Fyre Failure

The fire from the aftermath of Fyre Festival is very much still ablaze. While the Fyre Festival was indeed a Fyre Failure, there is much that we can take away from the series of events that unfolded. The biggest takeaway from the situation is the power of social media, particularly how influencers and celebrities use their platforms for selfish purposes that can be dangerous to followers. Without the massive promotion by supposed headliners and supermodels, the Fyre Festival would have likely never even happened.

For those that aren’t familiar with the festival (do you live under a rock…?), Fyre Festival was a 2016 failed music festival in the Bahamas that was supposed to be an even bigger “Coachella.” Concert goers were told they were going to a luxury music festival on a private island with some of the biggest headliners in music and perks like fine dining and villas. The festival ended up being a complete fraud scheme: attendees were packed like sardines in flimsy tents, almost all of the music talent dropped out, and the food looked like “hot lunch.” People are comparing the festival to a scene from “Lord of the Flies” - that’s how barbaric and unglamorous it was. You’re probably wondering how this ever happened.

Influencers with huge social media followings such as Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski and Hailey Baldwin were a vital part in the rise of the festival. Not only were the supermodels were filmed scampering in crystal-clear ocean water in the Bahamas, but they also promoted the festival heavily on social media. They essentially created an idealized image of festival that was never going to happen - and people believed it. This goes to show the potential problems that come with influencer marketing, as influencers sign up to promote products and brands that they have very little knowledge about. As a result, their followers are subjected to misleading information about products that can potentially harm them.

Usually, harmful products promoted through influencer marketing go unnoticed. However, with the clout of the Fyre Festival, the drama is not over yet for the influencers involved. Individuals that took part in the commercial promotion, mostly supermodels, are expected to receive subpoenas in the lawsuit against the founder.

The disaster that came out of this situation is a lesson to both influencers and to consumers at large. Influencers need to be much more careful about the brands and products they choose to promote and consumers need to be smarter about who they trust. There were a lot of signs that Fyre Festival was not legitimate or feasible, but concertgoers overlooked those signs and trusted their favorite celebrities. If you haven’t already seen the documentaries “Fyre Fraud” on Hulu and “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” on Netflix, be sure to check them out.