Fyre Festival, a luxury music festival on Great Exuma in the
Bahamas this weekend,
has reportedly descended into chaos. Attendees have
complained on Twitter of disorganization, headliners backing out,
and inadequate housing in a “tent city.” Thousands of guests who
paid between $450 and $12,000 for weekend passes say they’re
stranded in the Bahamas as organizers arrange flights back to
A host of supermodels, including Hailey Baldwin and Bella Hadid,
had promoted the event on Instagram.
The festival was put on by the singer Ja Rule and Billy
McFarland, a tech entrepreneur. They launched the entertainment
startup Fyre Media in 2015.
McFarland previously founded Magnises, a social-networking startup
that charges members a $250 annual fee for discounted access to
exclusive events. After speaking to several current and former
Magnises members earlier this year, Business Insider
revealed that the startup had not been delivering on the
perks it was advertising.
Members recounted similar stories of not receiving tickets on the
promised timeline, having to rearrange plans multiple times
because of the startup’s scheduling snafus, and trips being
canceled outright, sometimes the day before they were scheduled
Several members said they had received unwanted charges on their
credit cards from Magnises, which in some cases took more than a
month to refund their money, they said.
Since its inception in 2014, the New York-based startup has
expanded to Washington, DC, and San Francisco. It now has nearly
40,000 members. The startup has raised $3.1 million in venture
capital since its founding, and it has been cash-flow positive
for the past year. It has 25 employees.
McFarland did not immediately return Business Insider’s request
for comment about this year’s Fyre Festival.