Fyre Festival
April 28, 2017 8:37 AM   Subscribe

"The luxury party that turned into the Hunger Games." "Watching vapid, rich millennials livetweet the horrors of this thing brought me more joy than anything has in weeks." (from Twitter)
posted by My Dad (280 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
 


Do scroll down, there is other vital news.
posted by sammyo at 8:45 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Context?
posted by seawallrunner at 8:46 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]




Finally, something to trump the schadenfreude of DashCon.
posted by sgranade at 8:46 AM on April 28 [29 favorites]


I was waiting for this to show up on the blue. My initial reaction was to laugh at the marks, but now I'm just really angry at the con artists who promoted this thing. I hope the organizers get sued into oblivion by attendees and Bahamian civil authorities and that the soulless "influencers" who helped promote it have their brands irreparably damaged.

This Vanity Fair article published two days ago goes into detail about how the government of the Bahamas was on board with this idea and I'm extremely curious to see where the fallout blows.
posted by The Notorious SRD at 8:47 AM on April 28 [11 favorites]


Beaten to the post - was literally just compiling a post on this!

Here's the Promo Video

...and the marketing blurb.

One big hot mess.
posted by dogsbody at 8:48 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]






Was it a scam or was it simply incompetence? If it's just a scam, why build any infrastructure at all?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:51 AM on April 28




I assumed from the initial tweets this was satire. I mean, William N Finley the fourth? BLINK-182? The name "Fyre", even? (I didn't see any #tyrefyre hashtags, opportunity missed) but it seems to be an actual thing.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 8:56 AM on April 28 [14 favorites]


re-accomodated!
posted by thelonius at 8:56 AM on April 28 [6 favorites]




I mean, it didn't really turn into the Hunger Games. Not even close.

More like the More Than Slightly Inconvenienced and Conned Out Of A Bunch Of Money Games.
posted by cooker girl at 8:58 AM on April 28 [27 favorites]


Eat the rich.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:59 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


Eat the rich.
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:59 AM on April 28


If you are there, eat a conch burger instead... but probably not from their gourmet catering tent...
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:02 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


Was it a scam or was it simply incompetence?

Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from scammery.
posted by tclark at 9:06 AM on April 28 [177 favorites]


Spike Trotter - who has a fondness for documenting trainwrecks - has some coverage of some of the warning signs on twitter. I think this sort of covers it.

I kinda want to hear from someone who dropped the full $60k on the yacht package, if they exist.
posted by ocular shenanigans at 9:06 AM on April 28 [7 favorites]


I think Buzzfeed is the perfect venue for this story. The @FyreFraud account deserves kudos too; they started calling shenanigans a month ago.
posted by Nelson at 9:07 AM on April 28 [9 favorites]


I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the possibility of any of these people existing.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:08 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Was it a scam or was it simply incompetence?

I can't wait to watch Sean Spicer try to explain this!
posted by octobersurprise at 9:08 AM on April 28 [9 favorites]


I'm reading their welcome guides on Medium, it looks ambitious.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:08 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Not even close.

For one thing, no genetically-engineered wasp attacks and fewer archery-related deaths.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:09 AM on April 28 [13 favorites]


This reminds me of the time I went to a nearby "local wine festival" where they made you buy tickets in exchange for tiny plastic shot glasses of Sutter Home. Before long people were just throwing their tickets on the ground. Except this sounds worse.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:10 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


I have zero interest in ever going to any kind of event like this, nor do I have the disposable income to do so, but I'm not really feeling the ha ha you suckers vibe that this whole story seems to be framed with. Seems like a big drag all around.
posted by chococat at 9:10 AM on April 28 [26 favorites]


My guess is that they intended to have a luxury festival, sold too few tickets, and just found it too damn painful and humiliating to quit, so they kept going until you end up with the luxury camp-city culinary famine experience
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:11 AM on April 28 [7 favorites]


This hasn't aged well
posted by mcmile at 9:12 AM on April 28 [22 favorites]


Wow, this was exactly what I needed. I was feeling bad about screwing up at work this week, but now I feel pretty great about myself, actually.
posted by myelin sheath at 9:13 AM on April 28 [13 favorites]


Given the context, this might be my favorite tweet EVER.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:14 AM on April 28 [16 favorites]


I think I know where the money went

Listen mang, a multi-ethnic cast of bikini models doesn't just show up on jet-skis, already blissed out and rocking on pots or whatever it is that kids do. That costs money. Also no male models because ewww, amirite?
posted by 1adam12 at 9:14 AM on April 28 [6 favorites]




Refugee festival, you too can experience the vaguest similarity to an actual emergency.
posted by Oyéah at 9:14 AM on April 28 [14 favorites]


No, it is HELP! HELP! My money didn't work! Get me somewhere where my money works, NOW!
posted by Oyéah at 9:17 AM on April 28 [42 favorites]




Oh man, it's Isle of Wight '70 all over again.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:20 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


When ticketholders arrived, not only did they find no food, water, or shelter -- but Ja Rule had been replaced by Jah Works, Northern Virginia's hardest-working UB40 cover band.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:20 AM on April 28 [32 favorites]


I get the schadenfreude, and fuck rich people, but Burning Man, Coachella etc are also out of reach for the vast majority of the population, and you don't even get accommodations with your ticket AFAIK.
posted by AFABulous at 9:20 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


I think the take-away here is that if you want to throw a festival on deserted island, put Gilligan in charge, not Ja Rule.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:24 AM on April 28 [7 favorites]




Oh sweet, they did a group cosplay of that chapter from World War Z where the elites get together at some mansion on Long Island with plenty of food and alcohol and a well-armed mercenary force on the walls with the idea that they're going to ride out the apocalypse in style!

Such a shame the movie didn't include that bit. Always wanted to see it.
posted by Naberius at 9:30 AM on April 28 [17 favorites]


This is both worse and better than DashCon. Worse because DashCon was the well-intentioned fuck-up of a bunch of Tumblr fan types who thought that fannish enthusiasm could power them through a lack of organizational ability, whereas this was a naked money grab that combined everything that I hate about social media and the entitlement of the rich. They obviously had the money to get a mildly competent manager of this thing and didn't. Better because, ha ha, rich people got screwed.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:34 AM on April 28 [8 favorites]


It's time for Mr Rule to meet the Rule of Law
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:35 AM on April 28 [10 favorites]


Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from scammery.
posted by tclark at 9:06 AM


Clark's First Law? =D
posted by yeolcoatl at 9:35 AM on April 28 [13 favorites]


This festival feels like the shittiest parts of the 80's and 00's all mashed together into some kind of douche-based poultice for the fragile egos of the naive children born into a life lacking authenticity.

I have some feels for the stranded...but not a lot. At the very least I hope they escape safely and thoroughly bankrupt the organizers.
posted by Fezboy! at 9:37 AM on April 28 [7 favorites]


honestly isn't it false advertising if the tents AREN'T on fire
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:41 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from scammery.
posted by tclark at 9:06 AM

Clark's First Law? =D


Trump's First Law

Not to be confused with Trump's Razor*: "ascertain the stupidest possible scenario that can be reconciled with the available facts."

*courtesy of Mefi's Own jscalzi
posted by leotrotsky at 9:41 AM on April 28 [18 favorites]


You know, all the event organizers needed to do as a response when things went down hill is to fill the storage containers with the rich kids and sent their parents hostage information. Then, not only would these kids have paid to be kidnapped on foreign soil, but you could have doubled down and found out exactly what these kids were worth...

I mean... if you're gonna disappoint them and have to refund them all this money, double down as the crooks you are, keep it... and make more...

and if the capitalists fail to pay, just dump the cargo containers into the ocean and declare yourself the start of the revolution...



wow... that was way darker than I thought...
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:43 AM on April 28 [37 favorites]


Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from scammery.
Grey's Law
posted by empath at 9:44 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


> I'm not really feeling the ha ha you suckers vibe that this whole story seems to be framed wit

I'm torn between wanting misery on the promotors for being bad people, and wanting misery on the people who found the sexist ads to be appealing. A curse on both their cabanas.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:45 AM on April 28 [41 favorites]


> Eat the rich.
« Qu'ils se mangent. »
posted by runcifex at 9:48 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


This is like that time I found out the people who ordered bottle service were drastically overcharged.
posted by srboisvert at 9:49 AM on April 28 [18 favorites]


I am sorry that some non-rich kids got caught up in the scam. I am also sorry that we probably won't have a Federal Trade Commission for much longer to take action against the paid representatives who failed to properly disclose the nature of their endorsements.

