An Ex-Employee Has Offered A Damning Look Behind The Scenes Of The Disastrous Fyre Festival
"I cannot explain how or why the bros running this festival ignored every warning sign they were given along the way."
Ja Rule’s Fyre Festival, in case you haven’t heard, has been an unmitigated calamity. Cashed-up punters flew to the Bahamas earlier this week expecting gourmet food, luxurious accommodation and music by the likes of Migos, Major Lazer and Blink-182. Instead, they were greeted with cold bread and cheese, waterlogged tents, and a creeping realisation that no filter in the world could redeem the experience in the eyes of their Instagram followers.
In other words, it was fucking hilarious.
i might not be the most fiscally responsible person but at least i didn’t spend $12k+ to larp lord of the flies #fyrefestival
— wall maria (@swoonami) April 29, 2017
But while we’ve all been having a good long laugh at the thought of absurdly wealthy influencers trapped in a particularly shitty episode of Survivor, the question remains: how in the hell did this festival go so spectacularly wrong?
Fortunately, Chloe Gordon, who briefly served as the festival’s talent producer, has offered her take on the behind-the-scenes chaos in a scathing editorial for The Cut. And when I say scathing, I mean you had better sit down before you read any further, because she does not hold back.
“On March 14, I flew from Miami to the island of Great Exuma to get the planning started,” Gordon writes. “Flying in, the water looked beautiful — but I was almost immediately warned not to go near it because of a rampant shark problem. That was an omen I regrettably missed.”
Upon landing, Gordon discovered a festival site in disarray. “Nothing had been done. Festival vendors weren’t in place, no stage had been rented, transportation had not been arranged. Frankly, we were standing on an empty gravel pit and no one had any idea how we were going to build a festival village from scratch.”
— Lamaan (@LamaanGallal) April 28, 2017
As for her job wrangling the music talent, Gordon says it quickly became clear that there was not enough money to pay the artists. “I tried to email the business manager to get an answer, who said something like ‘stand by’ for three days in a row. By the end of the week it became clear they would not pay the people they owed.”
According to Gordon, planners estimated they would need $50 million to pull off the festival as advertised. At one point, they suggested postponing until 2018, to which someone from the marketing team apparently responded “let’s just do it and be legends, man.”
Ja Rule reportedly visited the event site, only to spend most of his time posting on Instagram from a yacht. He did deliver a toast, however: “to living like movie stars, partying like rock stars, and fucking like porn stars”.
“If Ja Rule is punished for anything perhaps it should be that,” writes Gordon.
— Ja Rule (@Ruleyork) April 28, 2017
Gordon ultimately quit her job after she was reportedly offered two-thirds of what she initially asked for.
“I cannot explain how or why the bros running this festival ignored every warning sign they were given along the way,” she writes in summary. ” I saw it firsthand six weeks ago. They overlooked so many very basic things. And baby, they forgot to make me sign an NDA.”
You can read Gordon’s full write-up here.
Feature image via William N. Finley IV/Twitter