LOOK: SEA Games 2019 mishaps likened to failed Fyre Festival

JR Isaga
From cauldrons to kikiam, netizens notice that the lead-up to the 2019 SEA Games is looking a lot like the infamous failed music venture, Fyre Festival

EARLY TROUBLES. The 2019 SEA Games draws comparisons to the Fyre Festival. Screengrab from Facebook/fyrefestival and Photo from ASEAN Football News' Facebook account

MANILA, Philippines – The 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games is currently in the headlines after a string of miscommunications, alleged overspending, and a general lack of preparation leading to furious guests and overwhelming embarrassment for the Philippines, the event host.

If that description sounds familiar, then you’re probably aware of a similar fiasco that became the talk of the town a few years back: the failed Fyre Festival.

As the first anecdotes of various football teams have come to light over the past few days, people online quickly compared the two different, albeit similarly-handled events.

{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Fyre Festival: I&#39;m the worst<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SEAGames2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#SEAGames2019</a>: Hold my cauldron <a href=”https://t.co/d4TK1JEe2z”>pic.twitter.com/d4TK1JEe2z</a></p>&mdash; Malacañang Events and Catering Services (@MalacananEvents) <a href=”https://twitter.com/MalacananEvents/status/1198732697272631297?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>November 24, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>{/source}

{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>gonna tell my cotton ball kids this was fyre festival <a href=”https://t.co/Q6zS0rl7pn”>pic.twitter.com/Q6zS0rl7pn</a></p>&mdash; Pami PH (@pami_ph) <a href=”https://twitter.com/pami_ph/status/1197656495699058690?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>November 21, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>{/source}

{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Can&#39;t wait for the Fyre Festival esque Netflix feature documentary about this shit storm <a href=”https://t.co/Ufo2OC2hrJ”>https://t.co/Ufo2OC2hrJ</a></p>&mdash; River Cruz (@RiverCruisin) <a href=”https://twitter.com/RiverCruisin/status/1198504353365016577?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>November 24, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>{/source}

To those who are not aware, the Fyre Festival was set up to be a luxurious, Coachella-like concert experience at The Bahamas islands organized by businessman Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule.

It was meant to celebrate the launching of Fyre, a talent booking mobile app.

After banking on promises of top-notch accommodation attached with an exorbitant price tag, guests quickly gripped the reality that the Fyre Festival was just not ready on the day of the event.

And that is exactly what greeted the SEA Games athletes and media as the Games approaches its November 30 opening.

For starters, the football teams of Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, and Timor-Leste were made to wait for hours for accommodation upon landing in the Philippines, causing missed practices and added exhaustion.

{source}<iframe src=”https://web.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fweb.facebook.com%2FASEANFootballNews%2Fposts%2F1009733926041346&width=500″ width=”500″ height=”694″ style=”border:none;overflow:hidden” scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ allowTransparency=”true” allow=”encrypted-media”></iframe>{/source}

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{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Myanmar football team coach Velizar Popov hopes &quot;everything about the organization&quot; of the <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SEAGames2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#SEAGames2019</a> &quot;to be better&quot; after encountering problems upon their arrival in the country. | <a href=”https://twitter.com/dioquinodelfin?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@dioquinodelfin</a> <a href=”https://t.co/tGYqEkVGMA”>pic.twitter.com/tGYqEkVGMA</a></p>&mdash; Rappler Sports (@RapplerSports) <a href=”https://twitter.com/RapplerSports/status/1198493032007364609?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>November 24, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>{/source}

As was the case with Fyre, concertgoers were made to wait on a Bahamian restaurant for hours on end upon arrival only to be carted off to the now-infamous site of hurricane relief tents.

{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Need to figure out a way to turn the Fyre festival tent into a costume <a href=”https://t.co/OJFQA5vazD”>pic.twitter.com/OJFQA5vazD</a></p>&mdash; Johnny Lieu (@Johnny_Lieu) <a href=”https://twitter.com/Johnny_Lieu/status/1097712060769611777?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>February 19, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>{/source}

Even local media practitioners complained of mistaken identities as the SEA Games media IDs were crammed to completion and messily distributed just this weekend.

Screenshot from Luisa Morales' Facebook

Day passes were also given to local and international media who had yet to have their IDs completed even as some games were already set to begin.

{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”><a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SEAGames2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#SEAGames2019</a> accreditation opened yesterday, November 23. But the media IDs weren’t available even though Polo, the first SEA Games event, will start later at 1pm. <br><br>We were given day passes instead. [1/2] <a href=”https://t.co/0yW1gbtWzW”>pic.twitter.com/0yW1gbtWzW</a></p>&mdash; Bee Go (@beebeego09) <a href=”https://twitter.com/beebeego09/status/1198420591172173824?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>November 24, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>{/source}

As the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) led by House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano scrambled to release apology statements and photo releases of completed sites, they were still hounded by more photos of unfinished sites that pop online.