I am delighted that some of these kids are rich enough to sue the fuck out of Instagram so that in the future this particular flavor of lifestyle porn spam scam maybe stops being such a viable income source.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:53 AM on April 28 [26 favorites]


On an anthropological level I'm really interested in this phrase "Instagram Kids".

There are other similar cultural shifts going on, especially in travel, but also in things like restaurant choices. I'd really like a better way to understand it overall.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:56 AM on April 28 [6 favorites]


I refuse to forego the pleasure of laughing at people who get bit in the ass while engaging in conspicuous consumption. I'm not proud of it, but I'm not ashamed either.
posted by Ipsifendus at 9:56 AM on April 28 [33 favorites]


@aardvarsk: i don't understand, beautiful women luring you with music toward an island has always worked out well in the past
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:57 AM on April 28 [179 favorites]


Oh, hey, I have inside scoop on this one. A friend of mine is a DJ on the same booking agency as a lot of the DJs that were on the line-up, and they attended planning meetings where Ja Rule was in attendence, and they don't seem to think it was a scam. But the agency *did* insist that they get paid up front, and none of them ended up going to the party because nothing was ready. So they all basically got an all expenses paid vacation to Miami.
posted by empath at 9:58 AM on April 28 [27 favorites]


So, uh, is the Fyre Festival planned for May 5–7 still on?
posted by ejs at 9:59 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


Judging by this, the organizers were having the funseekers signing blank pieces of paper under the assumption that there would be a full refund.

Signing. Blank. Paper.

I bet there will one hell of an indemnification statement stapled to those signed papers real soon.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:01 AM on April 28 [23 favorites]


I suggest adding 'fyre bad' to the tags.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:02 AM on April 28 [27 favorites]


It may not have started as a scam (that remains to be seen of course), but it seems there was some point at least a day before they started flying people out there where they obviously knew that they didn't have one hundredth of what they promised (I believe it's when they realized they would be serving a slice of cheese between two pieces of bread), and not admitting they goofed and shutting it down at that point is enough to turn it into a scam in my book.
posted by zachlipton at 10:03 AM on April 28 [9 favorites]


So Fyre is also a talent agency? Little confused here.
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:03 AM on April 28


Thorzdad: "I bet there will one hell of an indemnification statement stapled to those signed papers real soon."

At least this would settle the incompetence vs scam/malice debate pretty quickly
posted by andycyca at 10:05 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


I am okay with this.
posted by Splunge at 10:05 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


So Fyre is also a talent agency?
It's pretty common for agencies to throw festivals.
posted by empath at 10:09 AM on April 28


If we could just get those poor, unfortunate souls to never leave the "resort", it would be a live action remake of Buñuel's The Exterminating Angel Note - spoilers in the wiki!. And the more I think of it, the more beautiful it becomes.
posted by Zack_Replica at 10:15 AM on April 28 [11 favorites]


In summary, this tweet.
posted by chaoticgood at 10:18 AM on April 28 [14 favorites]


ha ha ha this is all terrible

excuse me while i find the right reaction gif to tweet

maybe people will like it
posted by entropone at 10:18 AM on April 28


It sounds like one of the guys behind this, Billy McFarland, is also behind an "exclusive" club promising "elite" millennials special discounts - and not delivering them.
posted by dnash at 10:19 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


tclark: Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from scammery.

I'd respectfully suggest that Clark's Law has it exactly backwards: It's sufficiently advanced scammery that's indistinguishable from incompetence. It's all about who has the money when it's all over, and whether or not you can tell that they do.
posted by clawsoon at 10:20 AM on April 28 [9 favorites]


This was my favourite part.
posted by quaking fajita at 10:25 AM on April 28 [28 favorites]


the man of twists and turns: The complete and utter disaster that was Fyre Festival played out on social media for all to see, Washington Post
“We thought it would be four nights with good music. They branded it as the next Coachella,” William Finley, 32, told me in a phone call from the Exuma International Airport on Friday morning. Finley and his friends paid about $4,000 each for VIP access and “luxury lodge” accommodations at the festival. After seeing the actual festival site, Finley decided to get on the next flight out of there. “We’d rather be sleeping at an airport,” he said, “rather than in a tent on a rocky outcropping near a Sandals resort.”
Emphasis mine .... Ohohohoho! Has this twat even been to Coachella? It's held in the desert, IN APRIL. Lots of people TENT CAMP outside of of the venue, others cram into hotels in the area. There is no glamour inherent in the camping experience around Coachella.

I speak from experience - I was at 3 or 4 of the first 5 festivals, including the first, better-timed festival, when Coachella was first held on Oct. 9-10, 1999, and they promised free water for everyone. Even though it was October, it was still hot enough that everyone wanted (and needed*) water, and they ran out of free bottles pretty fast. The subsequent April festival dates weren't any better for heat, though some years weren't as hot as others. They finally offered free water for people to fill their bottles they brought in as empty containers, after people flocked to water spigots next to the port-a-potties for free water in prior years.

* Every year, some people opted to drink beer (and/or partake in other substances) in exclusion of drinking water and they danced a lot and collapsed from heat exhaustion, but the medical staff were prompt to get those people out of the sun and into some recovery area. And on day 2 you were assured of seeing a number of badly sunburned people who weren't used to spending all day in the sun.

In short: Coachella is a desert festival, held before the peak of the summer heat, but there's still a good chance that it'll be in the 90s at the peak of the day, when the festival really starts getting good.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:28 AM on April 28 [7 favorites]


If you want an awesome festival in temperate climates, try the cozy Treasure Island Music Festival, or the amazing, free (!!) Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, where October is likely to be overcast or hazy, not hot and dusty.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:32 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


At least they were offering Message in a Bottle Service.
posted by Kabanos at 10:32 AM on April 28 [10 favorites]


I may be way off here, as I've never attended Coachella, but my impression is that it's changed a lot since the early days.
posted by timdiggerm at 10:33 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


This was my favourite part.

Hoo boy, that "favourite" link - that is not stuff you figure out 2 weeks before the event. That shit should've been confirmed in February.
posted by AFABulous at 10:36 AM on April 28 [12 favorites]


Was this an entertainment 720 production?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:40 AM on April 28 [52 favorites]


Eat the rich.

I think this is what eating the rich looks like in practice.
posted by qntm at 10:40 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


This was my favourite part.

Anticipating their wealthy clientele's desire for cigars, they put down a plan to order some Backwoods and Swisher Sweets. [real, assuming the notebook is real]
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:41 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


I was curious about that Bustle article from December so I tweeted the poster asking if it was a paid promotion. She kindly replied to say it was "a press release for a celeb backed festival given to me by my editor. We thought it sounded cool".
posted by Nelson at 10:48 AM on April 28 [14 favorites]


Being late to many parties, this week I learned the definitions of both glamping and "red pill" thanks to Metafilter. Not sure what it says about my RL friends that neither of these topics has ever come up ...
posted by freecellwizard at 10:50 AM on April 28


Hoo boy, that "favourite" link - that is not stuff you figure out 2 weeks before the event. That shit should've been confirmed in February.

I love how there's little notes from just days ago re: massive undertakings (like a Sunday plan for the mainstage) saying FIGURE THIS OUT
posted by mochapickle at 10:50 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


I think what makes this whole thing amusing and absurd is the $12,000 price tag, combined with the Instagram influencers.

Although it's entirely possible most of the attendees paid the more reasonable $450 ticket. Which I suppose isn't funny at all.
posted by My Dad at 10:51 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


I mean, $12k was for four people (2 king beds). It's totally reasonable.
posted by quaking fajita at 10:55 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


I've been at weird conventions in harsher environments for about $450, BYO tent, and been perfectly happy. I mean, I get that it's an expectations problem, but I hope someone got a nice week near the beach with tents and pavilions.

One of the nerd cons built a spectacular dome out of discarded billboards and set up a booming sound system for the closing night and when a friend and I walked over after a few songs we found a few people hunched behind the mixing console, no one dancing, and a yellow dog asleep in the middle of the floor. Like Golgafrincham, we could have used a few Ark B peeps in the ecosystem.
posted by clew at 11:01 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


Emphasis mine .... Ohohohoho! Has this twat even been to Coachella? It's held in the desert, IN APRIL. Lots of people TENT CAMP outside of of the venue, others cram into hotels in the area. There is no glamour inherent in the camping experience around Coachella.

