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Councillor on Fyre Festival island criticises Bahamas tourism agency

By | Published on Friday 26 May 2017

Fyre Festival

As the lawsuits continue to mount in the US in relation to the failed Fyre Festival, back in the Bahamas – where the luxury event was meant to take place – increased pressure is being put on the Ministry Of Tourism for its involvement in bringing the Ja Rule-backed venture to the island of Great Exuma.

As previously reported, Bahamas-based newspaper The Tribune recently interviewed some of the local businesses who were left out of pocket when the Fyre Festival collapsed just as it was due to kick off at the end of April.

Now the Chief Councillor of Exuma, Brian Strachan, has insisted that, while his body did give the necessary permission for the Fyre Festival to go ahead, it was the Bahamas’ Ministry Of Tourism which led on all the dealings and conversations with the event’s management team, including the other co-founder Billy McFarland.

Strachan told the Tribune: “We had nothing to do with this event. We made sure we kept our distance, because it wasn’t for us to take charge, but somebody has to now. Tourism took the wheel, so they [should lead] now [on dealing with the fall out]”.

The Councillor added that, when the required paperwork was provided to the island authorities by the Fyre Festival team, their main concern was the dates, because the start of the festival clashed with the end of the island’s George Town Regatta.

Strachan reckons that Fyre clashing with that event, which already stretches local resources, could have added to the festival’s problems. Though even without the clash it seems unlikely the Fyre Festival site would have met the expectations of ticketholders who had been sold such a luxury experience.

The Bahamas Ministry Of Tourism was quick to put out statements criticising the Fyre Festival as it collapsed over the last weekend in April, seemingly concerned that media reporting and social media chatter about the disastrous event was damaging the Bahamas brand. Though the government agency has yet to respond to more recent local criticism of its involvement in bringing Ja Rule and McFarland’s ambitious party to its shores.