Bahamas government distances itself from Fyre Festival
NASSAU, Bahamas – The Bahamas government on Friday issued a “heartfelt apology” to patrons who had travelled to the country to attend the Fyre Festival, a much-hyped luxury musical event with tickets costing as high as US$12 000.
“We are extremely disappointed in the way the events unfolded yesterday with the Fyre Festival. We offer a heartfelt apology to all who travelled to our country for this event,” the Ministry of Tourism said in a statement.
It said, “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 disorganisation and chaos”.
The festival was organised by American rapper Ja Rule and Billy McFarland and included festival and accommodation packages costing up to US$400 000.
The organisers postponed the festival indefinitely amid media reports of infrastructure and accommodation not being ready and a lack of security as well as cancelled flights and stranded passengers – many of whom took to social media to vent their frustrations with the event.
Performers like Blink 182, Major Lazer, Migos, Lil Yachty, Matoma, Claptone, and Le Youth had been scheduled to perform at the festival but then cancelled their performances.
In the statement, the Ministry of Tourism said that the organisers of Fyre Festival had recently asked the government for support for the private event.
“The Ministry of Tourism is not an official sponsor of Fyre Festival. Given the magnitude of this undertaking, the ministry lent its support as we do with all international events. We offered advice and assisted with communications with other government agencies.
“The event organisers 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 organisation 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,” the statement added.
In a statement on its website on the event organisers said “due to circumstances out of our control, the physical infrastructure was not in place on time and we are unable to fulfil on that vision safely and enjoyably for our guests. At this time, we are working tirelessly to get flights scheduled and get everyone off of Great Exuma and home safely as quickly as we can.
“We ask that guests currently on-island do not make their own arrangements to get to the airport as we are coordinating those plans. We are working to place everyone on complimentary charters back to Miami today; this process has commenced and the safety and comfort of our guests is our top priority.
“The festival is being postponed until we can further assess if and when we are able to create the high-quality experience we envisioned. We ask for everyone’s patience and cooperation during this difficult time as we work as quickly and safely as we can to remedy this unforeseeable situation.” (CMC/BARBADOS NATION)