I've been to Coachella 2004-2011 and 2014. During that time it stopped being the fest you remember and (in time) even the fest I remember. It's a different animal now with extremely luxurious and glamorous "camping" available onsite.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:01 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


It sounds like one of the guys behind this, Billy McFarland, is also behind an "exclusive" club promising "elite" millennials special discounts - and not delivering them.
posted by dnash at 10:19 AM on April 28


Wow, this guy couldn't even arrange concert tickets reliably, and he decided to move up to shipping people to the Bahamas and keeping them alive for a few days? Billy McFarland sounds like a Trump wanna-be, whose attempts at scammery are both hindered and made disastrous by incompetence.
posted by ejs at 11:06 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


At least with Burning Man and Coachella, you know going in that you'll be camping. And providing your own tent.

The premise is pretty gross, but really, no more gross than any of the other "lifestyles of the rich and famous" bullshit events that pop up all over the world. I feel bad for the people who got scammed out of their money and who were dumped on a beach without even adequate shelter and water in a tropical location. That's a pretty dangerous situation and the organizers, as we shall laughingly refer to them, should be glad people didn't die.

I do kinda feel like I want to tell these kids, "Hey, so, exactly how you feel right now? That's how millions of people feel every day, when they put in their dues in good faith and end up royally screwed." Like, that's how that feels when your job, or health care, or ability to move around, depends on some fuckface who wants to get rich or make a name for himself, and doesn't care if it ruins your life. This is why "Stop being poor" isn't a punch line. Sucks, doesn't it?
posted by Autumnheart at 11:11 AM on April 28 [94 favorites]


I've never been involved on the ground floor, but I'm friends with enough Bands/Performers/DJs/etc that I've seen this sort of thing chronicled over and over, beit a multi-band festival with food and facilities, or just a night club event.

There are always a lot of the same reasons (Ego, scope creep, dishonesty, poor planning, etc) but by and large, it comes down to one or more slick-talking Type A's who don't really believe labor costs money until it's too late.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:11 AM on April 28 [16 favorites]


Speaking of Type As for whom labor doesn't cost anything. There's a meeting later today that has been heavily promoted all week long at my work. It's all about the upcoming Super Bowl and everything that's going into the planning. Like, for example, a $10B corporation advertising heavily for volunteer labor for the vast majority of it. In fact, since I work here, I could sign up to be part of the corporate-sponsored special team of volunteers! Volunteers basically get bragging rights. Maybe a t-shirt. They sure as fuck don't get to see any part of the game, because there's money to be made. I think I'll make like a wide receiver and pass on that, thanks.
posted by Autumnheart at 11:18 AM on April 28 [10 favorites]


I cannot look away from this train wreck of a situation, especially this thread. It has so much going on, and I'm learning so much about music festivals!
posted by honey badger at 11:20 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


I do kinda feel like I want to tell these kids, "Hey, so, exactly how you feel right now? That's how millions of people feel every day, when they put in their dues in good faith and end up royally screwed."

Yeah. As much of a laugh as I'm having at their expense right now, it's sad to contemplate how many of them are going to walk away having learned nothing. Maybe even retreating further into delusional ignorant privilege.
posted by dnash at 11:20 AM on April 28 [6 favorites]


Nobody would have died. There was a Sandals down the beach. Although for some that might be a fate worse than death...
posted by mochapickle at 11:26 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


Huh.

So, this is what those things are like if you don't have good drugs.

Well, at least they got to sign a paper that said they wanted their money back.
posted by mule98J at 11:28 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


There's a meeting later today that has been heavily promoted all week long at my work. It's all about the upcoming Super Bowl and everything that's going into the planning. Like, for example, a $10B corporation advertising heavily for volunteer labor for the vast majority of it.

At least they realize that in April 2017 they need to be deep into planning for an event taking place in February 2018, which puts them well ahead of Fyre Fest.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:31 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


I refuse to forego the pleasure of laughing at people who get bit in the ass while engaging in conspicuous consumption. I'm not proud of it, but I'm not ashamed either.

Me neither. $450 for Ja Rule and Blink-182? Dying. The website is still up and is entertaining as well. Fitness Bootcamp, anyone?
posted by Existential Dread at 11:32 AM on April 28 [6 favorites]


I can't stop smiling at the image of rescue helicopters landing on Fyre in two days to find all the instagram millennials wearing animal skins, speaking in their own invented language and hunting for fish with spears
posted by mcmile at 11:32 AM on April 28 [45 favorites]


Well, at least they got to sign a paper that said they wanted their money back.

If I read things correctly, it didn't actually say that. They were just told they were saying that by signing the piece of paper.

sort of like they were told there would be an awesome luxury party with bands and models and blackjack! and hookers!
posted by Naberius at 11:35 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


@bashfulcoward: Ppl are saying like "you laugh but what if ___ happened?" re: fyre fest
Sorry but if everyone there got Ebola it would've been even funnier
@Ennui_Raver: cant believe ppl are laughing at stranded rich kids fighting over a tub of food sauce but then a big swarm of zika mosquitos come out of it
@deathoftheparty: guys there is nothing funny about the 24 year old heir to the Naked juice fortune being chased off a cliff by a hyena
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:44 AM on April 28 [51 favorites]


Anyone who spends enough time in rich kid/aspirational instagram could imagine a instagrammer bait festival. Doing it is a different matter. I wonder if anyone checked if the organizers had any experience in a) making a music festival b) doing glamour events c) doing events outdoors, because those things are hard, and even experienced organizers sometimes struggle with crap that happens along the way.
What they don't is fail at the very basics of what was promised on the adverts.

Although it's entirely possible most of the attendees paid the more reasonable $450 ticket.
And maybe that was the problem? I wonder if the disorganizers were planning on having a large number of whales to pay for the rest, and after few showed up, they couldn't even afford the very basics of the event they were promoting as they sucked at budgeting and planning.

I can't stop smiling at the image of rescue helicopters landing on Fyre in two days to find all the instagram millennials wearing animal skins, speaking in their own invented language and hunting for fish with spears
Yeah it's overwhelming, but what else could they do?
posted by lmfsilva at 11:44 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


It would have been cheaper to stay home and watch High Rise. Plus, you get to spend the evening with Tom Hiddleston, which is much nicer than a sandy outcropping.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:53 AM on April 28 [7 favorites]


Nobody would have died. There was a Sandals down the beach. Although for some that might be a fate worse than death...

What good would that do? How many festival goers were there, hundreds? It's not like the Sandals would just be able to let them all in. It would just be on *their* beach instead of the beach a mile away. Just letting everyone use the bathroom would be a huge issue.

I mean, I'm not saying that someone would've wound up losing a leg after superficially cutting themselves on a beer bottle or anything (assuming there were beer bottles available upon which to cut oneself), but just being out in the sun and heat all day can be problematic. If "tremendously inconvenienced" is as bad as it got, then they are extremely lucky, considering the families of these kids are probably wealthy and powerful enough to strap the organizers to the next SpaceX test launch just for providing lousy food.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:00 PM on April 28


Barry Hogan is probably feeling pretty good about himself this weekend.
posted by howfar at 12:04 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]




I am most baffled that a bunch of 20-something rich instagram kids were enticed into spending thousands of dollars to see...JaRule and Blink 182? It'd be like me spending a ton of cash to see some acts that were maybe-kinda-sorta popular in 1991.
posted by tryniti at 12:13 PM on April 28 [16 favorites]


Oh gods, "a tub of food sauce" is my new euphemism for a fucked-up situation.
posted by Etrigan at 12:13 PM on April 28 [8 favorites]


To mash this up with the Shirleen post from the other day,

"A refund is due unto me!"
posted by misskaz at 12:16 PM on April 28 [5 favorites]


maybe-kinda-sorta popular in 1991.

Next year, Soul Asylum and Candlebox!
posted by Existential Dread at 12:17 PM on April 28 [17 favorites]



Next year, Soul Asylum and Candlebox!


The two I went with on Twitter were Right Said Fred and Onyx.
posted by tryniti at 12:21 PM on April 28 [11 favorites]


So, I got The Bullet Boys, Crash Test Dummies and, wait for it, Slint with special guest Will Oldham for two nights on Pitcairn Island. Tickets start at $9k and are all inclusive. It's a cross-promotion with Survivor: Pitcairn, so you have to build your own hut.
posted by valkane at 12:21 PM on April 28 [12 favorites]


would go for Slint



ok, also Crash Test Dummies
posted by Existential Dread at 12:24 PM on April 28 [13 favorites]


Well, at least they got to sign a paper that said they wanted their money back.

