Fyre Festival Goes Up in Flames

By Olivia E.

Fyre Festival; referred to as the “best party that never happened.” Two words: False advertising.

Both Hulu and Netflix recently released different documentaries about what really happened with the Fyre Festival. Each documentary gives viewers all the inside scoop of what happened through interviews with people who were involved in the making of the festival. The two documentaries have become popular due to the fact that many were blindsided this even occurred. Therefore, there has been a lot of talk between students at DHS who have expressed their opinions about their take on the festival.

In May of 2017, a music festival, Fyre, was set to take place in the Bahamas. Billy McFarland, a young entrepreneur, and Ja Rule, a well-known rapper, were the two founders of the festival. They both had this idea of having a music festival that would bring the “millenials” all together. Little did they know that it was going to take a lot longer than four months to plan and put together.

Alongside a team of professionals, the pair was able to make a promotional video for the festival starring some of the world’s most famous supermodels. They thought that having such influencers in the video would attract the public and make them interested. And that is exactly what it did.

Over four hundred different influencers were paid to promote the festival all over social media and within hours, tickets to the festival had sold out. These people didn’t know what was coming. Mr. Craft, an Economics teacher at Duxbury High School said, “There is such a fine line. The government does monitor what you print on labels and ads, but there are so many ways to word things so that it’s vague and has a gray area, you just have to know, you have to really know what you are buying. You can’t really believe the full label. You really are taking a chance when you believe an ad.”

Mr. Craft said, “Well it sounded like fun, it would be fun, I bet a lot of young people were looking forward to it. It was a good thing that it was in the Bahamas, so it was nice there. Since it was originally at this secluded island that no one ever goes to, so then there is not a lot of facilities. It sounded like a great idea, but I bet it quickly became messy when nothing happened.”

Mia S. said, “I don’t think I would’ve gone given that the advertising on social media was just an orange tile that a couple of hundred influencers posted. Also, the fact that it was just a website, there was no backing. I think I would be a bit weary of any music festival in its first year.”

Once people arrived to the festival, it was not what it had been pictured out to be. Mr. Craft said, “It’s funny because it doesn’t shock me. People go into these things thinking that there is nothing behind it and no planning and it seems like this guy just wanted to have this cool, fun thing going but he didn’t actually think about the realities of food, bathroom facilities, shelter. From what I read, it is a very typical story of some young person who is trying to plan something and it totally goes off the rails because they don’t know what they are doing.”

It wasn’t until after people got back home safely from the festival and things were left unsettled that it started getting out of hand due to the information that was uncovered about the making of the festival. Melina C. said, “It shocked me how the natives of the island in the Bahamas did all the work in preparation for the festival and then got completely screwed over due to the fact that they didn’t end up getting paid for any of the of physical labor they did all day, everyday leading up to the festival. Basically, slaving away outside in the sun and heat, receiving nothing in return.”   

Billy McFarland is currently serving six years in jail. When he is released he will have an additional three years of supervised release. Additionally, he will owe twenty-six million dollars in total between all the people he never ended up paying truthfully.

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