Organisers of the Bahamas celebrity festival branded a “complete disaster” have been hit with a $ 100m lawsuit alleging fraud.
Rapper Ja Rule and his business partners were forced to abort the luxury-themed Fyre Festival on Friday, after hundreds of ticket holders arrived to a festival with no music, no luxury, no proper food or transport.
The event had been advertised as “the cultural experience of a decade”, a luxury alternative to the Coachella festival in California, with bikini-clad super models like Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski attending.
But a lawsuit filed by one disgruntled guest said: “The festival’s lack of adequate food, water, shelter and medical care created a dangerous and panicked situation among attendees.
“It was closer to The Hunger Games or Lord of the Flies than Coachella.”
Tickets cost up to $ 12,000 (£9,200) for two weekends of “music, art and food”, while the charge for VIP entry was as much as $ 100,000 (£77,000), including flights to the private island in the Bahamas district of the Exumas.
According to some festivalgoers, the “private island” was a former Sandal’s package holiday resort and the only food offered was cheese sandwiches.
Guests promised a “posh, island-based music festival featuring first class culinary experiences” were instead lured into “what various media outlets have since labelled a complete disaster, mass chaos and a post-apocalyptic nightmare,” according to the legal documents.
Dozens of flights were also cancelled, leaving hundreds stranded on the island while others saw their inbound flights cancelled before getting there.
Organisers apologised over the weekend, announcing all festival-goers would be refunded.
— Ja Rule (@Ruleyork) April 28, 2017
Ja Rule tweeted an apology Friday, saying he was “heartbroken,” while insisting that the debacle was “not my fault.”
Bella Hadid tweeted on Saturday that it was “not my project whatsoever,” and that she had not been told how it would be run.
The organisation admitted they were “simply in over our heads”, and had been overwhelmed by the numbers arriving as transport jammed up and high winds knocked down half of the original tents.
“Ultimately, we didn’t think security could keep up, so we had to postpone the festival,” a statement said.
Punk-rock band Blink 182, who were scheduled to play at the festival, cancelled at the last minute, saying in a statement the festival did not provide adequate conditions.
Others expected over the two weekends included the likes of Pusha T, Tyga, Major Lazer, Skepta and Disclosure.
The Bahamas government has also apologised and helped people leave, but stressed it was not involved directly in the event.