Fyre Festival—aka the DeMario of festivals (or is DeMario the Fyre Festival of people? Hard to say…)—is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s like, if you had told me when I was a child sitting in my living room watching TRL and coveting J Lo’s pink Juicy tracksuit that one day Ja Rule would be behind a scandal that would leave hundreds of social media influencers stranded on an island in The Bahamas I would have said, “What’s social media? Do you mean Friendster? Because I’m not allowed to have Friendster.”
Throughout this entire ordeal, those of us who have loved the Fyre Festival scandal (aka everyone) have had one question on our minds: How much did the organizers know?
Well, according a series of leaked emails obtained by Mic, the Fyre Fest crew actually knew a whole lot. Like that there weren’t enough toilets, for example.
In an urgent April 3rd email sent to festival executives with the subject line “RED FLAG- BATHROOMS/ SHOWER SHIPPING,” staff was alerted to the fact that it was going to cost $400,000 to ship enough toilets and showers to accommodate the 2,500 Instagram personalities already scheduled to arrive at the island.
And if not having enough toilets or showers to keep its guests Instagram-ready wasn’t a problem enough, this lack of toilets followed the news that Fyre Festival’s caterer, Starr Catering Group, had just pulled out.
So, there are no toilets, and there is no food. Welp, as one assistant in the email thread pointed out, at least those two problems cancel each other out:
Hahahahaha! Lol! People are headed to an island without basic resources for survival! Hahaha! That is so funny! Lol! Rofl!
No but actually this is all low-key very funny. I mean, it’s not funny when you’re living in the past and don’t know that this won’t result in literal death, but now that we live in the future and know that nobody died, it is very, very funny.
The next blow to the festival, according to another set leaked emails (TY to Mic for the screenshots—we all owe you one) with the subject “***DO NOT IGNORE*** HOUSING UPDATE & ACTION ITEMS FOR YOU,” alerted senior festival executives to another thing their island didn’t have: enough housing for everyone.
You know an all caps email subject with three asterisks and the phrase “DO NOT IGNORE” is p. serious. Also maybe an indicator that the standard was for Fyre Fest organizers to blatantly ignore this kind of thing. Like, the author of this email clearly had reason to believe that a message simply entitled “housing update” would not get read.
Who care about housing, anyway?
In the email, Marc Weinstein, a senior consultant working on accommodations, worried that a total of 593 people would not have housing when they arrived, just a week before the festival.
Weinstein’s solution? Rent a cruise ship, duh.
He suggested renting a $530,000 ship to house up to 225 people.
So, first off, there is literally no problem to which the solution is “rent a giant boat.” If you’re dealing with a problem, and “rent a giant boat” is the conclusion you come to, take a fucking step back because shit has truly hit the fan in your life.
Secondly, that still doesn’t account for 368 people.
To make up for the discrepancy, Weinstein advocated for the United Airlines method of customer service, aka bumping the 50 lowest paying customers from the first weekend to the second. Cool, yeah. Because everybody can just switch the days their off work, no problem.
Wait, actually, these people are social media influencers, so they probably actually can take off whenever.
The plan now shifted to cutting the lowest 50 paying customers and offering them an upgrade to Villa + Artist Pass status for the next weekend. Sounds like an okay plan, except for one problem. According to an email sent on April 22nd, the villas did not exist. How do we know this? Because the email quite literally says “Of course, these villas don’t exist.”
Where there was housing, the accommodations lacked basic provisions such as toilet paper, soap, and water.
Considering Fyre Festival’s organizers are currently being sued for $100 million, and that these suits allege the festival lacked “food, water, shelter and medical care,” these emails that prove literally every single one of those points are kind of an issue. This is like, the luxury version of going through your boyfriend’s phone and finding the exact texts to the exact hoe that you were worried about. If only this kind of thing always ended in a $100 million lawsuit. I’d be like, Kardashian rich by now.
When news broke that Fyre Festival was really an actual dumpster fire, I was downright gleeful. I think I speak for everyone when I say that there’s nothing funnier than rich millennials and “influencers” getting suckered into blowing a bunch of money on a “luxury festival,” only to find themselves in a situation more similar to a casting call for the next season of Survivor. Anyway, since we
reveled in their collective misfortune found out about this news, this shit has just kept getting worse (or better, if you’re me and you thrive off other people’s misery). First there was Ja Rule and Billy McFarland’s half-assed non-apology (that will serve as the inspiration for all my future non-apologies). Then we found out that Ja Rule was hit with a $100 million lawsuit, which seemed unnecessarily punitive considering there’s no way a man who hasn’t released a song since the mid-2000s is worth that much money. And now, the Fyre Festival drama just got juicier because Fyre Festival is taking legal action against those blasting the festival. So we should probably call the Betches lawyer now… BRB.
Okay, now that that’s done, here’s what has been going down (aside from Ja Rule’s projected net worth, I assume). On Monday TMZ reported that attorneys for Fyre Festival have been sending out cease and desist letters to people dragging the event on social media. Apparently they found one guy who was complaining that his “luxury tents” were actually disaster relief tents that were blowing over. “The lawyers said the statements were untrue and what’s worse, could ‘incite violence, rioting or civil unrest.'” Right, it’s definitely going to be some dude’s tweets about the festival conditions that incite violence and not the fact that people were forced to fight each other for sleeping accommodations because not enough tents were set up.
The lawyers added, “If someone innocent does get hurt as a result Fyre Festival will hold you accountable and responsible.” Pretty sure the only people who got hurt from the social media posts about Fyre Festival were, again, Billy McFarland and Ja Rule. It’s comforting to know, though, that the festival organizers had secured their scapegoat even before they successfully evacuated all the customers off the island. Guess somebody’s gotta take responsibility. So thank you, random Twitter user. I will be sure to direct all future complaints and criticisms towards the guy who exposed this scam for what it was, rather than the people who willingly sent hundreds of millennials to a completely unfurnished island with stray dogs.
What I thought would be a one-day meme has turned into a multi-day fiasco, and I just can’t wait to see how Fyre Festival turns out to be an even bigger shit show than we initially thought. It really is the gift that keeps on giving. Thank you, Ja Rule.