'Literally Bread, Cheese, and Salad': How Fyre Festival-Goers Were Duped After Promise of Celeb Chef Meals
Attendees were expecting "a cultural moment created from a blend of music, art and food."
Those attending Ja Rule’s now-canceled Fyre Festival were promised “a cultural moment created from a blend of music, art and food.” What they got was decidedly a failure on all fronts—perhaps most notably with the food.
The two-weekend event in the Bahamas touted “a uniquely authentic island cuisine experience,” with “local seafood, Bahamian-style sushi and even a pig roast.” It was also allegedly said to be catered by Stephen Starr, the massively successful restauranteur behind New York City’s Upland, Morimoto, and Le Coucou, to name a few—but Starr and the catering company he sold in 2015, Starr Events, have confirmed with PEOPLE that they were not involved.
Rather than gourmet celebrity chef meals, guests were stuck with scarce amounts of supermarket staples. “The dinner that @fyrefestival promised us was catered by Steven [sic] Starr is literally bread, cheese, and salad with dressing,” one festival-goer wrote on a picture of his meal. (He later clarified that the salad had no dressing.)
Another wrote that there were “literally no words for how disgraceful” the situation is.
“The food services agreement Starr Catering Group entered for the Frye Festival was terminated on April 2nd, 2017 and since that date [we] have not been involved with or provided any services in connection with this event,” the catering company said on Twitter.
“After careful consideration, [we] realized that there were significant business issues that could not be resolved and would not allow them to deliver a premium food and beverage experience that met Starr’s exceedingly high standards,” they added in a statement to PEOPLE.
The state of the kitchen and “food court” appear to be dismal and potentially unsanitary.
The festival has also been said to be running out of the food they have provided. Those stranded on planes for hours have subsisted on snacks, and others have allegedly been locked inside without food or water.