‘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? ‘I have no idea,’ says the host. ‘I’m hoping they were filming in the Bahamas.’
The year was 2012. In the Caribbean, the sun was shining, the sand was white, the waters were smooth, and the air felt thin without the oppressive weight of heat. There were thousands of people crammed into the biggest ever festival – three days of music, fashion, food, art, fashion, music, fashion and more. There were even celebrities – Rihanna, Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, and Lady GaGa. But this was nothing compared to the chaos that had brought about in the city of Miami, less than two weeks earlier.
In the space of a few hours, in an area known as Little Haiti, the Haitian city of New Orleans was consumed by a fire that forced the evacuation of more than one million people. The blaze was so intense that it had to be tackled with 20 water tankers, which sprayed water over the flames and prevented any buildings from being completely destroyed. The New Orleans Fire and Emergency Services had battled the flames for hours, and were only saved when a massive water tank was brought in to douse the flames. The cause of the fire was never confirmed, just like the New Orleans fire department was not able to discover any link between the fire and a single blaze in Haiti.
Miami was a city whose story is now on everyone’s lips. A city that has had numerous disasters, but whose residents had just endured Hurricane Irma, which left almost $200m in damage. As they stood at the edge with water being let into buildings, the locals wondered: why would the world see an event like this? What is the need to bring an event like this into the world news?
On the night of 29 September, two days after Hurricane Irma had hit Miami, the Fyre Festival had been