Fyre Festival's promise of luxury falls apart in The Exumas

Festival organizers consider Fyre Festival 2018

EXUMAS, Bahamas – There were partygoers who paid anywhere from $1,000 to $250,000 for "two transformative weekends" at the Fyre Festival on an island of The Exumas. When it all fell apart, hundreds were desperate to get to Miami International Airport on Friday and Saturday. 

They were supposed to fly in 6,000, but only 1,500 made it. Blink -182 canceled. One of the attendees compared the sleeping area to a refugee camp and said they were dropping their luggage out of a shipping container.

There was a man who was so upset about the sleeping accommodations that he lit a tent on fire. When they woke up to get breakfast, the gourmet food they were promised wasn't served. Instead, they were stuck with bagels and cinnamon rolls. 

"There was not a long beautiful beach populated by swimming pigs. There were, however, a lot of sand flies that left me looking like I had small pox," Chloe Gordon, a festival former talent producer, wrote for the New York on Friday. 

Chloe added that on Wednesday Ja Rule, a co-organizer of the festival, arrived for a site visit, but it's unclear if he actually visited the site, because he did spend a lot of time on a yacht, according to his Instagram. 

"There was no showers. There was no bathrooms," Aala Busier said. "There was no running water. There was nothing."

Ja Rule tweeted, "I truly apologize as this is NOT MY FAULT … but I'm taking responsibility. I'm deeply sorry to everyone who was inconvenienced by this."

Blink-182 released a statement for festival goers saying "we're not confident we would have what we need to give you the quality of performances we always give our fans."

Billy McFarland, the 25-year-old Fyre Fest co-organizer, told The Rolling Stone on Friday that "today is definitely the toughest day of my life." He blamed the failures on Exumas' lack of infrastructure. 

"We were a little bit ambitious," McFarland said during the exclusive interview. "There wasn't water or sewage. It was almost like we tried building a city out of nothing and it took almost all of our personal resources to make this happen."

Farah Benghozi said she wasn't upset because of the lack of luxury. She said they didn't have the basics. 

"It's not because we didn't have caviar in the morning. It's not because of that," Benghozi said. "It's because it was false advertisement and it was not safe. Period."

Concertgoer Trevor DeHass said attendees were told to go claim a tent. He said the tents, which had been soaked by a rain storm, were located in what appeared to be a rock quarry. He was also concerned about the lack of security. 

Organizers released a statement saying they were postponing the event and were "working tirelessly to get flights scheduled and get everyone off of Great Exuma and home safely as quickly as we can."

They were also offering "complimentary charters" to Miami. 

Local 10 News' Jeff Tavvs, Amanda Bachelor and Peggy Philips contributed to this report. 

About the Authors:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.