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Culture > News

Fantasy Meets Fraud: Fyre Festival

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PS Behrend chapter.

Did you ever get to see Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowsi chilling in the Bahamas, having fun on a yacht and being carefree all over your social media feed? Where you also shocked when you found out that they were promoting an exclusive, luxurious music festival, Fyre Festival, that was organized by Billy McFarland and Rapper Ja Rule? Where you even more shocked when you found out the outrageous ticket prices!? Yeah, same here.


The director of the festival, McFarland, wanted the festival to be as popular as festivals like Coachella and Woodstock, except in a more luxurious way. The only problem was that this festival was poorly planned. McFarland fooled everyone, his investors, his employees, and made them believe 


Everything that went wrong with Fyre Festival:

  • McFarland got banned from the original island where the festival was going to happen because he marketed it as “Pablo Escobar’s’” Island. This was true, but the current owners didn’t want it advertised as that. Because of this, he had to relocate to a different island. It took several different attempts to find an island that would host a large music festival. They finally found one on Great Exuma. Days before the festival they used FEMA tents with twin sized beds inside to house guests.
  • Top influencers were invited and got paid to advertise for Fyre Festival on Pablo Escobar island. They shot many promotional videos as apart of the festivals campaign. They were also used to post pictures on their Instagrams which was at least $1 million per post. During this time, they were often verbally harassed and told to do “uncomfortable” things by the producers, Ja Rule and McFarland.
  • This festival promised to have famous artists such as Migos, Tyga, Desiigner, Lil Yachty, Blink-128, and many other artists. Upon the guest’s arrival, NONE of the artists showed up.
  • A total of 5,000 tickets were sold to the public. Many of these people were Instagram and Youtube influences. These 5,000 people were expecting catering, luxurious housing, and music artists. Fyre Festival had NONE of these things. Upon arrival, many guests were left without food, water, and housing. People went crazy, stealing beds, ripping tents apart. Not to mention it rained so everyone and their belongings were DRENCHED.



McFarland cheated so many investors out of MILLIONS and received 8 lawsuits resulting in over $100,000,000 in charges. Along with these charges he was sentenced to a total of six years in prison but was bailed out. After he was bailed out he did some sketchy things with the e-mail list from Fyre Festival. He tried to scam people with “VIP” and “backstage” tickets to A-list artists concerts. He was found out and everyone just felt sorry for him at that point.


Image Source(s): Google Images, Giphy

Elisa DeHoyos

PS Behrend '19

My name is Eilsa DeHoyos.  I'm 21 years old and I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. I'm double majoring in International Business and Marketing. I enjoy my pet ferret Nala, eating ice cream and hanging out with friends. I like to write about a variety of topics. ❤️
Andrea Gáez

PS Behrend '19

From Panama.xx