Life Lessons Taught By The Fyre Festival

You might have heard of everyone talking about the disaster that was the Fyre Festival. I really didn’t know the details of this music festival until two days ago when I decided to sit down and watch the documentary on Netflix. If you’re curious like me, then let me give you the run down. A Millennial Entrepreneur, Billy McFarland, decided to team up with rapper, Ja Rule, to endorse his brand named Fyre. This would basically be a site where either multimillion dollar platforms or just bored rich kids could book celebrities to attend their events. For promotions, Billy had the idea of hosting a Coachella-like festival on a deserted island in the Bahamas with only 8 weeks of planning and preparation. For reference, Coachella takes 12 months to put together so you can imagine what a wreck this must have been.

Hundreds of influencers, including models like Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner, were asked to do promotional advertisements on the island which, in their defense, looked amazing. Things started to go downhill when they were kicked off the island due to legal advertising issues and forced to move to an actual inhabited island. Billy and his team continued to lie to the 6000 people who had booked this trip (which cost around $2000-12000 per person) by offering them luxurious villas, water sports, cuisine accommodations and much more. The cold truth was, however, that there actually was no water, bathroom, shower, or proper food accommodations available. With the lack of help, props, and money, the team resorted to using leftover hurricane tents from Hurricane Matthew as their “villas.” When the people arrived, hell broke loose. There was absolutely no design or any form of organization for this place.

For Non-goers and Twitter meme enthusiasts, this became a gold mine. The Fyre Festival was compared to hilarious things like the Plankton’s Chum Bucket from SpongeBob SquarePants and a cartoon animation of the Lord of The Flies. So for further amusement, I have put together a list of lessons that this entire fiasco can teach us for the future.

1. Big Ideas Need Time

Billy only allotted 8 weeks for a music festival that was supposed to be the best music event of the decade. It goes without saying that it is not wrong to dream big, but it is important to be practical about it at the same time.

2. Not All Money Is Good Money

The models seemed to have jumped at this opportunity without doing their research. It is important to be ambitious but not at the cost of having your name attached to something with no structure or foundation.

3. Don't Get Caught Up in Someone's Charm

Billy was known to walk into a room and convince anyone of absolutely anything. I’m not saying that it is wrong to have a persuasive personality, but as the audience, it’s our responsibility to decipher the hard facts from the opinions.

4. What You Read/See Online Is Not Always True

This one is a classic brought to us by our very own parents. The thousands of kids that decided to spend thousands of dollars on this poorly planned festival definitely didn’t do their research. The answers to their questions were one Google search away. Just reading verified reviews on Billy’s business should’ve made them cautious of the false advertising.

5. Getting A Second Opinion Is Not A Bad Thing

During the documentary, there were many faces on the Fyre team that tried to warn everyone about the disaster that was to come. Instead of listening to their reasoning, Billy decided to wave it off as he was so confident in himself. If he would’ve just listened to those experienced people around him, he could have possibly saved himself millions of dollars and jail time.

6. Don't Make Perfect The Enemy Of Good

Even though the festival turned out to be far from perfect, Billy got caught up in the idea of it to the point where he ended up lying to thousands of people. It’s okay to want good things for yourself, but it’s also important to step back and take a breath because perfectionism’s flaw is its ability to be mentally deteriorating. 

7. Labor Is Not A Joke – People Deserve Pay for Legal Labor

This one has more to do with the people around us than ourselves. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to hear about people going unpaid for their hard labor. The people that got cheated out of their time in the Bahamas were depending on this income to make their ends meet, and it is disappointing to see these people being taken advantage of in exchange for their goodness.

8. When You’re Offered a Second Chance, TAKE IT

After the first time he was arrested by the FBI, Billy was let out on bail for $300,000. Soon after, he decided to send more fraudulent emails to those festival goers to scam them of more money. He had that time to make amends, but he was blinded by the incredible debt he had to face.