Model and Instagram influencer Amanda Riley was one of the social-media stars offered Fyre Festival freebies in exchange for promoting the exclusive getaway. However, Riley didn’t make it to the Bahamas; in fact, she didn’t even make it out of Miami before she got word of what was going down at the festival. Luckily, she stayed put, but some of her friends didn’t escape unscathed. She shared her tale with The Hollywood Reporter:
I landed in Miami, and there were all these kids. It was all a bunch of really good-looking, super-excited people. Everyone was super-pumped, but suddenly there was all this controversy and all these rumors were going around about the festival.
We were at the gate in Miami, and we had all of our wristbands. And I started getting texts from a really good friend of mine who was in the Bahamas, and he said it’s an absolute disaster: “Don’t come.” And I thought, “Well, I didn’t pay for anything, and we were supposed to be in villas (not the tents).” And apparently, these tents weren’t even made. There was no air conditioning, the beds were soaking wet, and people were outside in the pouring rain.
I was getting tons of photos and videos from people that were there. For example, a photo of a Styrofoam box of chopped-up romaine lettuce, two slices of bread, and a piece of cheese on it that was supposed to be a meal.
One group on-site didn’t have their suitcases because they landed in the Bahamas and the festival staffers told them, “Oh, go hang out at the beach. We’re going to assign you rooms.” They were on the beach for six hours, with none of their stuff. And so a couple people found a local hotel and grabbed their bags. Other people weren’t as lucky and wound up without a place to sleep.
Riley is currently spending the weekend in Miami with friends, although it’s not clear if the Fyre Festival folks will reimburse her for her flight back to New York City or not. “I’m staying out of it because I’m kind of complete with it. My friends and family are safe. And I didn’t pay for anything. So I just don’t want anything to do with that company anymore or to deal with these people,” she told THR.