Leaked emails are now showing the disorganization of Ja Rule's Fyre Festival prior to the event.
Fyre Festival was a music festival scheduled to take place on a Bahamian island over two weekends in April and May. The event was promoted as a luxury music festival, but after experiencing security, food, accommodations and artist problems it was indefinitely postponed. At that point though, some festival-goers had already arrived. The organizers are now the subject of multiple lawsuits, according to the New York Times.
Three weeks before the failed fest, an urgent April 3 email with the subject line, "RED FLAG- BATHROOMS/ SHOWER SHIPPING" was sent according to Mic.com. Lyly Villanueva, executive producer of the festival alerted senior staff, including 25-year-old co-founder Billy McFarland and Fyre Media president Conall Arora, of the unexpected high costs of shipping enough toilets and showers to the Bahamas. The festival expected to accommodate 2,500 people on the island according to the report. The bathroom email came not long after the festival’s caterer, Starr Catering Group, had just pulled out of the event. An assistant on the email thread joked, "No one is eating so therefore no ones pooping."
Arora replied to Villanueva’s email, asking how many bathrooms were planned for the festival. Villanueva estimated that 125 stalls, or approximately 18 to 20 bathroom trailers, would be required to accommodate attendees according to Mic.
Arora suggested Fyre could save money by cutting that number in half.
"If we cut it in half, we would just have double the line wait? I'm seeing some sites that say we could get away with 75 toilets," Arora emailed, along with links to back up his idea.
"Please keep in mind those are calculations are for events lasting 8-10 hours with portapotties in grassy fields," Villanueva wrote back. "This is a 'luxury' campsite where people will be using this as [their] only source of relief for 5 consecutive days."
These emails are some of several thousand, provided to Mic, that were exchanged between festival organizers before and after the festival was shut down.
A lawsuit filed in May by festival attendees Matthew Herlihy and Anthony Lauriello accuses McFarland and festival co-founder Ja Rule of "false representations, material omissions and negligence." The lack of bathrooms and showers on the island is among the lawsuit’s many claims.
"The island was lacking basic amenities," the suit alleges. "There were no communal showers or bathrooms as promised; instead there were port-a-potties (only about one for every 200 yards) that were knocked down and only three showers although there were hundreds of people arriving."
After the festival was postponed, organizers issued a statement that said, "We thought we were ready, but then everyone arrived."