Published on May 1st, 2017

Fyre Festival Luxury Festival? Or Nah

By Anji Cross

May 1st, 2017


Ja Rule a prominent voice of rap and hip hop stepping into the 2000’s draws a high end fee for fat performances of Always on Time, Livin It Up, Mesmerize, to showcase the highlights of his decade plus smoove movin’ career. And because of this he can command a sold out house.  Surely successful, Ja Rule founded the Fyre Media, Inc., which is an “on-demand talent booking service” which according to their LinkedIn, makes booking the most influential celebrities, artists, athletes, models and entertainers seamless and transparent. I’ve heard that the app is user-friendly and fun to use.  But…! Performing in concerts, and booking talents for concerts does not mean putting a festival together takes the same level of energy and expertise. Fyre employs 11- 50 (ish) employees… So I am sure Ja Rules apology for the Fyre Festivals dismal failure: “It’s not my fault, but I’m accepting responsibility” wasn’t a premeditated act of THROWING SHADE at the “team.”


Promotions had the advertising narratives and media representations for the festival on LOCK! The video released in January gives you the experience of coasting into the Bohemian Cay Island, and literally imprints exhilarating snippets of bikini clad VS type models, a DJ concert/party scenes and rhetoric voiced like Presidential invitation… “Two Transformative Weekends” (flash:  to a woman snorkeling, a sensuously waiting woman, and another daisy-ducked wearing “girl-friend” type running ahead and looking back) “An Immersive Music Festival” imposed over a private jet, a yacht moment and the words “ON A REMOTE AND RIVATE ISLAND IN THE EXUMAS” …  Damn I almost jumped up to get my wallet. Continuing on looking like a rich man’s paradise, “THE BEST IN FOOD, ART, MUSIC AND ADVENTURE” “ON THE BOUNDARIES OF THE IMPOSSIBLE”… an invitation of a lifetime. The Festival was supposed to rock audiences at weekend events this year – April 28-30 and May 5-7.



Fyre Festival was almost guaranteed to an event to end all events and here are the promises why…

1.      A Genre-spanning Musical Line-up with pop, rap, hip-hop and rock performers and promising a “personal experience” the likes that has never been seen before. 

2.      Treasure Hunts each weekend featuring booty of jewelry, cash and “other undisclosed goodies” valued over $1 million

3.      It’s Not Just a Festival, It’s a Vacation on a private island getaway including lounges on the beach, “the best cuisine, access to art installations or conversations with cultural leaders. Plus accommodations and a flight back from Miami.”

4.      Cultivation of three-seeking attendees. Sharing the unique history “Fyre Cay home to Blackbeard and Pablo Escobar”

5.      Three price points (levels of access): 1) General admission (a sweet deal where you get more than the price of spring break) perks include all the concerts, food, a nice place to stay 2) “A little more exclusive” (mid-priced) perks include everything in the sweet deal. And 3) VIP price:  Perks include: getting as close as possible to musicians and artist, backstage passes and after parties. hella high (Price: “It’ll cost you” That must be the rumored $12,000).

6.      The Lodging is A Dream Come True. “Even the cheapest accommodations include a comfy bed and quality roof over your head. No Tents needed” (Now I wonder if no tents were needed because they provided them for you… as accommodations. No kidding.)

7.      Bella Hadid who appeared in the ad video “could be on the actual guest list.”

8.      Instagram ad: All about Adventure (“it’s that type of energy and that type of power”)

9.      Ja Rule is the perfect “collaborator” for this event. “The 4 time Granny nominee is not planning the festival on his own…

10)Top Notch Food. “The dining experience is one of the key features of the festival. Spend the weekend eating high-end cuisine.”

11)Even music novices will enjoy this festival


But even before “Go” the negativity was an alarm level. Reddit and Twitter was BLOWIN’ UP with posts from disgruntled ticket-holders calling the event a hoax and a scam. Headlining group Blink 182 cancelled performance citing: “We’re not confident that we would have what we need to give you the quality of performances we always give fans”. THAT’S A FAIL!



From Twitter users Tweeted:


@WNFIV posted “This is how Fyre handles luggage. Just drop it out of a shipping container. At night. With no lights?


FAIL: The promise to fly guest to the island in a “VIP configured” jet. The reality is many incoming flights were grounded, reportedly due to the island being “over capacity.” However those festival goers who did make it in had to retrieve their own luggage and from a shipping container?

Billboard reported in a recent interview “Concerns that the organizers were in over their heads have been trickling out for weeks. Performer contracts were being renegotiated after the cost of hosting the ambitious festival began spiraling out of control.  And the Wall Street Journal reported “as of late March, some artists still had not been paid what they were owed based on the terms of their contracts. However some artists’ payments had been “caught up” and in some cases paid in full.”


Finally Friday morning 4/28 the following statement was released by Fyre Media:

“Due to circumstances out of our control, the physical infrastructure was not in place on time and we are unable to fulfill on that vision safely and enjoyably for our guests. At this time, we are working tirelessly to get flights scheduled and get everyone off of Great Exuma and home safely as quickly as we can. We ask that guests currently on-island do not make their own arrangements to get to the airport as we are coordinating those plans.

We are working to place everyone on complimentary charters back to Miami today; this process has commenced and the safety and comfort of our guests is our top priority.

The festival is being postponed until we can further assess if and when we are able to create the high- quality experience we envisioned.”

Tickets were reportedly sold from about $1000 to $12,000. There is good news though; according to a statement on Instagram ticket buyers can get a refund – if they sign a paper first..? (That last part is still being verified.)





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