I Survived Fyre Festival: Exactly How the Mayhem Unfolded (Tents Were Set on Fire!)
Festivalgoer Brett Linkletter recounts his Fyre Festival experience exclusively to PEOPLE
Fyre Festival was supposed to be a weekend in paradise with “the best in food, art, music and adventure” for partygoers willing to shell out up to $250,000. But when attendees landed in Fyre Cay, all they found was chaos — no luxurious housing, no gourmet meals and no musical acts. Festival-goer Brett Linkletter — who says he was lucky enough to get off the island early Friday — exclusively recounted his disastrous experience to PEOPLE writer-reporter Nicole Sands.
Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. You would see one thing go wrong and then more would go wrong. They were supposed to fly over 6,000 people and they only got maybe 1,500 people there because it got way too sketchy. It felt like we were the last ones to make it on a plane. The earliest flight had come in at 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning, and my friends and I had heard that everyone on the island couldn’t go to “The Village” yet, but that was all we knew before arriving in the Bahamas. Apparently, they wouldn’t let everyone into the festival at that point, so they were holding everyone in this halfway house with an open bar to try to get them all hyped up, so no one knew what was happening. That’s all we knew then. We just thought we were going to walk into this little halfway house party, and then once the place was ready, we would get to our beach houses.
Once we got there, we first had to stay at the halfway house. We partied there for a little bit, had some shots, even got on stage with the deejay and then we finally got on a shuttle from there to the location of the festival. It was absolute chaos the second we got there. It got late and they started bussing people there. Whenever something would go wrong, they would just refer back to the open bar. At one point, one of the partners of the festival Billy McFarland was standing on a table trying to calm everyone down, but the people were just screaming over him.
There was a makeshift concierge tent where someone was supposed to show you to your room, but no one was there. We went to our “beach lodges/cabanas” that turned out to be sketchy little tents held up by pipes. You were supposed to be assigned a room when you got there, but obviously no one got assigned a room and there were people fighting for tents because there weren’t enough places to sleep.
People just started running after tents trying to lock down a location to sleep; everyone was searching, but everything was taken and it was just insane. Most of the rooms didn’t even have beds with sheets on them or pillows. Someone even lit their tent on fire because they were so pissed. From a girl’s perspective, it’s kind of sketchy because the tents don’t lock up, they’ve very janky, everyone’s drunk — it’s just not a safe environment at all.
Not to mention, they had these little makeshift lockers every 100 yards or so; people were kicking them in, and they fell over. It wasn’t even a real thing. It was insane. I didn’t get anything stolen and none of my friends did, but I could totally see that happening.
That was last night. This morning was even worse. The food there was so bad it was insane, and breakfast this morning was Eggo waffles, cinnamon rolls and room temperature coffee. To make the best out of a horrible situation, we literally grabbed hold of a golf cart and the tire popped, and we were just driving this golf cart with three tires around.
We just wanted to get off the island and that’s it. People are crowding the airports right now just trying to figure out how to get off. People are actually stuck on the island, but I just happened to meet two girls who had a private jet coming back. They saved our lives.