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The Truth Behind that Now-Iconic Photo of the Fyre Festival 'Sandwich'

It was a slice of sadness wrapped in fake news. Sorry.

Nick Rose

Nick Rose

When Captain Willard finally made it to Colonel Kurtz's compound at the end of Apocalypse Now, he wasn't expecting good food. When throngs of rich music fans descended upon the island of Great Exuma—into the heart of Millennial darkness—they were.

That's because they had forked over anywhere between $450 and $12,000 for a weekend getaway of watching Major Lazer, Lil Yachty, Migos, and Blink-182 live and eating fancy food on what they thought would be a luxurious, supermodel-laden island.

Fyre attendees were promised "a uniquely authentic island cuisine experience," with "local seafood, Bahamian-style sushi, and even a pig roast," but by Friday morning, reports of awful food began to emerge among rapidly, widely spread tales of hellish transport, weather, and living conditions.

Eventually, a photo of of a cheese sandwich would be posted to Twitter and become the physical embodiment of #Fyrefail, which now included rumors of actual tents being set on fire and looted. Much like the festival itself, the Fyre sandwich is sad, empty, and gloriously off the mark. Social media users were outraged at the sight of the sliced bread, processed cheese, and salad piled in a styrofoam container with no dressing. No dressing. The horror…

Starr Events, the catering company of famous chef Stephen Starr, was quick to distance itself from the festival or the sandwich.

But now, amid scam accusations, promises of refunds, a $100-million class action suit, and a very serious mea culpa from festival co-planner Ja Rule, we have another bizarre development. Turns out that the iconic cheese sandwich pic was, itself, a scam.

According to TMZ, who also called Fyre "The Most Epic Fail In Concert History," the sandwich was indeed served at Fyre, but only to festival staff. Guests "actually got awesome food," TMZ claims, adding that they were provided with "chicken, pasta, burgers and fries and salad ... not just a gnarly cheese sandwich. As for breakfast ... donuts, waffles and coffee."

Whether any of these things can truly be considered "awesome," or, at the very least, worth the price of admission, is highly debatable. What isn't debatable is the fact that Fyre was the Altamont of our time; a loss of innocence, a point of no return, and a coming to terms with the decadence and false promises of an entire generation, beautifully embodied in a sandwich.

Mmm, tastes like late capitalism.