“We are extremely disappointed in the way the events unfolded yesterday with the Fyre Festival. We offer a heartfelt apology to all who travelled to our country for this event,” the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) said in a statement.
It said “tourism is our number one industry and it is our aim to deliver world-class experiences and events. Hundreds of visitors to Exuma were met with total disorganization and chaos”.
The organisers postponed the festival indefinitely amid media reports of infrastructure and accommodation not being ready and a lack of security as well as cancelled flights and stranded passengers.
Headline performers cancelled their performances. Festival organisers had promised patrons they would “provide a once-in-a-lifetime musical experience on the Islands of the Exumas” and had billed it along the lines of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in southern California.
In the statement, the Ministry of tourism said that the organizers of Fyre Festival had recently asked the government for support for the private event.
“The Ministry of Tourism is not an official sponsor of Fyre Festival. Given the magnitude of this undertaking, the MOT lent its support as we do with all international events. We offered advice and assisted with communications with other government agencies.
“The event organizers assured us that all measures were taken to ensure a safe and successful event but clearly they did not have the capacity to execute an event of this scale. A team of Ministry of Tourism representatives is on the island to assist with the organization of a safe return of all Fyre Festival visitors.
“It is our hope that the Fyre Festival visitors would consider returning to the Islands of The Bahamas in the future to truly experience all of our beauty,” the MOT added.
In a statement on its website on Thursday night the event organisers said “due to circumstances out of our control, the physical infrastructure was not in place on time and we are unable to fulfill on that vision safely and enjoyably for our guests. At this time, we are working tirelessly to get flights scheduled and get everyone off of Great Exuma and home safely as quickly as we can.
“We ask that guests currently on-island do not make their own arrangements to get to the airport as we are coordinating those plans. We are working to place everyone on complimentary charters back to Miami today; this process has commenced and the safety and comfort of our guests is our top priority.
“The festival is being postponed until we can further assess if and when we are able to create the high-quality experience we envisioned. We ask for everyone’s patience and cooperation during this difficult time as we work as quickly and safely as we can to remedy this unforeseeable situation.”
- Countries: Bahamas