‘It was an absolute Fyre Festival.’ Before Miami contestants were enlisted to save the world, another group signed up in Montreal. But where were the cameras? This, from a Canadian news anchor in 2014:
On Sunday morning, I sat alone watching the news in front of a television screen in my living room. I had been sitting there for over an hour, waiting for a special segment on the news. Suddenly, the camera’s zoom lens flashed around to reveal a small group of Canadians lined up behind me. They were in the same spot I was in: at my dining room table with my laptop.
Each of them was a member of a team participating in what was then a massive Fyre Fest party in the Bahamas.
And they were all sitting there in front of me saying the same thing: ‘It was an absolute Fyre Fest.’
I have no memory of having heard those words before, and for the first time, I realized there was a distinct lack of footage that showed the people who were actually there.
This was a major reason why the story was a big story, one that made the world pay attention to a single, seemingly unlikely event in the Bahamas.
All the people who were there told a different story. And this story was not the one that was told.
A quick history of Fyre, of course.
On the morning of August 1, one year ago, an 18-year-old boy, Billy McFarland, decided to take a much-needed trip to the Bahamas. As you might recall, this week was a holiday week for many young Canadians, and for the most part, they weren’t doing anything.
But Billy was doing something: he was getting a job at a company called Prestige Hotels & Resorts.
And while his Fyre trip was supposedly going to be an all-inclusive trip with his roommates and their friends, Prestige had other plans. The company had booked a luxury resort for a one-night-only event that included a beach party, a wedding, and a high-end performance by ‘The Weeknd,’ an artist famous for his hits like ‘Starboy’ and ‘Reminder.’
The hotel in question was called