Imagine, if you will, an epic music festival, on a beautiful Bahamas beach, in the Caribbean, promoted by beautiful Instagram models. Customers paying between $1,500 and nearly $13,000 for tickets will dine on celebrity chef-prepared gourmet meals, stay in luxury “geodesic domes”, party on private jets & yachts, schmooze with models & “influencers”, music artists, and celebs, while enjoying top bands such as Blink-182. Alas, this was not to be. This story was simply too enjoyable and amazing for me not to write about. Buckle up, #travelnightmare.
Complication: It’s really complicated
Scheduled for late April & May, this “luxury music festival” was anything but. Problems abounded, but in essence hundreds of concert goers were stranded on an island with insufficient or missing housing, food, music, you name it. It was a clown fiesta from beginning to end, with a whole host of problems below – not a comprehensive list, mind you.
- Bands non-existent, with headliner Blink-182 pulling out the day before the festival was scheduled to begin
- Delayed & canceled flights for stranded passengers in Bahamas & Miami after the cancellation of the festival
- Glamorous housing turned out to be nothing but disaster relief tents and port-a-potties
- Gourmet meals actually processed cheese on wheat bread, with bland salad
- Theft, baggage issues, security issues
It was amazing (and hilarious) to read about and while I am not one to judge, it was a terrible let down on the part of the organizers, and especially the promoters – famous models such as Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, and others – whose brand images are damaged by this fiasco.
Questions, So Many Questions
What went wrong? Who was responsible?
Reporters sought to find these answers. The festival was promoted by businessman Billy McFarland, who apparently has a “history of overpromising” according to the Washington Post and exercised shady business practices on several occasions. Perhaps those working with him in the future will do better due diligence on their business partners, so that they may avoid similar issues.
Rapper Ja Rule was also behind the scenes, promoting Fyre Festival. He posted a twitter non-apology apology, refuting the charges that it was a scam, and along with other organizers blaming circumstances “out of their control”. Not sure what circumstances those were, as nobody seems to have any more detail on it. Regardless, despite Ja Rule saying he “take[s] responsibility”, he still defends his role and really does take no responsibility whatsoever. Neither, in fact, are the models who promoted the event being accountable either, but rather disassociating from Fyre as fast as possible. The people need someone to blame, and like many others these festival organizers and promoters are shirking their accountability.
One interesting point – the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism apologized on behalf of the nation. I simultaneously do not understand and also understand this concept – they were not responsible for the incompetence of others, but definitely do not want it to impact their future business.
How could they not repeat this in the future (Fyre Festival 2018)?
Hire someone with a competent business mind and good track record – not hucksters and people with questionable business acumen. Get inspiration from experts in those fields – speak with bands, musical acts, chefs, and ensure their cooperation and materiel they need to succeed. Research comparables – learn from big artists & their tours, to know what production is necessary. Look at Warped Tour, Coachella, Bamboozle, etc. While they may not be exactly what you are looking for, use them as a baseline of operations and planning.
Answers & Conclusion
To be honest, I truly enjoyed reading about this, to see the indignance of others and social media backlash following the failed event. I hope to get answers to more of the questions asked previously. Since the event just a day or two ago, Fyre Festival has stepped up, refunding all the guests (although they need to apply through a form). Reports of guests hiring attorneys and considering legal action are interesting – I would follow up on those to see if they go anywhere.
Lastly, this eye-opening article from a Fyre Festival employee is an amazing tell-all, made even better by the fact that he did not sign an NDA. Check it out – paints an even better, more in-depth picture. Don’t let this stop you from visiting the Bahamas, I hear it is beautiful!
Featured Image is a beach concert from Pixabay. All Tweets attributed to the owner. Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which, should you click through and/or make a purchase, grant me a commission. Also, I only post in the best interest of my readers. Lastly, thank you for supporting my blog and my travels.
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