Attendees weren’t the only ones scammed at the Fyre Festival, so were many of the contract employees.
The Fyre Festival was an elite music festival located in the Bahamas which targeted the wealthiest of music fans. Tickets cost upwards of $12,000 and promoters promised a luxurious experience unlike anything before. Word spread quickly thanks to a media campaign that starred well-known models and celebrities.
There were early signs of disaster and bands that had given a verbal commitment began to back out. There was no way the festival site would be ready in time but still, the organizers pushed forward. For the attendees who arrived first, what they found was nothing like what they were promised. Instead of luxury tents, there were rain-soaked, rickety tents. There were cheese sandwiches instead of upscale meals. And instead of models and celebrities, there were waitresses serving mass quantities of cheap shots. People were liquored up and angry. One festival-goer likened it to a Lord of Flies situation for rich, college kids.
All of the press after the event went to Billy McFarland, the event creator, and the rich kids who lost out on a memorable weekend. No one stopped to consider the employees or locals establishments. Those who traveled on their own dime expected to recoup travel costs and turn a profit. And those local establishments who lent services expected the promoters to pay what was owed. Unfortunately, most employees and local establishments will never see a dime.
Watch as VICE interviews one performer employee. The interview alludes to how much damage the festival did to the lives of those who planned to work the event: