How to get a Festival disastrously wrong

On the face of it, everything about the Fyre Festival was going to be amazing. There would be some of the best artists in Rap and R&B performing, the finest food known to humanity and all in luxury accommodation in the Bahamas. It would run over the spring break to capture the USA’s annual vacation from College. It would be very exclusive, and everyone who was anyone would want to attend. It was organised by Billy MacFarland, a tech entrepreneur with a specialism in targeting the Millennial market. He was, in fact, a con artist. His partner was the Rapper Ja Rule. The whole thing was a complete disaster with millions spent and owed, and both men sued for millions in the process. If they’d had a Cheltenham Business Coach like they might have made a success of the event rather than resorting to finding ways to gain money illegally. What went wrong?

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The main problem was when MacFarland and Ja Rule landed on a small private airstrip at Norman’s Quay, the location for the Fyre Festival. They soon found out it was owned by a Cartel with direct links to Pablo Escobar. Rather than say, “thanks, we’re looking at some other options and will get back to you,” and quickly leave, they decided that this was perfect and fully in keeping with Gangsta Ja Rules’ image. As long as they didn’t mention Pablo Escobar in the marketing material, then all would be well.

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With money from investors, Macfarland and Rule began an aggressive and, it has to be said, effective marketing campaign. Supermodels and influencers were employed to promote the festival with claims of luxury and lavishness. Anyone who has been to a festival will soon tell you that it’s almost impossible to achieve this with the huge amount of people on site. Fyre would be the festival for people who don’t like going to festivals.

However, MacFarland mentioned that Escobar was the owner of Norman’s Cay, which was not true, and the owners pulled the plug. Left with just a few months to find a new place, the Bahamian Government provided them with an abandoned resort complex. MacFarland continued the Escobar story and renamed it Fyre Cay.

When people arrived, they were given a box of cheese sandwiches, and the accommodation was made up of government emergency shelter tents. To make matters worse, it rained, and all of the festival goers’ sleeping gear, tents and luggage were soaked, and the fun atmosphere was ruined.

The author is an expert on occupational training and a prolific writer who writes extensively on Business, technology, and education. He can be contacted for professional advice in matters related with occupation and training on his blog Communal Business and Your Business Magazine.