Celebrity luxury event Fyre Festival turns to 'mass chaos'

Duarte Garrido, Entertainment Reporter

A celebrity-sponsored luxury music festival in the Bahamas has been called a "scam" after ticket-holders were reportedly left stranded.

Co-organised by rapper Ja Rule and promoted by models Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and Hailey Baldwin, the Fyre Festival sold tickets costing up to $12,000 (£9,200) for two weekends of "music, art and food".

Tickets included a flight to a private island in the Bahamas district of the Exumas and VIP treatment with live bands, gourmet food and outdoor activities.

Instead, there were numerous reports of flights cancelled, ticket-holders stranded, no tents to sleep in and a dinner consisting of a cheese sandwich with a side salad.

"So Fyre Fest is a complete disaster. Mass chaos. No organisation. No one knows where to go. There are no villas, just a disaster tent city," festival goer William Finley wrote, sharing photos of the event.

He later shared a photo of festival organisers throwing luggage off a shipping container in the middle of the night.

A Twitter account called Fyre Festival Fraud was created with the aim of warning ticket-holders about cancelled flights and the fact that the supposed "private desert island" promised actually reportedly belonged to the well known Sandals Resort chain.

"Things got off to an unexpected start at day one of Fyre Festival," organisers said in a statement, before shutting down comments from users.

"Due to circumstances beyond our control, and in line with a culture of safety, all inbound charter flights to the Exumas have been cancelled," they added.

"Your ticket and any funds uploaded to your RFID band will be refunded. Thank you for bearing with us as we work through the growing pains that every first year event experiences."

Photos shared by other users revealed the "cabanas" promised by the festival were actually relief tents for emergencies.

Punk-rock band Blink 182, who were scheduled to play at the festival, cancelled last minute, saying in a statement the festival did not provide adequate conditions.

Other expected over the two weekends included the likes of Pusha T, Tyga, Major Lazer, Skepta and Disclosure.

"US Citizens attempting to leave Bahamas after Fyre Festival scam. People are scared. This festival put people in danger," one user wrote, sharing a picture of chaos at the airport.

Fyre Media, the company behind the festival, paid celebrities to promote the festival on social media before the line-up had been announced.

One social media user wrote: "So a bunch of rich kids got tricked by Ja Rule to fly out to eat cheese sandwiches and get lap dances by IG models?"

"Don't worry Fyre Festival, Kendall is bringing Pepsi in the morning," said another.

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