Organiser's reveal why Fyre Fest was a tragic cesspit

Festivals 05/05/2017

The organisers of disgraced Fyre Festival were unable to follow through on the promise of a luxury music event in the Bahamas because they overspent on yacht parties and Instagram models, according to a report.

Vice report revealed that Fyre Festival's chief organiser, 25-year-old Billy McFarland, had also refused to arrange several essential utilities, such as toilets and showers - and had also paid some staff with wads of cash rather than through a payroll system.

Fyre Festival was supposed to run over two weekends but proved so poorly organised that it couldn't go ahead - the Vice article suggesting that logistical planning for the festival didn't start until about two months before thousands were scheduled to be there.

Despite the promise of big musical acts like Major Lazer, Disclosure, Pusha T, Migos and Lil Yachty, festival-goers arrived at an unassembled site likened to a refugee camp, and to poor transport and food options and misplaced luggage.

Having paid anywhere between US$1000 ($1455) and US$12,000 ($17,465) for entry to the three-day festival, punters were made to wait outside the campsite and others had flights cancelled on account of the island being "over capacity".

And now it turns out that's at least partly because organisers blew their funds on an impressive marketing campaign featuring some of the world's most high-profile models and Instagram models - such as Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Bella and Gigi Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski.

An impressive video was created featuring some of them jumping off yachts, sipping cocktails and riding jetskis - while Jenner was reportedly paid US$250,000 ($365,000) for a solitary Instagram post advertising the festival.

None of the other models who advertised the festival on the app were paid less than US$20,000 ($29,000) - but only one made it clear their post was an advertisement, which has resulted in a class-action lawsuit against Fyre Festival on account of a suspected Federal Trade Commission violation.

In addition, McFarland is also alleged to have flouted local customs tax laws, tried to pin the blame on bad weather, and held lavish parties on yachts in the weekends leading up to the festival.

One Fyre employee Vice spoke to said McFarland would only allow males and models at the parties, and would regularly "talk about f**king b*tches and hoes in conference meetings".

Rapper Ja Rule, another chief organiser, has also been slammed for attempting to shift blame.

Festival-goers have now had their tickets refunded.