Last week’s much-hyped Fyre Festival, a musical excursion on a, “private island once owned by Pablo Escobar,” fell apart faster than a drunk sailor on a dilapidated dock in a hurricane.
But for many of us who have experience working in the music festival space, we saw this coming a mile away. For proof, check out the RS Article: Fyre Festival Disaster: Industry Vets Weigh in.
The amount of bullshit hype was probably the first clue that Fyre Festival was not all it was chalked up to be.
It’s also a good example of what Deep Creatives stays away from in terms of clients and projects. At the heart of great marketing and design is authenticity and this festival had none.
The over-hyped festival paid a handful of “social media models,” including Kendall Jenner upwards of $250,000 to create sizzle videos, buzz, and pictures for social media. Let’s stop here, and take a look at one of the official sizzle promos:
Here’s how the promoters put their festival into words:
Two unforgettable weekends of mystery and music, Fyre Festival is for those with uncompromising taste and a burning desire for adventure.
Set against the surreal island backdrop of the Exumas where ordinary rules don’t apply, Fyre ignites the best in music, cuisine, innovation and hospitality.
A closer look at the promos and the veneer begins to peel off. Instagram models were paid to sell a product that simply never existed. And to the legally trained eye, none of the models disclosed on their Snapchat, Insta, Twitter or Facebook posts that they were paid. Several class action lawsuits have already been filed alleging negligence, fraud, and misrepresentation. One lawsuit is claiming $100 million dollars in damages.
Fyre Festival tickets started at four grand a pop, twelve grand for VIP tickets, and reports of ultra-VIP tickets topped out at $250,000 circulated. So when the advertised “gourmet food,” ended up being soda, chips and cheese sandwiches, let’s just say it was a harbinger of things to come. If the uber rich thought that that was a raw deal, they went from the frying pan into the fire; disaster relief tents instead of beach villas, leaking roofs (it rained), feral dogs roaming the beaches, no running water, massive housing shortages, and um – oh yeah, a cancelled show with thousands of rich kids wandering around with no idea what was really going on. To add insult to injury, the event’s disclaimer states that tickets are non-refundable.
The moral of the story? Make authenticity a core value of all your marketing projects. Be organic with your ideas, connections, and affiliations. Save the hype for your fishing stories. But before I sign off – here’s one of the “famous,” Instagram models talking about the fun she had at Fyre Festival.