Music News

Another Report on the Confusion That Was the Fyre Festival

The lawsuits keep coming over the ruinous, disastrous, hideous Fyre Festival that ended up not happening on a private in the Bahamas last weekend. Variety reports on the scale of the incompetence behind this thing.

The Fyre Festival has achieved such notoriety in such a short time that it hardly seems possible that just a week ago, the first panicked tweets began to emerge from the Bahamas about the disorganized mess the heavily hyped event had become. A splashy video ad filled with models luxuriating on yachts and sun-kissed beaches had promised a designer music festival featuring Blink-182, Migos, Major Lazer, Disclosure and others on an island purportedly formerly owned by Pablo Escobar (who actually never owned an island in the Bahamas). Instead, attendees who had been promised luxury accommodation and meals prepared by celebrity chefs found flimsy tents, boxed lunches and near-total disorganization — and long waits for flights to return to the mainland after airlines began refusing to fly would-be concertgoers to the overcrowded island of Exumas.

It was, said one production professional briefly associated with the festival, “incompetence on an almost inconceivable scale.”

While much of the blame initially fell on festival producer Ja Rule — along with celebrity cosigners like Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner, who were reportedly paid thousands of dollars to promote the festival on their socials — in recent days the focus has fallen more on his partner, 26-year-old Billy McFarland, a tech entrepreneur best known for Magnises (a credit card aimed at millennials) and Fyre, the app from which the festival took its name.

While McFarland has claimed that his staff was “naïve” and “overwhelmed,” two production professionals who worked with the festival during the month of March told Variety that the mogul and his team were warned “over and over” that it would be impossible for the event to come off in the necessary time frame.

“They did know,” one said. “It’s so gross to me that [McFarland] says they were naïve — they had been told at every point that it was impossible and they ignored it.”

You simply must read the rest.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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