following it with, “Just kidding.” The crowd felt foolish for momentarily allowing themselves to feel excited about the possibility of Beyoncé. “I like Solange more,” a member of the crowd told reporters, “but I was still excited. I hate pranks!”
Refund Issued: Upon request.

Metallica Tries To Do “Kanye West-Style” Rant About Illegal Downloading

Year: 2016
Location: Global Citizen Festival, New York City, New York
Disaster: “We’re gonna do a Kanye West-style rant right now,” said Lars Ulrich, seated behind his drums. Oh no. There were immediate groans from the audience both at Lars Ulrich saying “Kanye West-style rant” and at the impending Kanye West-style rant. “This is going to go viral,” he continued. Oh, god. “I want to talk to you all…” oh, no, “—about illegal downloading.” Oh, my god. In 2016?!
Refund Issued: No. (It was for charity.)

Wu-Tang Clan Use Power Of Suggestion To Make People Leave Summer Jam Extra Early

Year: 1998
Location: Summer Jam, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Disaster: Still upset about their placement in the previous year’s lineup, Wu-Tang Clan members attended 1998’s Summer Jam and spoke loudly about how traffic was piling up “extra early this year” to get people to leave sooner than they’d planned. It worked!
Refund Issued: No.

Kurt Cobain Brings A Dog Onstage

Year: 1991
Location: Pukkelpop, Hasselt, Belgium
Disaster: Legend has it Kurt Cobain was preoccupied by playing with a 70 pound male basset hound when Nirvana was due on stage at Pukkelpop. The dog was good at playing fetch, but he was very slow-moving, which delighted Cobain. Rather than leave the dog, Cobain brought him onstage. Reports of the event split on what happened at that point but, ultimately, the dog couldn’t do the fetch trick the way Cobain promised and mass rioting followed. (Four deaths.)
Refund Issued: Yes.

Lot’s Wife Turned To Pillar Of Salt (!)

Year: 2067 B.C.
Location: Sodom and Gomorrah (Dead Sea area)
Disaster: Sodom and Gomorrah: sounds pretty fun, right? Partying, sex, etc. That’s what people thought. However, after two angels — disguised as men and bunking with Abraham’s nephew, Lot — were unable to find ten righteous people on the “festival” grounds, God destroyed the whole thing with brimstone and fire. Fuck! To make matter worse, while Lot’s family attempted to escape this NIGHTMARE, an angel commanded them “look not behind thee.” Easy enough, right? Not for Lot’s wife. Women are too curious! She looked back at the cities and right then the Lord turned her into a pillar of salt (!!!!!!!).
Refund Issued: In a way.