Fyre Festival: Hellish inside accounts from stranded attendees
Those who shelled out between $4,000 to upwards of $250,000 for tickets to the “luxury” weekend concert in the Bahamas found themselves treated to “mass chaos,” flimsy tents and scarce amounts of food instead of the top-notch entertainment, private jets and gourmet meals they were promised.
“If you walked on that island right now, you would say, ‘This concert is in about a month,’” attendee William Finley tells PEOPLE. “There were air mattresses, boxes and shipping containers of stuff everywhere. It was just so unorganized.”
When Finley and his friends arrived at the festival, they found what looked like “disaster relief” tents set up for living accommodations, a shipping container holding their bags and picnic tables to serve as a food court.
“We were really excited because the island itself in the videos just looked incredible. It totally clashed and conflicted with this culinary luxury experience and all these things that they advertised,” Finley, 32, says. “When you’re paying [thousands] you just expect something better than a Styrofoam plate dinner.”
Shortly after arriving, Finley and his group decided to head to the airport in an attempt to leave the festival early — but crowds of other similarly frustrated travelers had the same idea.
“The mass chaos and total lack of organization really ruined it because we didn’t know what was happening. I still don’t know how we got off the island,” he shares. “My friend went into this house and said he found a guy and said, ‘I’m not leaving until you get me off of here.’ Somehow we got on the plane.”
Though he made it onto the plane, Finley had to wait hours inside the airport because of delays.
“They literally locked us in with a chain because people kept going in and out,” he explains. “Some people passed out because it was so hot. Then they finally unlocked the door and let the air in and a flight finally came.”
Attendee Dylan Caccamesi, 22, is still waiting to leave the festival on a flight and shares a similar experience — saying it was “complete disorganized chaos.”
Caccamesi had seen the red flags prior to traveling for the concert — reports of artists not being paid and customer service not answering questions — but didn’t take them seriously.
The festival was billed to be the next Coachella, and the lineup included performances by Blink 182, Rae Sremmurd, Skepta to G.O.O.D. Music acts Designer, Tyga, and Pusha T.
“It was going to be a luxurious getaway,” Caccamesi says. “It’s definitely not what it was supposed to be.”
Blink 182 pulled out of the event Friday morning, and festival organizers postponed the entire event indefinitely.
“Truly, if we’re being honest, the whole experience has been pretty crazy so far,” he shares. “Nothing awful, but there’s a lot of reports that people were getting hurt, but that’s just not true. We’re doing fine out here.”
Caccamesi has been told he will be refunded, and says that he has had no problems with theft as some fellow attendees have reported.
“There was no real order to what was going on and where people were going to be staying,” he shares. “We were just being operated by Instagram models and being told this was going to be an epic weekend.”
This article originally appeared on People.com