Fyre Festival organizers were deluded from the start
As has become increasingly clear, the Fyre Festival was doomed from the start. But even that verdict underestimates just how poorly thought out the event was.
Vanity Fair published the festival’s pitch deck to investors on Monday and despite the fact the actual event fell apart before it began — leading some to compare it to the “Hunger Games but with less luxury” — the whole thing comes off as something that would be too ridiculous for even the startup culture-lampooning sitcom “Silicon Valley.”
In 43 slides, organizers presented a cascade of meaningless gobbledygook that even those trained in the intricacies of opaque business-speak would find impossible to understand. This included:
Making clear that the entire venture is basically a new way to reach consumers without them realizing it.
Revealing Fyre to also be an app meant to fix the “broken” talent booking system.
Promising to reimagine the music festival going experience over the next five years by searching the planet for “untouched lands and convert them into unparalleled experiences.” This includes purchasing “significant land” in these areas to bring them “awareness, visitors and livelihood.”
Outlining a promotional strategy leaning heavily on Fyre Starters, a.k.a. social media influencers, including tabloid mainstays like Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski and Bella Hadid, to induce people to spend hundreds to thousands on tickets to the festival.
Making out the Fyre Squad — a group made up of co-founders Billy McFarland and Ja Rule and their fellow organizers — to be among the greatest business minds the world has ever known.
Closing with a quote from 13th-century poet Rumi: “Seek those who light your flames.”
The pitch is mind-numbing enough to make one wonder how anyone thought the failed festival would turn out to be anything other than a complete and utter disaster.
It’s also unlikely to help the organizers’ case that the whole thing wasn’t just a “get-rich-quick scam” if a just-filed $100 million class-action lawsuit goes forward.