If I read things correctly, it didn't actually say that. They were just told they were saying that by signing the piece of paper.


Yeah. In the photo, the disgruntled seemed to be writing a paragraph or two, which I assume would describe their discontent. Anyhow, I guess they figured the promoters would fill in any other appropriate info for them. I hope they included their SSN's and phone numbers, just in case Fyre & company needed to get in touch with them.
posted by mule98J at 12:32 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


Ace of Base and Milli Vanilli.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:33 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


One of my co-workers will be paying $35 to go to a tequila & beer festival in the small beach town where she grew up. She's going with about 20 women that are cousins, women she grew up with, etc. If you're smart and you wanted to have fun and you were given the choice between spending a little bit of money to go drinking with a bunch of middle aged lifelong friends and enemies or spending a lot of money to attend a hypothetical fully functioning Frye Festival you would chose the tequila festival.

The Frye Festival people are selling an experience but they're depicting the experience they're offering in entirely materialistic terms. That makes no sense.
posted by rdr at 12:34 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


Well, presumably the top tier of tickets were marketed to people for whom $12K for a glamping weekend IS spending a little money to go drinking.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:36 PM on April 28 [7 favorites]


Jazz Fest kicked off today here in New Orleans. The contrasting stories in my social media feed are everything I need on a Friday afternoon.
posted by tryniti at 12:37 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


The thing is, if this event delivered everything it promised, it would just be a weekend of luxury and music. It would have been an event that faded away in the participants minds in a few months, if not earlier.

As it stands, this memory will stick with them for the rest of their lives - they will tell stories (that will make the listeners eyes roll) about this for years to come.

While expensive, they bought themselves an experience whose memories will last a lifetime!
posted by el io at 12:38 PM on April 28 [19 favorites]


Wait, Will can't make it, but he's sending his surrogate, Prince Bonny Palace Brother From Another Planet. Tickets are now $12k. Thanks for your patience. Snapchat me for payment details.
posted by valkane at 12:39 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


Fitness Bootcamp, anyone?

"When they said 'DoubleCrossFit' I thought they meant it would be twice as good!"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:39 PM on April 28 [9 favorites]


DoubleCrossFit

You know how in CrossFit we tip tractor tires? In DoubleCrossFit We flip the whole tractor!
posted by valkane at 12:44 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


If you want an awesome festival in temperate climates, try the cozy Treasure Island Music Festival

I assume you are making joke, yes? Because Treasure Island both times I've attended has been like hanging out in an Arctic wind tunnel. First time I ended up buying leggings, a hat, and a scarf from a vendor and along with huddling in the crowd managed to stay warm; second time I knew better and dressed for a night at sea with heavy windchill: sweater, coat, boots, wooly stuff. There were kids there of course dressed in hardly anything, but I assume drugs and drink and the oblivious strength of youth kept them from hypothermia.
posted by jokeefe at 12:45 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


What good would that do? How many festival goers were there, hundreds? It's not like the Sandals would just be able to let them all in.

Why didn't they just take the Sandals by force? They could have thrown their cheese sandwiches at the Sandals soldiers like little shurikens
posted by Greg Nog at 12:53 PM on April 28 [29 favorites]


@ItsDanSheehan 3h3 hours ago

Rich guy on Twitter: your health/safety is not our responsibility

Rich guy at #FyreFestival: HELLO POLICE MY SANDWICH IS BAD SEND EVERYONE
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:53 PM on April 28 [102 favorites]


I am most baffled that a bunch of 20-something rich instagram kids were enticed into spending thousands of dollars to see...JaRule and Blink 182?

More like Major Lazer, Tyga, Pusha-T, and Kaytranada.
posted by tofu_crouton at 12:59 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]




take the Sandals by force

Those kids with their pumped-up kicks
posted by valkane at 1:01 PM on April 28 [9 favorites]


Jeff B/DDHQ @EsotericCD

I can't tell you how amused I am to have lived long enough to see Kamp Krusty become a real life thing. #fyrefestival.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:03 PM on April 28 [29 favorites]


What good would that do? How many festival goers were there, hundreds? It's not like the Sandals would just be able to let them all in.

Which makes my subconscious connection of this thing with the zombie apocalypse all the better! Now I'm imagining Sandals guests furiously piling up barricades of chaise lounges and towel carts on the beach to repel a shambling horde of spoiled twenty-somethings. Howling. Clawing. Whining. Demanding to know where their chillout session is because everything else has been bullshit, and they really need a chillout session right now. And a massage.
posted by Naberius at 1:07 PM on April 28 [9 favorites]


Actually Ill keep my schadenfreude thanks
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:59 PM on April 28


The tweets from Steven_Stubbe are trolling, he's not actually there.
posted by ejs at 1:09 PM on April 28


Which makes my subconscious connection of this thing with the zombie apocalypse all the better! Now I'm imagining Sandals guests furiously piling up barricades of chaise lounges and towel carts on the beach to repel a shambling horde of spoiled twenty-somethings. Howling. Clawing. Whining. Demanding to know where their chillout session is because everything else has been bullshit, and they really need a chillout session right now. And a massage.

My co-worker and I may have just workshopped a Call of Cthulhu adventure based on the Fyre Festival, based on the observation that substandard sandwiches make these people shout and revel and so on.
posted by The Gaffer at 1:10 PM on April 28 [6 favorites]


>I am most baffled that a bunch of 20-something rich instagram kids were enticed into spending thousands of dollars to see...JaRule and Blink 182?

More like Major Lazer, Tyga, Pusha-T, and Kaytranada.


Perhap this entire thing is performance art aimed at critiquing the misallocation of resources in a hyper-capitalist economy.
posted by My Dad at 1:13 PM on April 28 [16 favorites]


More like Major Lazer, Tyga, Pusha-T, and Kaytranada.

I know I'm just an old and aren't down with the Yoof Uv 2day, but damned if that doesn't sound like the Thundercats' B-team. (And I'm sure that Kryoman either has his own action figure or is thinking about it.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:14 PM on April 28 [17 favorites]


The website is still up and is entertaining as well.

Aw, man. And I was gonna copter in to catch ThugFucker's set tomorrow afternoon.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:24 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


There's gotta be a gay porn site called ThugFucker.
posted by AFABulous at 1:27 PM on April 28 [10 favorites]


Not googling it.
posted by quaking fajita at 1:31 PM on April 28 [8 favorites]


So, I got The Bullet Boys, Crash Test Dummies and, wait for it, Slint with special guest Will Oldham for two nights on Pitcairn Island.

Will Oldham and Pitcairn Island? Isn't one of them depressing enough?
posted by octobersurprise at 1:36 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


At least they realize that in April 2017 they need to be deep into planning for an event taking place in February 2018, which puts them well ahead of Fyre Fest.

Yeah, but they're still planning a shitload of their execution on, "tons of people who will be totally happy to work for FREE just to say they were part of it!" That rarely works out as well as those Type As think it will. Hell, the majority of the taxpayer's contribution for the stadium itself was "supposed" to come from pulltabs, it's not like they have their best minds working on this.

Although that *does* leave the door open for those of us who are capable of anticipating contingencies...
posted by Autumnheart at 1:42 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


but damned if that doesn't sound like the Thundercats' B-team.

Thundercat works with Flying Lotus, not Kaytranada, but that's a perfectly understandable mistake.
posted by cyphill at 1:45 PM on April 28 [21 favorites]


So, I got The Bullet Boys, Crash Test Dummies and, wait for it, Slint with special guest Will Oldham for two nights on Pitcairn Island.

Jackie Rogers, Jr.
posted by My Dad at 1:46 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


thugfucker.com is available, just sayin
posted by AFABulous at 1:47 PM on April 28 [8 favorites]


At least with Burning Man and Coachella, you know going in that you'll be camping. And providing your own tent.

Having been to a few smaller-scale "provide your own tent" events - I guess I do feel bad for the folks who paid $450. I mean that's more than twice any ticket I've bought, but if you were promised food and shelter included...

