Exclusive London 'Dîner en Blanc' descends into 'Fyre Festival'-esque disaster

Diner en Blanc in London
Images from the event paint a chaotic, miserable picture. Photo credit: Twitter/Nick Petrie.

An exclusive and "glamourous" London dinner party descended into a muddy, chaotic disaster, with one attendee describing it as "our very own Fyre Festival". 

The "chic picnic" Dîner en Blanc started in Paris in 1988 and now takes place annually in more than 70 locations around the world.

The dinner is typically characterised with a top-secret, high profile location released to guests at the last minute, and an entirely white dress code. Previous locations have included the Sydney opera house, the Eiffel Tower and Auckland's own Eden Park. 

However, at this year's London contingent, revellers who paid upwards of NZ$200 for a ticket were reportedly made to wait hours in a "boggy field", before being let into a cramped marquee for disappointing hampers and fake champagne. 

Attendee Gareth Davies told the Daily Mail, "Usually these things are at the Eiffel Tower, or Hyde Park or Sydney Opera House, so being in London we were expecting something iconic.

"Where did we end up? A smelly, dangerous tent in the middle of Battersea Park with one toilet for 500 people."

Guests took to social media to document their own disastrous evenings. Nick Petrie, Deputy Head of Digital for the Times, tweeted about his abysmal experience.

"So Dinner En Blanc London has been a total shitshow," he wrote. "Three hours of queuing for a 'stunning' London location... and this 'Classic' hamper. 

"Such a shame as everyone here who has been to other ones say how well put together they are."

In a following tweet, Petrie added, "Ladies and gents. I could not make this up. The power keeps cutting out. Music or lights. Can't have both. Not convinced how safe this all is." 

Another attendee posted photos on Twitter of hordes of guests, dressed all in white, waiting in the muddy park to get let in. 

"Massive let down at #DinerEnBlanc. Been standing in the cold for ages. Almost three hours since the meeting time and still not started," she wrote. 

Disappointed guest Amy Parry took to the event's Facebook page to dub it "our very own local Fyre Festival", comparing it to the disastrous and fraudulent "luxury" music festival which was the subject of a Netflix documentary earlier this year. 

"Last night was the most underwhelming, over-priced and disorganised event I have ever been to," she wrote, describing a long wait and disappointing bus ride. "So disappointed. Will be seeking a refund for goods both misrepresented and undelivered."

At the time of publishing, Dîner en Blanc has not responded to the controversy.