We Survived Fyre Festival . . . and Didn't Hate It
The following post was originally featured on Medium.
If you're currently alive, you've heard of Fyre Festival and what a sh*t storm it was. There are a bajillion articles comparing it to The Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, and a damn refugee camp, but what you can't really find anywhere is the side of the story of those few people who actually embraced the experience and well, kinda enjoyed it.
With that, I present to you the story of "The Great Eight who had a Pretty Decent Time at Fyre Festival."
Disclaimer: We know this is a bit overdue, but we legitimately needed a week for our brains to recover and comprehend what happened. And if you hate reading, we did a little podcast here.
DAY 1: THURSDAY (4/27)
#1: Getting To Georgetown
We were on the second charter flight out of Miami which was set to leave at 6:30am. The flight actually boarded and left the gate on time. It was too good to be true, literally, because we didn't take off. The captain came over the speaker to tell us there was a massive storm in Georgetown, the airport was flooded and there was no electricity on the island. Fun news!
After about an hour of sitting on the plane eating Lays potato chips from the flight attendants, we were cleared for take off. BOOM, Bahama's we were comin for ya.
You can see tent city down there if you look closely!
#2: Touch down
9:00 a.m.: We landed, holy sh*t, we were actually there. We exited the plane and were welcomed at a quaint little airport. We went through customs and were told our luggage would be taken to our tents where we'd meet it later. We all loaded onto buses that took us to a beach house to have some breakfast and a welcome toast. Sounds pretty fantastic, right?
Game faces are ON.
#3: "Breakfast" and the "Welcome Toast"
9:45 a.m.: The beach house bar was beautiful, looking out on white sandy beaches and clear water, we were pumped. They had a bunch of bagels, fruit, etc. for breakfast that we dived into.
Home for the day. VIP School bus in the background.
Soon after, the bar staff started bringing in cases of Whispering Angel Rosé and Casamigos Tequila, YAS! The drinks started flowing and since the flights were delayed, everything was FO FREE. What could be better, just a bunch of gals, eating some food, enjoying our welcome toast and about to be taken to our tents and reunite with our luggage . . . right!? Wrong.
Mountains of Rosé + Breakfast margaritas.
At about 10:30 a.m. some of the locals informed us that because of the storm we wouldn't be taken to our tents until 5:30 p.m. since they had to rebuild a majority of them. Uhhhhh. Yea, that's 7 hours without any luggage (except the one carry on bag we had thank god) at this beach house . . . We had a moment of WTF, but the Whispering Angle was whispering at us and we quickly got over it.
Getting whispered at.
#4: Keeping everyone happy
11:30 a.m.: It was time to embrace the day. Swim suits were put on, we parked it on the beach and moved onto round 14 of breakfast margaritas. To keep us preoccupied, a bunch of locals came up in their boats to take us around. We loaded up with the greatest captain ever, SHOUT OUT TO BM, and off to Pig Beach we went.
Pig Beach was supposed to be a little excursion sold through Fyre at $135 a person, so the fact we were all rushed over free of cost was pretty fantastic (and also proved they were in total damage control mode to keep people happy). We went over, cuddled some pigs in that beautiful water and it was just peachy.
Important note: Hot dog in mid air to the left. Pig feeding fail.
#5: A private tour brought to you by BM
1:00 p.m. ish: We left Pig Beach and BM was ready to show us the real secret spots. We had a cooler of water, beer and cocktails, and hit the crystal clear ocean road. We went to a private beach to frolic around and then did a little pit stop by Iguana Beach where we made a few new reptile friends.
Getting photobombed by Iguanas.
Let's all lay with this Iguana in the middle of us.
PRIVATE BEACH YO.
Then our last stop was to one of his friends bars/restaurants/houses? Really not sure what it was, but the guy was fantastic, made us bomb ass wings, local cocktails and we got some fresh fried fish, it was DIVINE.
#6: Back to reality
5:30 p.m.: BM dropped us back off at home base where there were now several hundred people. Hangovers were setting in and sunburns were starting to show. We enjoyed the hell out of those 7 hours, but we were ready to get to our tents. We had some food (plates of rice) and followed the crowds out to the parking lot to begin loading the buses.