I still find the whole thing pretty funny though.
posted by atoxyl at 1:48 PM on April 28


and no, $450 isn't even out of line with Burning Man or Coachella (but I haven't been to those)
posted by atoxyl at 1:51 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


I don't revel in the suffering of anyone but untangling all the different ways this event illustrates the zeitgeist of the US and the capitalist world at large is a Matroyshka doll of life lessons whose terminal layer is a tub of food sauce is a pleasant thought exercise.
posted by Tevin at 1:54 PM on April 28 [14 favorites]


thugfucker.com is available, just sayin

(I'm literally shocked that it's available. Seriously how did that get missed?)
posted by dnash at 2:16 PM on April 28 [5 favorites]


It also goes to show how spending a ton of money can get you INTO proportionally greater trouble, where we're used to thinking of all the ways money can get you OUT of trouble. Like, I'm not going to get stuck on a foreign beach with nothing but condiments, because I can't afford to go jaunt off to the Bahamas to hang out with Ja Rule. If the premise is completely out of my wheelhouse, the unexpected consequence will be, too.
posted by Autumnheart at 2:16 PM on April 28 [6 favorites]


Metafilter: I'm not proud of it, but I'm not ashamed either.
posted by Segundus at 2:19 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


I thought it was $450 per day. I'd look it up, but this tub of food sauce isn't going to eat itself.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 2:22 PM on April 28


My understanding was that $450 bought you a day pass to one day of the festival.
posted by Autumnheart at 2:23 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


"Send money guns and lawyers, dad get me out of here!"
posted by happyroach at 2:24 PM on April 28 [6 favorites]


Imagine reading news from the future in 1999 "Ja Rule's music festival targeted towards Internet millionaires turns into a pretty low energy version of Lord of the Flies. also donald trump is president"
posted by codacorolla at 2:26 PM on April 28 [19 favorites]


Company Behind Disastrous Fyre Festival Warned Staff Not to Come.

Turns out that this whole thing was supposed to promote an app. I suspect their app may be dead now too.
posted by zachlipton at 2:28 PM on April 28 [10 favorites]


low energy version of Lord of the Flies

This is beautiful

We would have resorted to cannibalism, but in reality that was just too much effort, so instead we complained to the US Embassy
posted by Existential Dread at 2:34 PM on April 28 [5 favorites]


My understanding was that $450 bought you a day pass to one day of the festival.

Was it supposed to buy you a tent and/or food? I'm assuming it didn't buy you a plane ticket.
posted by atoxyl at 2:34 PM on April 28


People are fainting and all you can make are rich kid jokes. Shame on all of you ignorant psychopaths. Idiots #GetJaruleArrested #fyrefest
Guys, people are fainting.
posted by straight at 2:38 PM on April 28 [26 favorites]


Yeah, it's not clear to me how a day pass actually would work. In some of the articles I'd read, people said they'd paid in the realm of $900. Still doesn't seem like that much, when you factor in the plane ride.
posted by quaking fajita at 2:39 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Back in the 70's there was a movie about a British multi-millionaire (nowadays he'd be a multi-billionaire) who builds a visionary cruise ship and invites a collection of posh snobs and nouveau riche boors and bigots to the very exclusive maiden voyage. Unfortunately for the guests, the movie was a very outrageous black comedy named after the cruise ship - The Magic Christian.
This Frye Festival debacle sorta reminds me of that movie - that's all.
posted by King Sky Prawn at 2:40 PM on April 28 [5 favorites]


Wait a minute. These people are developing an app to book "top shelf talent" to perform? Like Uber, but for booking Ja Rule? I mean, I'm really a person who hates talking on the phone and wants to perform most of my everyday transactions without talking to people, but on the rare occasion I want to hire Ja Rule, I'll totally just make a couple of calls.

The app actually seems worse than the festival.
posted by zachlipton at 2:42 PM on April 28 [19 favorites]


This is what I could find online about prices and what ticket-holders were supposed to get.

As for prices, this festival does not come cheap. Packages start at $1,500, which covers the flight from Miami to Fyre Cay, ticketed admission, meals and hospitality. Accommodations include "The Retreat" with two twin beds (and you must be the same sex, notes Fyre Festival), "The Duo" with two tickets, two twin beds and "elevated amenities," "The Nest" with two tickets and a queen bed and "The Lodge," which is $8,999 total for eight tickets and four king beds. If none of that is appealing to you, there are upgrades available that apply to food and VIP access to areas and events throughout the festival.

I'm speculating that if there was a $450 price point, then presumably it would've been just for gate entrance on a given day, and you arrange your own flight and lodgings.

Here's a recap from a woman who was recruited to be a model at the party.
posted by Autumnheart at 2:44 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


Guys, people are fainting.

It's hard not to laugh at that phrasing, but heat exhaustion legitimately sucks. I feel bad for those people.

I'd like to hear more dirt about why the organization was such a colossal failure.
posted by Autumnheart at 2:54 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


From the email posted in that recap:

As VVIP guests of the festival, many of you are currently living in houses in remote locations spread across the island.

We understand, that communication to date has been poor, you have been in the dark, are confused, and there are little to no provisions at your home.

Given our resource constraints, we are sharing this with you so you are aware that Exumas is an island with many resources at your disposal outside of Fyre festival.


I kept looking for a start button to skip the text intro and get straight to playing the sandboxy survival horror game
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:02 PM on April 28 [30 favorites]


The thing that disturbs me most is that I read Young Men with Unlimited Capital: The Story of Woodstock, and the parallels are obvious: Rich kids with no experience creating a logistical disaster...

If they'd just held it together a little bit more, Fyre Festival would have been to Millennials as Woodstock was to the generation before mine.

Shudder.
posted by straw at 3:03 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Not having heard of the Fyre Festival before today (because I'm not young, rich or cool enough, obvs), my first reaction was to wonder whether or not it was a made-up viral-marketing stunt of some sort to promote some entertainment product; perhaps a new TV series halfway between Lost and The Walking Dead, only with oligarchs' brats and schadenfreude by the bucketload. (I can see TV executives sitting in a boardroom, the table covered with printed articles about Occupy, Bernie and Trump, along with a still from The Hunger Games, a GIF of Pepe the Frog and a few Rich Kids Of Instagram tableaux, brainstorming a gorefest where the audience can cheer on the “elites” getting massacred spectacularly.)
posted by acb at 3:12 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


Rick & Morty s2e09
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:15 PM on April 28 [5 favorites]


Accommodations include "The Retreat" with two twin beds (and you must be the same sex, notes Fyre Festival)

I don't get it. Is that supposed to be about preventing hanky-panky.. ? Or encouraging it.. ?
posted by Drexen at 3:31 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]




From quaking fajita's link:

Planners also warned that it would be not be up to the standard they had advertised. 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.”

Mission accomplished, marketing dude.
posted by skymt at 3:57 PM on April 28 [63 favorites]


also from quaking fajita's truly excellent link:

And baby, they forgot to make me sign an NDA.

ahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaa hoo * wipes tear *
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 4:00 PM on April 28 [38 favorites]


So what they thought they'd get were a bunch of people paying $4K+. And what they actually got were mostly people paying the $450 day pass, huh?


Schade!
posted by droplet at 4:14 PM on April 28


Then yesterday, to my dark delight, the rug was pulled out from under them. In the morning headliner and all-around relevant band in 2017 Blink-182 pulled out, citing sub-par production standards.

Ahahahahaha. Oh, that link satisfies all my popcorn-loving drama llamas. Truly excellent snark.
posted by Autumnheart at 4:32 PM on April 28 [15 favorites]


This whole thing seems like some kind of widening gyre of Stupidity and Greed.
posted by nubs at 4:42 PM on April 28


The Aristocrats!
posted by saysthis at 4:56 PM on April 28 [13 favorites]


Which makes my subconscious connection of this thing with the zombie apocalypse all the better! Now I'm imagining Sandals guests furiously piling up barricades of chaise lounges and towel carts on the beach to repel a shambling horde of spoiled twenty-somethings. Howling. Clawing. Whining. Demanding to know where their chillout session is because everything else has been bullshit, and they really need a chillout session right now. And a massage.

Dying laughing at that mental image. Oh dear lord.
posted by Autumnheart at 5:03 PM on April 28 [5 favorites]


These people are developing an app to book "top shelf talent" to perform? Like Uber, but for booking Ja Rule?

I tried booking Shaggy to perform at the Vancouver Aquarium but, surprising no one, the web site doesn't know how to handle Canadian addresses. So now I have to go pick him up in Blaine.

Also, according to the map at the bottom of this page, all their Canadian talent is in Churchill, Yellowknife, and Regina.
posted by Banknote of the year at 5:04 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Fear of The Walking White Bread
posted by valkane at 5:04 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]




That night Ja Rule gave a toast. “To living like movie stars, partying like rock stars, and fucking like porn stars.” If Ja Rule is punished for anything perhaps it should be that.
This fucking says it all. Preying on this pervasive sense of "I'm entitled to insane amounts of glamour, privilege, excess, and luxury, without doing any of the work to earn any of it. Just cuz I have an Instagram account."
posted by dnash at 5:22 PM on April 28 [8 favorites]


it's supposed to be "looking like movie stars." these fyre fest people get everything wrong.
posted by mochapickle at 5:26 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


A guy from the marketing team said, “Let’s just do it and be legends, man.” Mission accomplished, marketing dude.

