Fyre Festival was many things during its brief time on earth: in theory, it was a luxury festival set on a Caribbean island, sponsored in part by Ja Rule; in practice, it was a complete and utter logistical disaster; metaphorically, it was a symbol of everything wrong with capitalism. And now, our understanding of the fated event has been further complicated—in a recent interview for NME, Matt Skiba of Blink-182 claims it was the result of a particularly powerful hex he had cast.
Skiba, who says he is a witch and a pagan, told the publication, "I put all the electricity and energy in my body against that thing happening." He went on to say of Fyre Festival, "It's classist and racist, and then they decided to park a bunch of yachts with models to show off in front of those poor people, going down there with all your Ferraris and bullshit and yachts."
"I used my witchy ways and it seemed to work," he finished. "I'll take responsibility, and everyone can blame me."
But can we truly blame—or credit—Skiba for the fall of this millennial tower of Babel? According to several witches we spoke to, no. According to reports, the festival had been doomed since the moment of its inception; people who worked at the festival later reported that the guy who put the festival together, Billy McFarland, was disorganized, didn't pay artists, and blindly drove forward with the project even though construction on the island wasn't even underway with only a month to go before the festival.
Damon Stang, a traditional witch who lives in New York, calls Skiba's comments "utterly absurd." The festival "was destroyed by fraud and bad planning," he says, "which honestly started months before the festival and is not something he could have possibly held influence over."
Others expressed skepticism over Skiba's purported powerful magical abilities. "If Blink-182 was any good at witchcraft there would have been a point in their career where they weren't a laughingstock," says Arthur Lipp Bonewits, a professional psychic. (In Skiba's defense, he only joined the band in 2015.)
Some took issue with Skiba's desire to punish the festival's promoters without considering what the consequences of such a magical action would be. "This fiasco has impacted the lives and finances of people local to Exuma who were promised compensation for their donated time and resources," Stang said, "so even if his 'witchcraft' worked, it would make him a giant towering asshole with zero moral compass."
Sophie Saint Thomas, a writer and witch who grew up in the Caribbean, thinks that Skiba's comments about the ills of Fyre Festival had some truth to them: "The Caribbean is itself a powerful and magical place, but there are uninformed people that simply see it as their playground rather than a part of the world with a rich cultural history that demands respect," she told Broadly.
But while she generally agrees with Skiba's critique of the festival as being racist and classist, she does take issue with him claiming sole credit for causing Fyre Festival to go up in flames. "I'm not trying to discredit his paganism or witch abilities," she said tactfully. However: "I think the magic inherent in the island and locals themselves deserves more weight than that of one musician not from the area."