#7: Loading Time
7:00 p.m.: This was the moment where we started to notice the ones keeping their cool vs the ones who started to panic. The divide was officially happening. Girls were crying, clapping their hands saying "Get [clap] me [clap] out [clap] of [clap] here [clap] I've [clap] been [clap] here [clap] forever [clap]," people were cutting each other in line, pushing etc, it was dumb. People also threatened to give them one star on Yelp. Straight up hilarious.
The workers were doing the best they could trying to keep everyone calm and load the buses. We finally made our way to the front, piled in a bus, and we were taken to the site.
Bizarre/Awkward Fact: While all the chaos of the bus line was in full force, there was a straight up ceremony with the Mayor taking place right next to us. It appeared to be a grand opening of a new house development behind the restaurant. There were about 20 people under a little tent and they were cutting a blue ribbon. Meanwhile, there's a line of hundreds of drunk slob kabobs standing behind and observing. Awkwardness USA.
#8: The Site
7:15 p.m.: Well, I mean it was . . . there . . . ? There was a stage, there were tents, a few bars set up, things were happening. However none of us had our Fyre bands (which held all of our "funds" for the weekend), so they told us to wait in line to receive our bands and tent assignments. This is when the true chaos began.
#9: Mad dash for a tent
7:30 p.m.: Four of the girls ventured out to claim our tents, it was scary out there. It was dark, there were rows and rows of tents and you just had to rush and find one that wasn't claimed yet. A majority of the tents were also soaking wet and the carpet had puddles, we liked to refer to them as "tent lakes," a pretty cool feature we thought.
But we did finally find two tents remotely close together and decided to move twin beds from other tents so we had 4 beds in each one. It was IKEA furniture, blankets, etc. Mission accomplished . . . and it was JUST like the luxury 8 person tent with 4 king beds that we bought into!
#10: Luggage Claim?
8 p.m.: Well, this was more of a freight truck on top of a dirt hill next to some porta potties with luggage everywhere, but we luckily found all of our bags with some help from our trusty iPhone flashlights. This is also when we started to notice all of the divas with their luggage saying "there's a flight out tonight, let's get the hell out of here." K BYYYYEEEEEE!
8:30 p.m.: We headed over to the "food court" to grab some much needed food and water. Which, let's be clear people, they had plenty of both. We had BBQ chicken, pasta, salad, apples and a dinner roll, we were well fed and hydrated. Far from celebrity chef status, but there wasn't a cheese sandwich in sight.
Lights out, I mean not literally because there were no lights in the tents, but we showered, lit a candle to bring the relaxing vibes and called it a night. Time to start fresh tomorrow with an open heart and accept the fact this luxury festival was now an island camping trip . . . which we were actually fine with.
DAY 2: FRIDAY (4/28)
#13: New day, new morning, new us:
8 a.m.: We woke up dying of heat and it took us about 15 minutes to even open our eyes in those white ass tents, but we survived the night! We tidied up, moved our toiletries onto our IKEA shelfs, stocked up on several bags of towels from the ever so inviting cardboard boxes and we were ready to take the festival by storm.
THE TOWEL CHECK! COME ONE COME ALL AND GET YOUR TOWELS!
We got into the mindset that this is now a camping trip in the Bahamas, easy enough. Time to finally see the site during the day, here's what we encountered on our walk to the "food court."
Home is where the heart is.
Our beautiful neighborhood.
The General Store where you could purchase anything your heart may desire!
The secure lockers to keep all of your valuable belongings safe.
Art Installations to leave you feeling inspired.
The stage where zero artists would actually perform.
Outdoor food court #GLAMOUR!
9 a.m.: Again, the food was legit and totally fine. We ate waffles, bagels, sausage, coffee, etc.
We then got the news that the festival was cancelled and we were legitimately bummed. We started topping our coffee's off with Kahlúa, people started handing out Catering shirts and we made the decision that we were going to avoid the airport for as long as possible. At this point we only had two stops in mind: 1. bar, 2. beach.
#15: Adopting Mitch
9:30 a.m.: People were dropping like flies and waiting in horribly long lines to get back to the airport. It left us with a wonderful group of individuals that were embracing the experience as we were. And then we found Mitch. Poor Mitch wandering around friendless on his own so we quickly signed adoption papers and he became our son. "The Great Eight" had officially become the "Fine Nine." And Mitch now officially had 4 new mothers (all the 29+ year old's in the group) and 4 new sisters (all the young whippersnappers in the group, like Mitch).
