Fyre Festival: Employee at failed event says she always knew it would be a disaster

'The writing was on the wall...They overlooked so many very basic things'

Will Worley@willrworley
Saturday 29 April 2017 12:34
Promotional video for Fyre Festival

An insider has given their account of the disastrous Fyre Festival, saying she knew it would be a failure and organisers “ignored every warning sign”.

The event – situated in the Bahamas – descended into chaos yesterday after revellers arrived to find an undeveloped site, little food and water and major acts had pulled out.

Fyre Festival was marketed as a luxury event and tickets prices ranged from $4,000 to $12,000.

Now, a talent producer hired by the festival organisers has described the poor organisation behind the event.

Fyre Festival attendees locked in airport 'for their own safety'

In mid-March, Chloe Gordon flew out to the site on Great Exuma in the Bahamas to find it was “an empty gravel pit”.

“There was not enough space to build all the tents and green rooms they would need,” Ms Gordon told New York magazine.

Despite having been led to believe the festival organisation was already we underway, Ms Gordon found nothing had been properly prepared. She said the festival was at that point only weeks away, yet no stage, transport or vendors had been booked.

This also factored into her role, and as she contacted the management of artists booked to play the festival, she found that “almost all of them had the same question for me, which was along the lines of, ‘Hey … Where’s our money?’”

Ms Gordon claimed she was told to stand by for the money, but “it became clear” within a few days it would not arrive.

The situation became so dire, advisers warned it would take $50m (£38m) to stage the festival, while planners warned it should be postponed because it would not be up to the luxury standard advertised.

However, a marketing employee reportedly said: “Let’s just do it and be legends, man.”

The multi-million dollar budget was given the go ahead and the planners were told to continue. Rapper Ja Rule, one of the organisers, gave a toast: “To living like movie stars, partying like rock stars, and f***ing like porn stars.”

Ms Gordon attempted to continue her job – despite having no proper internet connection and with no budget for artist payments or a technical director.

Soon after, a number of production staff were fired and Ms Gordon quit the project.

She said: “I cannot explain how or why the bros running this festival ignored every warning sign they were given along the way. The writing was on the wall. I saw it first-hand six weeks ago. They overlooked so many very basic things.”

Despite the calamitous fall out from disappointed festival-goers, organisers have said they will stage the event again in 2018.

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