LOOK: SEA Games 2019 mishaps likened to failed Fyre Festival

JR Isaga

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LOOK: SEA Games 2019 mishaps likened to failed Fyre Festival
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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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And yes, this was also the case with Fyre.

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.

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

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

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