RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — What was supposed to be a luxury weekend on an island off the Bahamas — complete with world famous models and a list of music acts — ended up in complete chaos.
A Raleigh blogger attended the event and documented the entire experience.
When William Needham Finley IV, who real name is Seth Crossno, and his friends booked their tickets for Fyre Festival, they were expecting the trip of a lifetime.
“We came across this private island getaway with a private jet that will take you to the island and there will be a million-dollar treasure hunt and a list of acts that would perform,” Finley said.
They got an unforgettable experience, but not the way they were expecting.
Organizers of the ill-fated Fyre Festival multiday party promised “an invitation to let loose and unplug with the likeminded” on the Bahamian island of Exuma.
“It was very far from being finished, the setup of it. There were boxes and trucks all over the place and it was chaotic and unorganized. We knew that this wasn’t gonna be fixed in the next few hours,” Finley said.
Finley spent $4,000 on the ticket which included airfare, concert tickets, food, and a four-night stay in what they were told would be a villa with four king-size beds.
“The tents themselves I think are actually disaster relief tents, so it looked like you were on the set of (the movie) Outbreak or something,” he said.
Finley said it was a free-for-all and they couldn’t even find a tent to stay in.
“There was a shipping container and there were guests that were actually unloading this shipping container full of (their) bags just to kind of help each other out and there were no lights over there, so people were using their flashlights on their cell phones to try to find their bags,” Finley said.
Finally, they convinced one of the workers to get them on the last flight out of the island that night.
But, just leaving the island was an adventure for Finley and his friends.
“By 1:30 (a.m.) we were on the plane (and there were) issues with the manifest (so we) get off the plane, board it one by one. And then the crew had been on for too long, (so we) got off again at 6 a.m., waited for another plane and another crew.
Finally by about 10:30 a.m. we got back to Miami,” Finley said.
Party organizers canceled the weekend event at the last minute Friday after many people had already arrived and spent thousands of dollars on tickets and travel.
Finley says they’re told they could be eligible for a refund, but he is working with an attorney to make sure he gets his money back.
He says he wouldn’t call it a scam, but says the festival organizers put guests in a dangerous environment.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report
Here is a preview video created by Fyre Festival to promote the event: