Ja Rule releases first statement following Fyre Festival
At this point, we all know what a HOT mess the Fyre Festival was with reports of Fyre not delivered on their luxurious accommodations, but it's hard to think about luxurious accomodations when you're not even getting basic necessities, such as adequate food, housing and electricity.
The festival was a product of Fyre Media, a booking company from rapper Ja Rule and his tech partner Billy McFarland. Ja Rule has now released his first statement following the flop, which you can read below!
Fyre Festival promised a lot, including a treasure hunt featuring “rare luxuries, over $1 million in treasure, and perhaps an island of one’s very own.” The festival also had 40 acts scheduled to perform. Some of the headlining artists for Fyre Festival included Blink-182, G.O.O.D Music and Major Lazer. Blink-182 cancelled both their performances at the festival yesterday through a post on their social media, citing that they were “not confident that [they] would have what [they] need to give you the quality of performances [they] always give their fans.”
Instead of that amazing treasure hunt and some amazing performers, guests of the festival were greeted by leftover disaster relief shelters from Hurricane Matthew, the festival feeding their guests pieces of bread with cheese and even an unfinished concierge tent along with hardly any electricity. You can check out pictures of all of the above here.
But now Ja Rule has released his first statement on Twitter where he expresses his apologies but making it clear that this debacle was "NOT [HIS] FAULT." You can read the full statement below.
Chloe Gordon was a talent director for Fyre Festival and recently wrote an article for New York Magazine where she gave readers a behind the scenes look at the madness.
"The production team was all new hires and, before we arrived, we were led to believe things had been in motion for a while. But nothing had been done. Festival vendors weren’t in place, no stage had been rented, transportation had not been arranged. Frankly, we were standing on an empty gravel pit and no one had any idea how we were going to build a festival village from scratch," Gordon writes.
The Wall Street Journal stated:
“Its organizers missed a series of deadlines to make advance payments to performers. Last week, some artists still hadn’t been paid what they were owed based on the terms of their contracts, according to people familiar with the matter, but the event’s promoters in recent days made progress in catching up with payments, and in some cases have paid acts in full.”
Gordon revealed that planners debated on pushing everyone's tickets to 2018, but #FyreFestival showed us that's not what happened.
"With so little having been prepared ahead of time, the official verdict was that it would take $50 million to pull off. Planners also warned that it would be not be up to the standard they had advertised. The best idea, they said, would be to roll everyone’s tickets over to 2018 and start planning for the next year immediately. They had a meeting with the Fyre execs to deliver the news. A guy from the marketing team said, “Let’s just do it and be legends, man.”
Fyre Festival has also updated the statement on their official website. You can read their new statement below:
Yesterday was a very challenging day for all of us. But we would like to fully explain what happened.
Billy McFarland and Ja Rule started a partnership over a mutual interest in technology, the ocean, and rap music. This unique combination of interests led them to the idea that, through their combined passions, they could create a new type of music festival and experience on a remote island.
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.
Everyone was very concerned for our guests. They needed a place to sleep and everyone did their absolute best to rebuild. We took everyone to the beach and built as many tents and beds as fast as possible, but as more guests arrived, we were simply in over our heads. Ultimately, we didn’t think security could keep up, so we had to postpone the festival. The response to the postponement was immediate and intense. We had no other options, so we began the process of getting guests quickly and safely back to Miami, which continued through the weekend. Our top priority as a company is to ensure the comfort and safe return home of all of our guests.
Then something amazing happened: venues, bands, and people started contacting us and said they’d do anything to make this festival a reality and how they wanted to help. 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.
All festival goers this year will be refunded in full. We will be working on refunds over the next few days and will be in touch directly with guests with more details. Also, all guests from this year will have free VIP passes to next year’s festival.
We’re grateful for the Bahamian Government and The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism for their assistance during this challenging time—their efforts have been exemplary. We want to thank the people of the Bahamas for their support and for graciously allowing us the privilege of visiting their islands. We apologize for any inconvenience the past 24-hours has caused and we look forward to making a considerable donation to the Bahamas Red Cross Society as part of our initiatives. We need to make this right. And once we make this right, then we will put on the dream festival we sought to have since the inception of Fyre.
Thank you for all your continued patience and understanding. We apologize for what all of our guests and staff went through over the last 24 hours and will work tirelessly to make this right. Please check our official social media channels (@fyrefestival) for further important updates.