Don't worry marketing dude - your name will be in RECAP from the federal lawsuit.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:34 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Instagram influencers are utter nonsense, and Fyre Fest proves it
Perhaps even more interesting? Fyre came right after Coachella, among the biggest and most successful U.S. music festivals. People who bought Fyre packages conceivably picked it over Coachella, which had a better lineup of acts and, you know, the promise that it would actually happen.
posted by dnash at 5:44 PM on April 28 [5 favorites]


Thugfucker are actually pretty talented.
posted by empath at 5:46 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]




This whole thing seems like some kind of widening gyre of Stupidity and Greed.


gyre festival
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:57 PM on April 28 [7 favorites]


Statement from promoter Billy McFarland to Rolling Stone

"The Exumas didn't have a really great infrastructure – there wasn't a great way to get guests in here – we were a little bit ambitious. There wasn't water or sewage. It was almost like we tried building a city out of nothing and it took almost all of our personal resources to make this happen"

That sound you're hearing is the producers of Burning Man dying from laughter.

"There will be make-up dates, May 2018 in the U.S., free for everybody who signed up for this festival. We will donate $1.50 [per ticket] to the Bahamian Red Cross. It'll keep the theme of being on water and beach. It'll be not just music, but all forms of entertainment. "

Hint: nobody hold your breath. And get David Fahrenthold from the Washington Post to follow up on that Bahamian Red Cross donation.
posted by dnash at 6:26 PM on April 28 [13 favorites]


It's clear from the NY Mag article (fun fact: I went to school with the author quite some time ago) that they knew this was going to be a total disaster at least a month ago, when they hadn't paid the artists, rented a stage, arranged transportation, etc... We know from a tweet that the contract with the caterer they promised was terminated April 2nd (I have a hunch it was for nonpayment). They knew this was going to happen. They didn't care.
posted by zachlipton at 6:34 PM on April 28 [5 favorites]


Only losers "care". Winners don't need to care because they're awesome. You know it to be true so lets all just move on nobody could have expected this, it was unforeseeable and there's nothing to be gained from dwelling on the past.
posted by aramaic at 6:42 PM on April 28 [9 favorites]


"...not just music, but all forms of entertainment. "

That's a pretty wide net. We should take bets. My money's on an old Galaga arcade game, a few middle school health class film reels, and a dusty Hungry Hungry Hippos.
posted by mochapickle at 6:57 PM on April 28 [10 favorites]


Well, maybe more gummy than dusty.
posted by mochapickle at 7:00 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Two words: ball pit.
posted by valkane at 7:03 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]




Coachella is now the kind of festival where helicopter Uber rides from the Van Nuys Airport (which is much farther away than Palm Springs where most of the rich kids stay and are ferried back and forth to the festival by various means, land and air) are $4100 for six people. (Which, frankly, is the only way you could get me to go. It's surface highway out there, it's got to take extra hours to get all the way to the festival site.)

There is also glamping at Coachella, and glamRVs with catering/housekeeping/butlers and shit, and apparently the VIP areas are starting to rival the size of the GA areas. It is not the dirt festival it used to be. The Coachella Experience is exactly what these kids were expecting, except with more yachts than you generally find in the Inland Empire, although I have no doubt you could pay to have a small yacht towed out there to stay in if you wanted.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:27 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


dnash: "It'll be not just music, but all forms of entertainment."

I look forward to the Commedia dell'arte, Indonesian shadow play, and Victorian-era parlor games.
posted by mhum at 7:33 PM on April 28 [11 favorites]


It should have been obvious these con artists were going to rip people off. Their Instagram models could barely clothe themselves!
posted by srboisvert at 8:04 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


I guess you could say that this festival didn't have enough Disclosure
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:13 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


So tired of winning.
posted by Omon Ra at 8:16 PM on April 28 [7 favorites]


@tehrebound:
And the rich kids at #fyrefestival will look up shout, "Save us!"

And I will look down and whisper, "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps."
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:20 PM on April 28 [45 favorites]


I was really hoping this was going to all be an elaborate piece of performance art/social justice activism to bring attention to the refugee crisis. Sadly seems that's not the case.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 8:26 PM on April 28 [5 favorites]




Was there even 1% support for the musical acts? A stage?
posted by user92371 at 8:38 PM on April 28


A few things :

One : I love that picture of the sandwich. I mean, if there were no sandwich, there'd be nothing to take a picture of. But that sad little sandwich is like, "hey, we tried." And they couldn't even make it a proper sandwich. Like the bread is there, the cheese is there. But they just couldn't be bothered to put it together. I am so going as that cheese sandwich for Halloween.

Two : Fyre Festival is a perfect representation of Trump's America. It's all like "I will give you the biggest, most luxurious festival ever!" And then it turns out to be a fascist death camp.

Three : I just. I just. I just gotta get into the head of whomever said go ahead with this thing. Like, I want to get to know them. I want to know how their mind works. The person who took a look at the state of things Wednesday night and was like, "I know it ain't perfect, but what? They'll have ia good time! What? We have a ball pit!"

Four : I want to have a Fyre Festival theme party. FEMA tents, cheese sandwiches, a Blink 182 and Ja Rule playlist. And a $250,000 VIP tier.

I'm not kidding! I think it would be a really fun party! And also, I want $250,000!
posted by panama joe at 9:48 PM on April 28 [30 favorites]


Also, new fashion look : Fyre Festival chic. You came for the party, but it all got soooooo messed up, and now you're sloppy and dehydrated and just a leeeeeeeetle bit undone -- sort of like a hippie who moved to Hawaii, but it didn't quite work out.
posted by panama joe at 10:22 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


I love the way that before the event, Ja Rule is billed as "masterminding" it. But afterwards, he apparently had no part in planning or logistics. Hmm
posted by KateViolet at 10:35 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


The greatest comment ever about Dashcon 2017!

New York's hottest club is so hot that they moved it to the middle of the ocean. Called Fyre, it was started by 2004 hip-hop sensation Ja Rule and tech bro turned chubby ex-twink Billy McFarland when their plane landed on a deserted island after running out of fuel, this club is the perfect intersection between Coachella and a Sudanese refugee camp.

It has everything.

Haunted concierge desks, security guards who steal your phones, a staff that takes you to a medical tent to treat your heat exhaustion but really it's just a facade for the ditch they throw you into, human urinals...


Now I would pay 250,000 (monopoly) bucks to hear Stefon reading that for real.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 11:24 PM on April 28 [9 favorites]


"McFarland promised that one or two crippling, foresight-absent failures won’t be enough to dim his enthusiasm. “Next year, we will definitely start earlier,” he said." (From the AV Club link)

If by earlier you mean RIGHT NOW LIKE YESTERDAY OR MAYBE EVEN LIKE FIVE MONTHS AGO you might have a chance to pull off a large "luxury" festival on a fairly remote and underbuilt tropical island for 2018. But, no, you mean like maybe a month earlier or some other lazy, scammy horseshit.

I've been following this through various channels and I've gone through various stages of schadenfreude, concern, humor and even a little sympathy. At least until I saw Billy's rather puncheable mug in the AV article, then I lost it, but it wasn't very big and pretty easy to lose at this point.

I've worked with helping throw shows and festival-like activities. Even when I've been a volunteer on the lower end of the totem pole at larger festivals it's utterly appalling the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes.

Even the very small, chill 100-ish attending people non profit shows I've organized with friends there are ridiculous amounts of work. I've done some pretty intense things, but when measured on energy output and maybe even risk levels it's almost up there with deep sea commercial fishing, construction or other hard, manual technical labor. (And I've worked construction recently, heh, and it's no fun.)

Like, no joke, my back and knees have both been severely damaged from these music/show/festival related activities. I can actually pinpoint the exact moments when I fucked something up that's never been the same since.

And still it's my favorite kind of work, really, and most of my favorite memories and "holy shit, I actually did that!" moments. It's my kind of marathon. Some people like to hike mountains and I like to run (or crawl) around in the dark with the gummy taste of gaffer tape in my mouth, a flashlight strapped to my head and lifting and moving lots of large, heavy speakers around to make ridiculously loud and often strange noises.

