After delivering a "luxury" festival experience so bad some attendees likened it to The Lord of the Flies, the people behind the Fyre Festival have promised much better things next time around. In a statement to Billboard, festival co-owners Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule give their side of the story, explaining how they decided to "literally attempt to build a city" on a Bahamas island, but were "overwhelmed" and found thing spiralling out of control after rough weather took half the tents down Thursday morning, leaving them little time to rebuild. They acknowledge that the "guest experience" was "unacceptable" and have promised full refunds to festivalgoers—and free VIP passes to next year's Fyre Festival.
"We have decided to add more seasoned event experts to the 2018 Fyre Festival which will take place at a United States beach venue," the statement says.Those who made it to Fyre Festival, where tickets cost up to $12,000, complained of chaos, food and water shortages, and disaster-relief tents instead of cabanas. On Friday, as the last attendees were flown back to Miami, McFarland, 25, told Rolling Stone that it was the "worst day of his life" At New York magazine, talent producer Chloe Gordon says she quit six weeks ago when it became clear that the festival would be a disaster. "I cannot explain how or why the bros running this festival ignored every warning sign they were given along the way," she writes. (Read more festival stories.)