Holy god. Prepare for some tears of laughter, shock and pure evil as we trawl the internet to discuss the world’s worst ever festival- Fyre Festival. The once-popular musician Ja Rule teamed up with festival founder Billy McFarland to host what was meant to be the most exclusive, glamorous and expensive festival in history.

Fyre Festival was heavily promoted through Instagram by the likes of gorgeous and famous models, including Gigi and Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and even Kendall Jenner. With a hype reel and celebrity backing to follow, the festival seemed extremely credible and awesome. Heck, even the line-up and food halls boasted huge names, with those purchasing tickets to experience the world class chefs and incredible musicians on offer. And just so you know, tickets cost up to $12,000 US, so the stakes were obviously high. The price covered return airfares on a private Fyre Festival jet, luxury accommodation, a culinary experience and the chance to rub shoulders with celebs and models alike.

EXPECTATION:

So, I think you know where I’m leading you on this one. The festival was a total DISASTER. Disaster with a capital D. Actually all letters in capital it was THAT BAD. Punters arrived via a dodgy jet to a site in shambles. Feral dogs roamed around, luxury cabins were actually World Aid Relief tents (no word of a lie), and food was scarce at that. No musicians showed up, not even one. Luggage was thrown from shipping containers onto sand for people to fight over. Fresh water was hard to find, there was no electricity. This was more than a bad festival, this was almost a humanitarian crisis. With over 250 people turning up for the festival of a lifetime, there were so many questions to ask. What went wrong? How could this happen? Where did the ticket buyers’ money go?

REALITY:

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So, I guess we can both agree that Fyre Fest was an absolute appalling sham. And I guess it doesn’t reflect too well on my generation who bought into it via celebrity status. But if you’re wondering how it all got to this point and why the festival wasn’t called off weeks in advance, I’m here to tell you why.

Currently, festival founder Billy McFarland is facing pretty hefty charges with up to 10 years in jail time for pleading guilty to wire fraud. Essentially, the festival was extremely under-staffed, there were no project management and production roles leading up to the festival, and attendees’ funds went straight into Billy’s pocket instead of building the luxurious festival. Bands and chefs also pulled out of the lineup months in advance, but Billy made the decision not to tell his punters and to continue to sell tickets even though he knew Fyre Festival was a complete sham. To make matters worse, every single taxi and hotel in the Exhumas was booked out as the festival occurred at the same time as a famous island Regatta, meaning not one punter had a safe roof over their head during the disaster, and no one could catch a flight out of the city.

So, there you have it. The shocking, terribly planned event that was Fyre Festival. I guess nothing says ‘time of your life’ quite like some plastic cheese sandwiches and refugee tents, right?

HOW TO MAKE SURE THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN AGAIN:

  • Manage your finances. Hire those talented finance managers, account executives and brainiacs alike to manage your assets, cash flow, payments and quotes. After all, the gig won’t happen if your finances aren’t in order!
  • Hire the right team of creatives. Sure, it’s nice to have a vision. But having a team of creatives who visualise AND make it happen are the right people to work with. From production coordinators to stage managers alike, your staff are key to your successes.
  • Be transparent with your audience. If your planning isn’t going to plan, be open and honest with your customers. It’s their money, and they have the right to know what’s happening with it.
  • Deliver your expectations. That hype reel won’t live up to the hype if you can’t offer what you’ve promised! Set a key timeline, work towards ticking off goals and keep on track of your deliverables.
  • Work within your budget. There isn’t much point hiring that private jet if the island isn’t ready to go! Don’t splurge too hard and too fast. Get the essentials booked in and focus on the creative little extras after.
  • Prioritise what’s important and work back from the essentials. Safety, accommodation, food and staff are most important. Everything rolls on from there.