Fyre Fraud Wed, Jan 16, 2019
Earlier this week, I watched a documentary on Hulu called Fyre Fraud. Fyre Fraud covered the letdown of a super hyped-up music festival called Fyre Festival, which was scheduled to take place on the Bahamian island of Great Exuma over two weekends in April and May 2017.
Fyre Festival was organized (or disorganized) by entrepreneur Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule. It was meant to be an event that promised a huge lineup, gourmet meals, "glamping" in luxury villas, and more -- think Coachella, but 100x bigger. When guests arrived, they realized they had thrown thousands of dollars towards nothing. The artists set to perform pulled out, the accommodations were far from luxurious (most were just mattresses on the floor or FEMA tents), and the fancy meals ended up just being some cheese on bread. Spoiler alert: McFarland was sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to forfeit US $26 million for wire fraud.
What piqued my interest about the coverage of this festival the most is that McFarland managed to con millions of dollars from hopeful festival attendees by using social media influencers to promote something that really couldn't have happened. He made money by exploiting our generation's FOMO (fear of missing out) and made this festival the "it" place to be despite the lack of execution. I recommend watching Fyre Festival if you're in the mood to laugh about wealthy, self-image obsessed millennials or if you want to learn how not to become a successful entrepreneur. Though, be prepared, I did feel sympathy for both parties by the end of the film.
Netflix is also set to release a documentary on the same festival tomorrow.