Mitch with his new adopted Mom's. We all held conch shells in honor of our new child.
#16: Margs on margs on margs
10:30 a.m.: COME GATHER ALL THOSE WHO ARE NOT COMPLETELY MISERABLE HUMANS AND WANT TO MAKE THE MOST OF THESE FINAL HOURS!
We'll be at the bar if you need us.
Bartenders were bartending their little hearts out and the fun began. We also hung a little speaker from the bar roof and started to play Blink 182 and Ja Rule in true hilarious fashion. Turns out they DID MAKE IT TO THE ISLAND.
At least they got the conch shells up . . .
Our crew also got a bunch of the infamous Fyre swag because we were troopers, we'll be wearing this gear with pride the rest of our lives.
10:45 a.m.: Some bratty monsters left this majestic creature behind so we adopted her, named her Crystal and took her to sea.
Important note: Panicked humans in the background anxiously waiting to get a car to go sit at the airport.
Crystal. Living the life she deserves.
#18: Beach time b*tches:
11 a.m.: Crystal (pun absolutely intended) clear water, free margs, rosé, water and food, it was a beautiful day people. And even Andrew, the damn near greatest human/bartender of all time, took some time off and joined his ladies on the beach.
We all carried down equipment to make our own bar, we tanned, we ate, we chilled. We found our very own Wilson volleyball and started a soccer game, it was exactly like Cast Away . . . but better!
If you look closely, you can see Crystal in the background soaring in the water like she should have been doing the entire time.
#19: Forced off the island
7 p.m.: Like, literally, we were forced. They told us the final flight was leaving at 10:30 p.m. and we absolutely had to be on it. We got escorted to our tents in golf carts, packed up our stuff, ran through abandoned tents to pick up free batteries, bug spray, water bottles, etc. and loaded the bus.
It was a bittersweet goodbye. And we all looked like cherry tomatoes.
#20: The Airport
7:30 p.m.: We stood in line outside for about 2 hours. There was a local little boy named Jamari keeping us all entertained, he had a frisbee and was teaching us all to walk the dog.
Delusion was starting to set in, but our crew was hanging in there.
We got a dabber people. And Wilson the volleyball also made it to the airport.
We finally got to checkin where we were given a boarding pass where we had to write in our own names and off we went through "security."
#21: The Terminal AKA- "Rock Bottom"
9:30 p.m.: There were about 80 of us in the terminal, we started dance parties . . .
. . . made prayer flags to decorate the airport with . . .
. . . played the bongos . . .
An actual visual representation of what rock bottom looks like.
. . . and straight up lost our damn minds.
#22: The Flight:
11:30 p.m.: The final 80 people on the island boarded the plane and we sat wherever the hell we wanted. Half were passed out, some were partying and the others were praying in silence for the madness to end and for a safe arrival.
1:30 a.m.: HELLLLLO MIAMI! Took some killer pictures for customs and somehow they let our group back into the country. One of our gals also left her passport in the Bahama's so we had a solid 2 hours sitting at the airport while she went through interrogations…cherry on the top.
2:15 A.M. CREW STRONG.
#24: Salvation/Pizza STAT
3 a.m.: Hotel. Pizza. Game over. Sleep time. OMG we can't move/talk/function because of how drained we are.
Mitch stole a Food Court sign which obviously came in handy.
Oh and it was only Friday which means, we had a full weekend in Miami ahead of us. We wore our Fyre gear as a badge of honor and that experience is an entirely different Medium post . . .
MORAL OF THE STORY:
Was it a sh*t show, absolutely. Were we stranded on an island with cheese & bread, no water, and locals stealing our belongings, hell no. The experience was what you made it, and for us, we had a hell of a good two days in the Bahamas and a pretty insane adventure we'll never forget.
Thank you to all the locals and volunteers who helped drive us around, cooked us food, served us drinks and just tried to stay positive and as helpful as possible throughout the chaos. We know there were a lot of attendees there that didn't make it easy (but just remember they got their payback by sitting in the airport all night sulking in each other's misery while we enjoyed the sunshine).
Oh and you bet your ass we're accepting those Fyre Fest 2018 VIP tickets. See you there.