Ja Rule’s parter behind the disaster that is Fyre Festival has remained quiet, until now. In an exclusive interview with Rolling Stone, American entrepreneur Billy MacFarland confirmed what we all thought to be true–that they had no idea what they were getting themselves into.
After attendees were left stranded in Miami and The Bahamas, the festival, which was supposed to be headlined by Blink-182, Major Lazer, and more, quickly caused a social media blaze. Reports of disorganization, theft, and more have been flooding the Internet throughout the past 24 hours.
After Ja Rule issued a half-assed apology, his partner in #FyreFest crime has finally spoken, revealing that the two had virtually no idea how to plan a music festival. Not only were they (clearly) in over their heads, but MacFarland hopes to bring the festival back next year, offering free tickets to anyone who had to deal with this year’s edition.
Read the full statement below, and if you don’t believe us, you can head to Rolling Stone here to find the real thing.
Today is definitely the toughest day of my life. I’d love the opportunity to go through and tell my story of how we got here and how I see it now and where it’s going.
I was a computer programmer, and after computers, the two things I love most are the ocean and, for some reason, rap music. So these three hobbies of mine somehow led me to meeting my partner, Ja Rule. Together, we became friends and business partners. For us, it was always a battle of pushing the limits. Once we got flying lessons together, we got on these really bad 40-year-old planes and flew from New York to the Bahamas – not really knowing the Bahamas very well – ran out of gas and landed in the Exumas and both of us immediately fell in love.
We started this website and launched this festival marketing campaign. Our festival became a real thing and took [on] a life of its own. Our next step was to book the talent and actually make the music festival. We went out excited, and that’s when a lot of reality and roadblocks hit.
The Exumas didn’t have a really great infrastructure – there wasn’t a great way to get guests in here – we were a little bit ambitious. There wasn’t water or sewage. It was almost like we tried building a city out of nothing and it took almost all of our personal resources to make this happen, and everything we had, to make this festival go on. We thought we were ready and built two different festival sites.
The morning of the festival, a bad storm came in and took down half of our tents and busted water pipes. Guests started to arrive and the most basic function we take for granted in the U.S., we realized, “Wow, we can’t do this.” We were on a rush job to fix everything and guests were arriving and that caused check-in to be delayed. We were overwhelmed and just didn’t have the foresight to solve all these problems.
We made sure all guests got a place to stay and had a really long conversation overnight last night after everyone was housed about what to do next and realized we couldn’t risk the safety challenges. So that was the decision that we made — the first thing for us was making sure all these guests get refunded [and] all the vendors get taken care of. All the guests are going home, the refunds are being processed.
Oh, and this is not the first time that MacFarland has been involved in some highly suspicious business ventures. He’s also the man behind Magnises, a “social club” that offers what is basically a dressed-up credit card for a $450 membership fee. You can read more about that here.