It was supposed to be the most glamorous event of the year, with all the selfie opportunities and flower-crowns a young, gym-bodied social media influencer could dream of. But Fyre Festival, an elite concert event on a deserted island in the Bahamas with tickets priced up to $12,000 has quickly turned into a terrifying B-movie, with flocks of Instagram models forced to seek shelter in an airport after arriving to discover a lack of food, violent locals, appalling accommodation and feral dogs roaming the grounds.
As a result, social media has exploded overnight with tales of Instagram-filtered terror and disappointment, with beautiful festival-goers arriving on the island to discover half-built tents, their luggage being thrown out of the back of a truck, muggers and thieves laying in wait to steal wallets from trust fund kids, unhelpful staff, and "gourmet cuisine" that turned out to be nothing but ham and cheese sandwiches.
One woman, who paid $10,000 for a VIP ticket, reportedly left her belongings in a half-erected tent, only to have them stolen minutes later. "One guy got punched out by security and they took his wallet," claimed one festival-goer on Reddit, while others claimed that local residents on the island have been assaulting Fyre Festival attendees.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism today released the following statement on Twitter:
Fyre Festival is the brain-child of tech entrepreneur Billy McFarland and Noughties rapper Ja Rule, designed as an exotic alternative to Coachella and promoted by a bevy of Instagram-friendly supermodels including Bella Hadid, Chanel Iman and Emily Ratajkowski.
Fyre Media, the company behind the festival, paid celebrity 'influencers' to promote the festival across their social media before an actual musical line-up had been announced. The campaign worked, with the festival selling thousands of tickets to the island event, described as "a cultural moment created from a blend of music, art, and food," to be held over two weekends on the island of Exumas.
There were hints yesterday that Fyre Festival was potentially an elaborate scam, when Blink-182 abruptly pulled out of performing, claiming they were "not confident that we would have what we need to give you the quality of performances we always give fans". The band were due to perform at the festival alongside acts including Skepta, Major Lazer, Disclosure and members of Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music hip-hop troupe.
While the event continues to be traumatic to the many rich, beautiful people currently seeking shelter in an airport and eager to fly home, social media has somewhat understandably reacted with giggles.
According to one festival-goer, organisers on the island have handed out sheets of paper, encouraging people to sign in order to get a full refund of their tickets. The Fyre Festival website, however, currently states that "All sales are final. There are no refunds."
The festival's Instagram account has claimed that they are working to "accommodate guests and deliver a great experience", and have directed festival-goers to an apparent safe zone.