The organizers of a much-hyped music festival in the Bahamas have been forced to cancel the weekend event at the last minute.
Event organizer and rapper Ja Rule has issued a statement addressing the much-publicized chaos that ensued after the cancellation, telling TMZ that he is “heartbroken … it was NOT A SCAM as everyone is reporting. I don’t know how everything went so left but I’m working to make it right by making sure everyone is refunded.”
The rapper went on to clarify that the issues plaguing the failed event are “NOT [HIS] FAULT,” but he is now taking responsibility.
Fyre Festival organizers announced the cancellation of the “once-in-a-lifetime” concert on Twitter and their website after many fans had already arrived.
People complained of spending thousands of dollars on tickets and travel to the Exuma islands in the Bahamas for what were supposed to be performances by Blink-182, Pusha-T, Migos, Disclosure and Major Lazer.
In a statement, Blink-182 said, “We’re not confident we would have what we need to give you the quality of performances we always give our fans.”
Event organizers blamed “unforeseen and extenuating circumstances” in a Twitter post Friday. They said they were working to arrange flights to Miami for those who had already arrived in Exuma and said inbound flights had been cancelled.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism offered an apology to Fyre attendees who had traveled for the event, saying in a statement that “tourism is our number one industry” and that they were “extremely disappointed” in the way the festival had unfolded:
“We are extremely disappointed in the way the events unfolded yesterday with the Fyre Festival. We offer a heartfelt apology to all who traveled to our country for this event. Tourism is our number one industry and it is our aim to deliver world-class experiences and events. Hundreds of visitors to Exuma were met with total disorganization and chaos. The organizers of Fyre recently asked the Ministry of Tourism for support for their private event. The Ministry of Tourism is not an official sponsor of Fyre Festival. Given the magnitude of this undertaking, the MOT lent its support as we do with all international events. We offered advice and assisted with communications with other government agencies. The event organizers assured us that all measures were taken to ensure a safe and successful event but clearly they did not have the capacity to execute an event of this scale. A team of Ministry of Tourism representatives is on the island to assist with the organization of a safe return of all Fyre Festival visitors. It is our hope that the Fyre Festival visitors would consider returning to the Islands Of The Bahamas in the future to truly experience all of our beauty.”
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The concert, organized by rapper Ja Rule and entrepreneur Billy McFarland, had promised “a cultural moment created from a blend of music, art, and food.” Tickets ranged between $1,000-$12,000 — and some VIP packages as high as $250,000 — with amenities including private plane and boat rentals, massages, and local beach tours.
Fyre Festival had promised “culinary delights and luxury” over two weekends. Attendees complained about disorganization and accommodations in social media posts.