The Disastrous Fyre Festival and The Arrest of Its Founder
Remember the much-talked-about Fyre Festival back in 2017 and how it turned out to become a huge flop? Well, Hulu and Netflix have just each released documentaries regarding this disastrous event. Moreover, the company’s founder, Billy McFarland, has just been arrested and sentenced to six years in prison. Is this what you call karma?
Expectations Were High
Before we talk about McFarland’s charges, let us give you a recap of the social catastrophe that is the Fyre Festival. A ticket for the 2017 luxury music festival was priced between $450 and $12,000 and the organizers even advertised time and again about how the visitors would spend the two weekends ‘in paradise’. But it was nightmarish! Scheduled to occur on a private beach around the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas, the party would have been the best thing for excited visitors as they looked forward to three days of unparalleled fun. What added to the hype was how reputed supermodels across the globe had promoted this grand event throughout social media. Some popular names include Emily Ratajkowski, Bella Hadid, and Hailey Baldwin.
The Venue Was A Big Attraction In Itself
Exumas as a district in the Bahamas contains more than 365 islands, and it is dubbed as ‘cays’. The largest is the Great Exuma, joined to another one called Little Exuma. With the breathtaking view all around, picturesque landscapes, good food to gorge on, guests certainly expected that they would be in a party mode along the white sand beaches. How would they even know that everything would fall short of the expectations, especially with the advertisements all around?
Guests knew that they would be the privileged lot who would fly in a special, customized, VIP-configured Boeing 737 all the way from Miami. Instead, guests spent a lot of time simply queuing up for hours at the airport. The privileges seemed nowhere in sight, for passengers had to collect their luggage from the back of the shipping container, and that, too, during the odd hours of the night with no lights around. While the ticket prices were so exorbitantly high, it was understandable that delicious food would be a part of the package. The Star Catering Group seemed to be the star attraction and guests made a beeline for it. However, in a statement issued to the Business Insider, it was mentioned that the group that collaborated with the team had ‘terminated its services’ with the Fyre staff. So visitors had to adjust with makeshift food tents. There were no other options but to rely on cheese sandwiches and salads sans dressing.
Fans expected that their favorite band Blink 182 would perform in the grand event, and to their utter dismay, the band dropped out much before the festival began. Their letter contained sad thoughts and gave a hint that they would be unable to offer the level of service that they usually provide fans. Much like the food, festival attendees expected that they would relax in villas and eco-friendly homes; the prices of which were included within the ticket prices.
The fact that guests had to adjust with tents was unexpected, but even then, most tents weren’t even put up. So, most guests felt it ideal to make it back home in Miami by air as they lost all the energy and enthusiasm. Even then, they faced a crisis, as most were left stranded in the airport. Certainly, this wasn’t the VIP experience they even thought of and many of them filed complaints against the organizers, Billy McFarland, and Ja Rule. It was then reported that Billy McFarland was found guilty of wire fraud in 2018, and months later, he was arrested once more after he was caught selling fake tickets to other big festivals like Coachella. On October 2018, he was finally sentenced to six years of jail time for multiple counts of fraud.
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