This is apparently best accomplished with a raging hangover and sore legs and feet from dancing yourself stupid the night before.

And because the way the general entertainment industry works, you rent things like stages and sound by the day or hour so you never get to do anything in any sane amount of time unless you own your own sound and venue or you have much more money than time.

So even for small one day shows with crews of just a few people or so, you find yourself doing crazy shit like... like this:

Like starting the day of a show at dawn to drive out to rent a box truck and then drive that somewhere else far away to pick up the rented sound, drop off the truck (with someone watching it!) at home or someone's house or even at the venue to wait for load in at the venue, drive out to the airport (sometimes multiple times in the same day!) to pick up visiting talent, feed+care for+house your talent and give them space to get ready for the show, go to the venue, clamor to get in on time even though they're going to show up late and leisurely despite the known schedule...

...and you haven't even started setting up sound, lights or decorations or anything yet and afternoon is quickly waning to evening, which is getting awfully close to showtime. If you're lucky you've had a chance to eat something, if not, sucks to be you. Beer and pretzels and coffee have calories, right?

So you power through the setup and soundcheck on beer and pretzels and gross coffee. This setting up maybe ends 5 minutes before showtime. You're kind of a wreck at this point and would really like to relax and enjoy the show, but now you're either running the board, working the front door or working the stage and helping artist strike-set changeovers.

In one of these situations I'm drawing from I was running the board. I don't actually remember this show much at all, because I was so focused on running the board. This, unfortunately, is not actually a paradox. You can be so intently focused on the metrics of sound quality that you're not able to experience the actual content yourself. Sure, I heard bits of it but there's an entirely different kind of attention involved. I was told that the show sounded very good and I received genuine praise from the artist in question that I was supporting, which is great.

But I wasn't at that show. I never got to actually see that show, even though I technically had the best seat in the house. I was at a show where I was stressfully and anxiously micromanaging the sound quality of a highly respected experimental artist, working a highly touchy and overly loud 4+1 surround sound setup we'd come up with in a very small space.

So, the show ends and you're both physically and emotionally exhausted. You maybe broke even or didn't lose a ton of money. The artists got paid with a little extra. The fans and attendees loved it. It was, by all of the metrics of how these things go, a raging success.

Now you get to break down. Do it all in reverse, except now it's maybe 3 AM or even closer to dawn, you're pushing 24 hours awake and running on coffee, beer and maybe no food, you're exhausted and you really need to put things away in the right place, in the right order. If there's heavy rigging involved, large speakers or portable stage structures - now is when expensive mistakes happen and people are most likely to get hurt. And you're no longer running on the energy or fumes of anticipation. You're spent. La petit mort has passed, the climax is behind you.

And of course the venue staff is now in a hurry and just wants to go home. So you pack up the van with the sound. Which still both need to be returned tonight. Err, this morning. You drive out to rental warehouse, and maybe wait for dawn for someone to show up so you can offload the sound. You definitely do not leave the truck parked in front of your place with the sound in it. You do not go take a quick nap with tens of thousands of dollars worth of rented high quality speakers in an obviously rented truck on the street in your urban neighborhood.

You wait to offload the sound. You drop off the truck. Then you go home.

If you're lucky you get to sleep for a few hours and go to brunch with some of your favorite artists and hang out or something. If you're unlucky you're driving them to the airport before you've even had breakfast or sleep yourself so they can make it to their next show on time.

And for a week or a few months you might ponder why the hell you did all that in the first place. Sure, sometimes there's also the afterglow, but it's usually combined with some level of "That was a terrible mistake. I'm going to need to sleep for a month to recover from that."

Then maybe you forget and do it all over again. It was so much fun last time, right?

That's the lifecycle and anatomy of a single small show, fairly well done.

Now, for a festival? Festivals are like that, except cubed. Imagine somewhere between a few to dozens of venues small to large, each with multiple artists and functions throughout the day. Now do this every day for 5-10 days.

Now try to do it with about 200-300 staff, many of which are either underpaid or volunteers.

You're at the mercy of thousands if not tens or hundreds of thousands of people. Many of them of questionable sobriety, morals or ethics. Most of them are lovely, but a few of them make you wonder what you're really in for and you wished they'd just go home.

And the only way that this ever even remotely works is if you have a really strong, clear vision that other people believe in, that they can invest in and feel empowered in.

You're not just trying to get people to help you paint a fence, and you're certainly not supposed to be trying to get people to simply paint it for you.

You better be out on that fence painting it more than anyone, you're trying to get people to paint a fence in a very particular shade or pattern of colors that maybe only you can see.

This never works as a marketing gimmick or lifestyle branding event. Not unless you're willing to pay handsomely for it and treat it entirely as a marketing investment and loss leader.

Companies and people throw these kinds of events and festivals all the time, and they're rarely culturally interesting.
posted by loquacious at 12:02 AM on April 29 [76 favorites]


@shinynewbuttons

If you told me yesterday that Ja Rule would start a prison camp for Instagram kids in the Bahamas, I woulda called you mad. #fyrefestival

7:22 AM - 28 Apr 2017
posted by rhizome at 12:09 AM on April 29 [7 favorites]


I have nothing to add, except for my SCP writeup of the event:
Description: SCP-X is a recurrent event that employs mass and social media to pose as an exclusive music and lifestyle festival. Cccurring every 1-3 years under different guises and in different locations, the event seeks to attract young, attractive, high net worth individuals, described colloquially as 'trustafarians', 'bougies', and 'instagram kids'.

The event lures its victims with cutting-edge advertising techniques that mimic more successful and better-known festivals, allowing it to charge significant sums of money for fees (equivalent to an average worker's monthly or annual wage). Once there, victims discover the festival lacks most or all of the promised amenities and entertainment, and are immediately plunged into an existential crisis. Thus, the festival feeds, and grows.

*Phone transcript between and local police:*

Subject: You've got to help us! It's a disaster out here!
Police: Can you describe what's happening? Are people injured? Is there a fire?
Subject: No, but -
Police: In that case, please wait until the morning.
Subject: You've got to understand - people are *fainting*!

Victims emerge from the festival 2-3 days after arriving, emotionally drained but physically unharmed. Psychological testing reveals increased favour for government interventions in emergencies, and improved market regulation.
posted by adrianhon at 1:55 AM on April 29 [17 favorites]


New York magazine has a brief piece by someone who (briefly) worked for the Fyre Festival. Apparently a month ago the event planners got together and said to the executive team that nothing had been done, the festival would need an immediate $50 million cash injection to even have a chance of success, and really the best thing would be to cancel and roll everyone's ticket over to 2018. The exec's response?

A guy from the marketing team said, “Let’s just do it and be legends, man.”

Oh, and then they fired a whole bunch of people and demanded that those remaining take big pay cuts.
posted by firechicago at 5:22 AM on April 29 [6 favorites]


“Move Fast And Break Things” — Zuckerberg
“They Have To Catch You First” — Kalanick
“Let’s just do it and be legends, man.” — anonymous Fyre spokesbro
posted by acb at 5:31 AM on April 29 [14 favorites]


Also, how much do you want to bet that some variant of “Living Like Movie Stars, Partying Like Rock Stars, Fucking Like Porn Stars” will end up adorning the offices of the next generation of disruptive start-ups, overlaid in white type over a photo of a Successful Alpha Dudebro type.
posted by acb at 5:49 AM on April 29 [3 favorites]


Really I just can't believe that people pay 100 grand for a weekend of music on the beach. I didn't realize that Coachella even reached that level of ... stupid?
posted by xammerboy at 6:05 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]


One of the more annoying aspects of corporate employment that I've noticed is that, if you are particularly effective at your job, a side effect is that it conditions people to believe that no demand is too ridiculous because, after all, you got it done. And typically the people doing the asking are totally insulated from the visuals of the execution. This kind of scenario feels like that tendency taken to its most absurd extreme--that they still looked at an empty gravel pit a month beforehand and still thought they could magic it all into place.
posted by Autumnheart at 6:08 AM on April 29 [15 favorites]


...without actually arranging any of it, or paying for it. Expecting others to work for free in order to fulfill your grand vision seems to be endemic among this kind of personality.
posted by Autumnheart at 6:09 AM on April 29 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I mean . . . I spent more time and effort planning my 50 person wedding. I just don't get why Ja Rule didn't realize before this that it wasn't going to happen. He tours, he does shows, surely he must know how much work needs to get done for a show to go up. And if he doesn't, he must know how much money it takes for someone else to take care of it.
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:11 AM on April 29 [2 favorites]


He actually really might not know. I mean, he might generally acknowledge that people have jobs and things cost money and that's why there's a production team, but I sincerely doubt he knows that it takes XYZ in manpower and materials to set up a stage, and ABC in same to hire talent, etc. I would be very surprised if he had any real knowledge about any of that.

