When you ask most people about their music festival or vacation horror stories, they usually talk about forgetting sunscreen or missing their favorite artist. For the attendees of Fyre Festival who we’re promised a luxury music and culinary arts experience on a private island, they experienced the worst nightmare of all – paying an average of $12,000 and traveling hundreds of miles to arrive at a barren field with makeshift tents, no security or staff, sub-par food, and minimal cell service.
This festival, planned by artist Ja Rule and businessman Billy McFarland, was extravagantly advertised by social media “influencers” and models – this is where most of the festival budget was spent. Due to poor budgeting and planning, headliners like G.O.O.D. Music, Blink-182, and Disclosure had to pull out because they weren’t going to get paid. As the event drew closer, the final decision to go on with the festival rather than postponing or canceling it led to the disaster that soon came to follow.
In terms of Global Corporate Citizenship, the creators of Fyre Festival brought attention to an outstanding social issue and introduced its own environmental issues. With the reliance of social media icons to advertise the festival, the festival attracted a widely wealthy demographic. It magnified the impact of celebrities on our actions and purchases – the fact that an event of this magnitude occurred completely covered up by positive publicity shows how easy it is for social media to deceive us. In terms of the environment, the Fyre Festival incident greatly affected the tourism industry operating in the Bahamas and furthered separation between travelers to and locals from these islands. Due to the conflicts that occurred between attendees, minimal administration, and the Bahamian citizens involved, it will take time and effort to rebuild respective trust and the potential for future relationships.
I think that it was completely irresponsible of all involved with the festival as they could have canceled it any day up to when the attendees flew all the way from Miami – I am also disappointed in the fact that Ja Rule, Billy McFarland, any models involved (especially Kendall Jenner), or some of the artists have not released public apology statements no matter their involvement in the situation. It could have been prevented, and now that it happened I believe further action needs to be taken to ensure the attendees get their money back and protect the future of music festivals moving forward.