This Disaster Event Is Being Compared To Fyre Festival, And With Bloody Good Reason
"Did organisers watch the Fyre Festival documentary and thought: Challenge accepted, let’s make the European edition?"
Listen, if you’re a festival organiser out there, I need to tell you something — do everything in your power to avoid repeating the mistakes of Billy McFarland’s Fyre Festival.
Sure, to the rest of us, that’s a piece of advice so obvious it barely needs repeating — but despite the fact that ‘Fyre fest’ has become a synonym for a gross mismanagement, it seems like those in charge of festivals around the world can’t help but royally fuck up in ways that directly call to mind McFarland’s hellish island getaway.
Case in point? The organisers of VestiVille, a Belgian hip-hop festival, who managed to add a new dimension into the word ‘disaster’ last last week.
— VestiVille (@VestiVille) June 18, 2019
A three day-long celebration of hip hop, VestiVille was due to feature some of the biggest names in rap, from Cardi B to Migos to A$ap Rocky. Only, hours before the event was meant to start, performers began dropping out. Rocky was the first to go, posting on his Twitter page that “infrastructure concerns” were barring him from taking to the stage.
Things only got worse from there. Shortly before the event was meant to start, the Mayor of the Belgian town of Lommel, Bob Nijs, decided that not enough had been done to keep punters safe, and straight-up cancelled the event. Having been handed down the news, the Vestiville organisers took to Facebook to alert punters — but for many, it was too late.
Today at 5:00 PM the mayor of Lommel decided to not let Vestiville start. After consultation with the security services and ASAP Rocky’s security officer, it was decided that the safety of the artist and the public could not be guaranteed.
— VestiVille (@VestiVille) June 28, 2019
For a start, many punters had forked out an extraordinary amount of cash for the opportunity to be turned away at the gates — as BBC News reports, tickets set back music fans £200 each (that’s over AUD$350), and many spent thousands of dollars in travel fees.
Worse still, the news of the cancellation did not reach many of the punters till very late — meaning that some were already standing at the gates in long queues, desperate to know what was going on. Held back by only “ten or 15” security guards, punters began storming the venue, flipping tables and trying to enter.
The ensuing chaos was caught on camera by Twitter user Gevor Gevv, and ho boy:
— Gevor Gevv (@GevorGevv) June 29, 2019
Needless to say, the internet has had a field day with the ensuing chaos, producing a bevy of Fyre fest-indebted memes.
Did #Vestiville organisers watch the Fyre Festival documentary and thought: Challenge accepted, let’s make the European edition 🤔
— Priya Charity (@PriyaCharity) June 28, 2019
2020 on Netflix
" #Vestiville: the greatest lineup that never happened " 😅
— Jodeci Tigane (@JodeciTigane) June 28, 2019
— Saitashitt (@Rompshitt) June 28, 2019
Of course, for those in the know, the signs that this was going to end in disaster were right there from day one. After all, alongside the other jewels in Vestiville’s wonky line-up crown was one Ja Rule. And heaven knows that Ja Rule and festivals are two ingredients that should not be mixed.
Lead image Gevor Gevv via Twitter.