by Lisa A. Grimaldi | May 01, 2017
Following the controversy and bad press surrounding the canceled Fyre Festival - billed as a multiday music, art and culture party on the island of Exuma in the Bahamas - the Bahamian Ministry of Tourism has issued an apology. The event, organized by rapper Ja Rule, offered tickets ranging from $500 to $12,000 and promised attendees gourmet food, luxury accommodations and A-list music acts. Following scathing social-media and press reports of disorganization and amenities falling well short of those advertised, the organizers canceled the festival this past Friday, just as the event was to officially begin. The ministry released the following statement in reaction:
"We are extremely disappointed in the way the events unfolded yesterday with the Fyre Festival. We offer a heartfelt apology to all who traveled to our country for this event.  
"Tourism is our number-one industry, and it is our aim to deliver world-class experiences and events. Hundreds of visitors to Exuma were met with total disorganization and chaos.   
"The organizers of Fyre recently asked the Ministry of Tourism for support for their private event. The Ministry of Tourism is not an official sponsor of Fyre Festival. Given the magnitude of this undertaking, the MOT lent its support as we do with all international events. We offered advice and assisted with communications with other government agencies. 
"The event organizers assured us that all measures were taken to ensure a safe and successful event, but clearly they did not have the capacity to execute an event of this scale. A team of Ministry of Tourism representatives is on the island to assist with the organization of a safe return of all Fyre Festival visitors. It is our hope that the Fyre Festival visitors would consider returning to the islands of the Bahamas in the future to truly experience all of our beauty."