Fyre Fest's organizers struggled to contain a debacle that became a national punchline on Friday after leaving hundreds of customers who had paid thousands for a star-studded "luxury" experience stranded on a remote island in battered tents with little food and no one in charge.
They promised to get all remaining ticket holders back to the United States by 9 p.m. Friday.
In a phone interview Friday evening, the 25-year-old tech entrepreneur behind the festival, Billy McFarland, called the previous 24 hours the "worst day of my life" and described the fiasco, which reverberated across social media, as essentially an act of God.
"Unfortunately we were hit by a storm early Thursday morning that caused some damage to half our tent housing and busted pipes and delayed flights that were arriving to the point where we weren't comfortable in our ability to resolve it, and we decided to postpone the festival," McFarland said.
He did not address the "villa" housing, which was sold on the website, but did not appear to exist.
He promised all guests would be "refunded in full" and promised free VIP tickets to a 2018 Fyre Festival, which he says will be held somewhere in the United States with a portion of proceeds donated to the Bahamian Red Cross He said he planned to donate $1 per ticket, though in another interview the same day he said $1.50.
The apology capped a 48-hour period where well-heeled millennials took to Instagram and Twitter to document failed logistics that left them stranded on tarmacs, wandering around a half-built festival, and at least in one case, locked in a Bahamas airport overnight.
Fyre Festival was intended to be a "once in a lifetime musical experience," where revelers could mingle with models and hunt for treasure on jet skis in between big-name artists' sets on a "remote and private island" in the Bahamas.
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