On Friday, the Internet erupted when a luxurious music festival organised by rapper Ja Rule and promoted by the likes of Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Hailey Baldwin descended into chaos when it was nothing like it seemed.
In fact, some people even believed that Fyre Festival was an elaborate scam organised by Ja to rip off rich people, with music fans paying between $2,000 and $12,000 for VIP tickets to the festival, which took place on a private island in the Bahamas.
Far from the luxury that had been promised by some of Instagram’s biggest influencers, festival-goers were left stunned when they arrived at the venue to find “half-built cabanas that were actually disaster relief tents” instead of the fancy villas like advertised, dry bread with slices of processed cheese instead of the slap-up meals that were included in the extortionate ticket price, and their luggage dumped out of shipping containers.
Locals are also thought to have turned violent with the music fans, with many reporting that they had been mugged on the first night. The promised headliners, including Blink 182, pulled out and queues to leave the Bahamas were out of the airport’s doors.
— Alex Sanchez (@AXELSCYTHE) April 28, 2017
Now Bella Hadid has broken her silence, apologising for urging her millions of followers to spend thousands of dollars on tickets for the weekend, admitting that she feels “so sorry” to be involved in this big mess.
Writing on social media, the 20-year-old star shared: “Hey guys, I just wanted to address Fyre Festival… Even though this was not my project whatsoever, nor was I informed about the production or process of the festival in any shape or form, I do know that it has always been out of great intent and they truly wanted all of us to have the time of our lives.
“I initially trusted this would be an amazing and memorable experience for all of us, which is why I agreed to do one promotion not knowing about the disaster that was to come…
“I feel so sorry and badly because this is something I couldn’t stand by, although of course if I would have known about the outcome, you would have all known too. [sic]”
— Tr3vor (@trev4president) April 28, 2017
Bella went on to add that she hoped the many festival-goers left stranded made it home safely, concluding with: “I hope everyone is safe and back with their families and loved ones.”
It is believed that Bella, Kendall, and other high-profile celebrities were paid by organisers Ja Rule and Billy McFarland to promote the event on their popular social media pages.
Ja has since insisted that the entire thing was not a scam, with Billy blaming the weather and a lack of experience for the disaster.
Billy also promised that the festival will go ahead next year, with free tickets for everybody who attended this year.
He explained: “There will be make-up dates, May 2018 in the U.S., free for everybody who signed up for this festival. We will donate $1.50 [per ticket] to the Bahamian Red Cross.
“It’ll keep the theme of being on water and beach. It’ll be not just music, but all forms of entertainment. The one change we will make is we will not try to do it ourselves. We will make sure there is infrastructure in place to support us.”