‘Living like movie stars, partying like rock stars’: Fyre festival a monument to millennial naivety
The fallout from the Fyre Festival fiasco has been immense, with unprecedented levels of online schadenfreude contributing to a meme that just keeps giving. It also highlights the incredible power wielded by Instagram models in the digital age.
IMO #fyrefestival successfully showed that posting pictures of models on Instagram will get people to fly to a festival without thinking.— Kendall Schmidt (@HeffronDrive) April 29, 2017
Festival organizers have now doubled down on their outlandish promises, assuring all ticket holders they will receive full refunds in addition to free VIP tickets to next year’s event, which will reportedly be held in the United States.
“After speaking with our potential partners, we have decided to add more seasoned event experts to the 2018 Fyre Festival, which will take place at a United States beach venue,” organizers wrote in their official statement.
I have resorted to cannibalism. We still have food, but when else am I going to have the excuse? #FyreFestival— Daniel (@thechinface) April 28, 2017
It’s hard to imagine how festival organizers could top the unrelenting smugness and faux-exclusivity of an event that boasted packages starting from an eye-watering $12,000.
According to an archived copy of the Fyre Festival website, one particularly obnoxious package was available at a cost of $400,000, which gave eight guests the privilege of staying on the artists’ island, though in separate accommodation, for just $50,000 per person.
Fyre Festival’s official Twitter account has been reduced to a post-apocalyptic social media wasteland by a likely purge of the unflattering Tweetstorm that followed one of the most epic fails in recent social media memory.
One of the world’s most exclusive gatherings couldn’t even compete with the oft-derided Juggaloo movement.
Let this #fyrefestival debacle be a reminder that the Gathering of the Juggalos has run successfully for 17 years.— Geoff Ross (@geoffisfamous) April 29, 2017
Fear not, however, as the event’s official Facebook page has suffered no such fate, though the rabbit hole of smarminess in the comments section may take up a disproportionate amount of your time. In fairness, it’s hard not to laugh.
The true suffering of the #fyrefestival attendees begins when they get home & realize how much everyone enjoyed this.— Katherine Ryan (@Kathbum) April 29, 2017
Not to mention the event’s SubReddit, which has yielded some true gems. In one of the most trending memes to stem from the monumental failure, witty redditors were quick to draw comparisons with the ongoing global migrant crisis.
#fyrefestival: rich white people pay $12,000 to live like Syrian refugees and then complain about it on social media— mac (@imacclap) April 29, 2017
“I think we should do everything we can to help people. But America comes first. How do we know none of these people have been radicalized?” one redditor wrote.
Rich people going without basic services causes an international panic. Flint, Michigan hasn't had clean water since 2014. #fyrefestival— Comic Sans Defender (@TibiusReynolds) April 29, 2017
While festival organizers plan on making a “considerable donation” to the Bahamas Red Cross Society, many observers have been left unconvinced by their half-hearted contrition, especially in light of one damning article published online in New York Magazine by an alleged member of the event staff.
The author claims that Ja Rule himself gave a toast to the production crew several weeks in advance of the event, in which he was quoted as saying: “To living like movie stars, partying like rock stars, and f*cking like porn stars.”
As if that toast wasn’t nauseating enough, the author further claims that the event organizers were fully aware of the impending catastrophe awaiting the festival, but chose to brush it off.
“The best idea, they said, would be to roll everyone’s tickets over to 2018 and start planning for the next year immediately. They had a meeting with the Fyre execs to deliver the news. A guy from the marketing team said, ‘Let’s just do it and be legends, man.’”
For context, Ja Rule has also been involved in another less-than-reputable business venture directly targeting naive millennials: the Magnises credit card.