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Fyre Festival turns into hot mess for attendees

Organizers: "We thought we were ready, but..."
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Posted at 8:51 AM, Apr 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-29 12:21:09-04

(KGTV) - The Fyre Festival was supposed to have it all: delicious food, top-shelf musical performances, an island paradise backdrop.

Some attendees shelled out upwards of $12,000 to fly down to Exumas, in the Bahamas, and see performances by Major Lazer, Blink-182, Migos, and Lil Yachty to name a few. More than 700 flights were chartered to bring guests to the island from Miami, Fla. 

But what unfolded Thursday and Friday was "chaos," according to one attendee:

Attendees have reported arriving at a half-built city of tents, grounds in mid-constructions, and lackluster accommodations.

"We thought we were ready, but then everyone arrived," festival organizers wrote in a statement. "The team was overwhelmed. The airport was jam packed. The buses couldn’t handle the load. And the wind from rough weather took down half of the tents on the morning our guests were scheduled to arrive."

The festival was set to be built from the ground up, as organizer attempted to build a small city on an island, complete with water and waste management, an ambulance, and shuttled flight accommodations from the U.S. 

Those who flew to the Bahamas to attend have documented their experiences online - thoroughly. Scenes of confusion and disorganization on the festival's ground showed the breakdown in what could have been.

"The response to the postponement was immediate and intense. We had no other options, so we began the process of getting guests quickly and safely back to Miami, which continued through the weekend," the festival continued.

The event's co-founder, rap star Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, took to Twitter to try and calm the masses over the festival's disaster.

"I wanted this to be an amazing event it was not a scam as everyone is reporting," the artist posted. "I don't know how everything went so left but I'm working to make it right by making sure everyone is refunded."

Since the backlash, organizers have vowed to make things right with this year's attendees, promising full refunds and free VIP passes to next year's attempt, which will take place "at a United States beach venue." They also pledge to make a "considerable donation" to the Bahamas Red Cross Society.

"Seasoned event experts" are being sought to organize 2018's festival.

The festival said they've also received an "overwhelming" response from the musical community to help make sure the festival is a success next time around.

"The support from the musical community has been overwhelming and we couldn’t be more humbled or inspired by this experience. People were rooting for us after the worst day we’ve ever had as a company," organizers said.

Mark Saunders is a KGTV digital producer. Follow him on Twitter at @10NewsSaunders.