A Real FyreFest Survivor Tells All

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We started at Miami International Airport, boarding a charter flight to the island of Exumas to attend #FyreFest, this music festival that’s so elite that literally no one had heard of it, but I had. Major Lazer and Disclosure AND MOST IMPORTANTLY BLINK-182 were playing, so this was my chance to meet Tom DeLonge. Goals. I was ready for beach selfies and pretending I know the lyrics to “Always on Time” aside from “always on time” (the part Ashanti sings) just in case I bumped into Ja Rule, who was putting all this on. And the Excema island used to be owned by Pablo Escobar so this was basically going to be Savages: The Rave.

I landed and a gaggle of straight-up Instagram models welcomed us. It was kind of weird when they sliced open an actual goat in front of us and drank its blood, but now I guess I know what’s in the tummy tea they’re always posting about.

Then they told us we weren’t allowed to go to our lodging and wash up. The organizers took us to what looked like a giant picture of luxury glamping tents and told us we just had to wait a tiny bit longer before we could go in. “Haha, this seems weird,” I thought. We asked them if we could have some beer while we waited, and one of them just said, “OH SHIT THE BEER,” before leaving.


At first it looked like our “accommodations” were emergency tents, like the kind you see people living in on TV after a hurricane, but upon closer inspection it was actually a bunch of umbrellas duct taped together. The “catered food” they claimed they were going to serve was a piece of ham between two dish sponges. And their side salad was a pile of shredded financial documents. At first I thought the dressing was Thousand Island, but it was goat’s blood? Not as tangy. Our luggage was dumped out of a shipping container, but because they didn’t bring any kindling or wood for the beach bonfire party, they lit the luggage on fire, which seemed sensible at first, but all my clothes were in there? We fell asleep to the smells of burning hair extensions and Nike baseball caps.

Then I found out that BLINK-182 HAD BACKED OUT. So I did too. I headed to the airport to see if I could catch the first flight out of there and maybe just go some lowkey place (Dubai?) instead. The Instagram models were long gone, but packs of feral dogs had appeared in their wake—and they were just as thirsty for blood.

THEN THEY LOCKED US IN THE AIRPORT AND SAID THE FESTIVAL WAS CANCELED. There were rumblings of revolt among the masses. Maybe we could rig up a trebuchet out of waist trainers?

Good luck getting a selfie or an Instagram story going because there were no charging stations on this part of the island and the other visitors all but mangled each other trying to secure the two remaining outlets. We all arrived as party animals, but this island rendered us regular animals. The funny thing is, five years ago today, I donated to Kony 2012 so I could get that cute bracelet and to bring back our girls, and now I felt just like one of those Kenyan refugees. Isn’t it ironic? Some people decided to accept their fate and just got wasted on the beach, as if that was the only reason they had dropped tens of thousands of dollars on this in the first place. The fools. I dedicated my time to escaping.



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