{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”><a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SEAGames2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#SEAGames2019</a> Media Centre at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium as posted by the Thai media. This is unacceptable!  <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/2019SEAGames?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#2019SEAGames</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SEAGamesfail?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#SEAGamesfail</a> <a href=”https://t.co/LACIdxyMKW”>pic.twitter.com/LACIdxyMKW</a></p>&mdash; TwoCityTrails (@TwoCityTrails) <a href=”https://twitter.com/TwoCityTrails/status/1198849391458570241?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>November 25, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>{/source} 

{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”in” dir=”ltr”>Ruang konferensi pers cabang olahraga sepak bola di SEA Games 2019 hari ini. <br><br>Mengenaskan. <br><br>: Dipta Wahyu/Jawa Pos <a href=”https://t.co/ax5ZLfxaAf”>pic.twitter.com/ax5ZLfxaAf</a></p>&mdash; A. Ainur Rohman (@ainurohman) <a href=”https://twitter.com/ainurohman/status/1198845559844425728?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>November 25, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>{/source}

{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”in” dir=”ltr”>Filipina tampaknya tidak begitu siap untuk menggelar SEA Games 2019. Stadion Rizal Memorial, yang merupakan satu di antara lokasi pertandingan cabang olahraga, sepakbola masih dalam proses penyelesaian akhir dari perbaikan yang dilakukan.<a href=”https://t.co/RvxINiEsHC”>https://t.co/RvxINiEsHC</a> <a href=”https://t.co/12pfqIa0Ly”>pic.twitter.com/12pfqIa0Ly</a></p>&mdash; Goal Indonesia (@GOAL_ID) <a href=”https://twitter.com/GOAL_ID/status/1198806010204475393?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>November 25, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>{/source}

{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Scaffoldings and construction equipment surround the Rizal Memorial Complex even as the <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SEAGames2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#SEAGames2019</a> football matches start on November 25. <a href=”https://t.co/HA8o7YwSrv”>https://t.co/HA8o7YwSrv</a> <a href=”https://t.co/y4HXF4UtKz”>pic.twitter.com/y4HXF4UtKz</a></p>&mdash; Rappler Sports (@RapplerSports) <a href=”https://twitter.com/RapplerSports/status/1198397650195886080?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>November 24, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>{/source}

LOOK: Rizal Memorial still under construction days before 2019 SEA Games

LOOK: SEA Games skate park, BMX track race against time

And yes, this was also the case with Fyre.

{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>The documentary on netflix about the Fyre Festival is shocking – I mean, I worry about producing evenings of short plays in already existing venues &amp; they made people pay thousands for an empty building site!!! <a href=”https://t.co/EVx96DTuJg”>pic.twitter.com/EVx96DTuJg</a></p>&mdash; Karen (@ReallyMustYou) <a href=”https://twitter.com/ReallyMustYou/status/1093829209380872192?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>February 8, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>{/source}

{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Couple Visits Fyre Festival Site To Film Aftermath &amp; It&#39;s Still A F*cking Mess [VIDEO] – <a href=”https://t.co/emVMgzI8y7″>https://t.co/emVMgzI8y7</a> <a href=”https://t.co/fyJNqfOqc3″>pic.twitter.com/fyJNqfOqc3</a></p>&mdash; Whats Poppin Music (@whatpopmusic) <a href=”https://twitter.com/whatpopmusic/status/863060146175578113?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>May 12, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>{/source}

{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>anyone tried checking in with concierge yet?<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/FyreFestival?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#FyreFestival</a> <a href=”https://t.co/lSmtGDnsQw”>pic.twitter.com/lSmtGDnsQw</a></p>&mdash; Cash Cash (@cashcash) <a href=”https://twitter.com/cashcash/status/857835694747598848?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 28, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>{/source}

Even the food served so far in the SEA Games has been Fyre-like, as elite football athletes were forced to make do with kikiam, egg, and rice just before their games start.

Yes, kikiam. The street food.

During the chaos of Fyre, a picture of a messed-up cheese sandwich served to guests erupted through the internet and developed a following that persists up to this day.

{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>The dinner that <a href=”https://twitter.com/fyrefestival?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@fyrefestival</a> promised us was catered by Steven Starr is literally bread, cheese, and salad with dressing. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/fyrefestival?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#fyrefestival</a> <a href=”https://t.co/I8d0UlSNbd”>pic.twitter.com/I8d0UlSNbd</a></p>&mdash; Trevor DeHaas (@trev4president) <a href=”https://twitter.com/trev4president/status/857776562615308288?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 28, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>{/source}

As of publishing, “kikiam” was the second-hottest Twitter trend in the Philippines.

{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>They served KIKIAM????? <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SEAGamesfail?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#SEAGamesfail</a> <a href=”https://t.co/57FK9T69ml”>pic.twitter.com/57FK9T69ml</a></p>&mdash; uNIC #SOGIEEqualityNow (@trinidadnichole) <a href=”https://twitter.com/trinidadnichole/status/1198847538960297984?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>November 25, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>{/source}

All this occurred after PHISGOC chief operating officer Ramon “Tats” Suzara boldly declared that the Games was “150% ready.”

However, the organizing group has since mellowed down to just looking at the positives with their statements as the Games struggles to get up and running.

The Fyre Festival hullabaloo ended spectacularly with the now 27-year-old McFarland being arrested for fraud and the Fyre brand practically being abandoned in the fallout.

Currently, PHISGOC is locked in a race against time to make sure they don’t burn up and suffer the same fate mere days before the 50-million peso cauldron is lit. – Rappler.com