And even if he personally did, clearly the executives had no idea whatsoever, which is pretty classic executive thinking in so, so many instances. We see SO many stories of people with executive titles, who act like caricatures and make insane demands of their employees. Uber, Wells Fargo, United... every unnamed start-up that wants people to work 80 hours a week for half market pay...this kind of thinking is everywhere.
posted by Autumnheart at 6:16 AM on April 29 [4 favorites]


Just one small observation compared to Cochella, it was on a third world island. As hard as the desert can be moving resources onto an island is 3-15 times more difficult and expensive. They may have used significant budget just getting a few lame tents installed.
posted by sammyo at 6:29 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]


Attendees will supposedly get a full refund... and a free VIP pass to next year's festival

oh joy
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:15 AM on April 29


Despite not having done this before, if ... if... I could be assured of the budget, and had a proper timeline, I think I would be great at planning something like this.

Or at least better than the people involved in this dumpster fyre.
posted by AFABulous at 7:22 AM on April 29


I haven't planned anything bigger than a birthday party since Jerry Garcia died, but even *I* have a copy of this, so I'll just leave this here in case anyone decides to try again. It's like 4 fucking dollars.

The Event Safety Guide: A Guide to Health, Safety and Welfare at Live Entertainment Events in the United States by Event Safety Alliance
posted by mikelieman at 7:49 AM on April 29 [4 favorites]


Just one small observation compared to Cochella, it was on a third world island.

I haven't been, but I'm reasonably sure the Exumas are about on par with Greek islands as far as third-world-ness goes?

It looks like "Fyre Cay" is just how the promoters were lying about Grand Exuma?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:36 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]


you rent things like stages and sound by the day or hour so you never get to do anything in any sane amount of time

Have you just explained the mystery of why shows tend to start at 10:30pm instead of some sane hour of the afternoon or evening?
posted by straight at 8:49 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]


at least you're in show business, loquacious
posted by thelonius at 10:03 AM on April 29


Tribune comment: Fyre Festival organisers showed disrespect in clashing with regatta. A local perspective. It guesses the original site was Norman's Cay. Talks extensively about it being scheduled in conflict with a big, established yearly tourist event.
posted by Nelson at 10:05 AM on April 29 [7 favorites]


When you grow up with other people doing everything and making everything for you, you might "know" those things happen, but you don't really know how hard it is.

Everyone knows that sewer lines, water pipes, floors, walls, and ceilings exist. They know that restaurants have cooks, servers, and dishwashers. But if you've never spent any time laying sewer lines or cooking for large numbers of other people, you have no idea how much hard work it requires. You just take those things for granted.

And you're in no position to make yourself responsible for supplying those basic things to anyone else, especially if you're not even willing to pay other people decent wages for it. But that's where we are now.
posted by mikeand1 at 10:09 AM on April 29 [3 favorites]


See, the problem with that event safety guide? It's a book. Yeah, it's a Kindle e-book and all, but it's still a book. That has, like, paragraphs and whatnot. It's not interactive enough. It's not a 100 percent immersive experience, bro. Someone has to actually sit down and read that thing, like they're an old like you (I mean, Jerry Garcia? I just can't) and that's not how you become legendary.
posted by tully_monster at 10:25 AM on April 29 [7 favorites]


Festival goer who never made it to the island:
"A week ago, we had gotten individual emails that requested us to put money into our Fyre wristbands. Those were the wristbands that we would use to pay for things at the festival because it was cash only. This was also crazy—they were recommending between $300 and $500 per day for expenses. Food was technically included. We didn’t know what the food was. I put $500 on my card."
A week ago!
posted by mochapickle at 10:59 AM on April 29 [3 favorites]


> fucking like porn stars.

Is that even appealing? Like, "having sex with people who are touching me only because they're paid to" or "having sex while other people stand nearby and vocally critique my technique and appearance" or what, what am I missing?
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:08 AM on April 29 [23 favorites]


"A mechanical replication of pleasure performed for an audience for the sole goal of making myself richer," is probably not an unfair way to describe a lot of Internet celebrity. I think that's probably unfair for performers in pornography to be described in that broad of a fashion, however.
posted by codacorolla at 11:17 AM on April 29 [5 favorites]


Have you just explained the mystery of why shows tend to start at 10:30pm instead of some sane hour of the afternoon or evening?

Basically, yes. There are other factors involved, like the fact that a lot of people who work in music as either staff or artists also have day jobs that generally involve food service.

A not unrelated factor is that a later show time start allows time for people to go out for dinner and drinks before a show... where someone who is very likely an aspiring musician or working at a music venue later that evening will be serving them dinner or mixing their drinks.

If anyone thinks I'm being droll or facetious, I'm not. Not at all. I've just observed this a lot.

at least you're in show business, loquacious

I'm not, really. At least I've never thought about it or felt about it like this?

I mean, yeah, it's really rewarding to have had a few moments to peek out from behind the curtains and see a bunch of people out in the audience and knowing you helped build whatever it is that they were so interested in.

I'm not sure if I would call what I've been involved with "show business" in any real sense. It's mainly been a bunch of art/music nerds in the electronic/experimental music scene, which is about as outsider and anti-show business as it gets.
posted by loquacious at 11:46 AM on April 29 [7 favorites]


It's dreadful to win a battle in the class war by default, just because these vampires don't know what work is.
posted by eustatic at 12:57 PM on April 29 [6 favorites]


What stage of capitalism does it have to be for the trumplings of the world to put themselves in prison?
posted by eustatic at 1:06 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


they said
their shit
was fire

but

in fact
their Fyre

was
shit
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:42 PM on April 29 [10 favorites]


tully_monster Someone has to actually sit down and read that thing, like they're an old like you (I mean, Jerry Garcia? I just can't)

I prefer "grup" to "an old", myself.
posted by mikelieman at 1:51 PM on April 29 [3 favorites]


See, the problem with that event safety guide? It's a book. Yeah, it's a Kindle e-book and all, but it's still a book. That has, like, paragraphs and whatnot. It's not interactive enough. It's not a 100 percent immersive experience, bro. Someone has to actually sit down and read that thing, like they're an old like you (I mean, Jerry Garcia? I just can't) and that's not how you become legendary.

But they'll instinctively turn to paper as a front-line organizational tool, there's photographic evidence!

Chips?
posted by Autumnheart at 2:01 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


I'm just going to paste my comment from another post here, it seems to work a lot lately;

There's a lot about the state of the world in this story. None of it good.
posted by bongo_x at 2:28 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


If they'd just held it together a little bit more, Fyre Festival would have been to Millennials as Woodstock was to the generation before mine.

Actually, the Fyre Festival that we ended up getting really is a good approximation of Woodstock for Millennials.
posted by Apocryphon at 8:02 PM on April 29 [6 favorites]


Note that this was not on a deserted island, there are taxi's and hotel rooms 20 minutes away --- any other weekend. The organizers picked the one week of the year that a yacht regatta has the entire island booked solid.
posted by sammyo at 5:31 AM on April 30 [8 favorites]


Ready for your Fyre-festival related secondary humorous takes? Chuck Tingle is on it
posted by quaking fajita at 8:06 AM on April 30 [4 favorites]


Is that even appealing? Like, "having sex with people who are touching me only because they're paid to" or "having sex while other people stand nearby and vocally critique my technique and appearance" or what, what am I missing?

Would add "assuming untenable positions that will probably cause you to throw out your back or induce a charley horse."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:13 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


what am I missing?

A liberal definition of kink, but this is all a pointless derail.
posted by rhizome at 10:17 AM on April 30


The masthead of The Tribune, linked above, is quite something:

The Tribune Limited
NULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI
Being Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master

LEON E. H. DUPUCH, Publisher/Editor 1903-1914

SIR ETIENNE DUPUCH, Kt., O.B.E., K.M., K.C.S.G.,
(Hon.) LL.D., D.Litt .
Publisher/Editor 1919-1972 • Contributing Editor 1972-1991

EILEEN DUPUCH CARRON, C.M.G., M.S., B.A., LL.B.
Publisher/Editor 1972-

Published Daily Monday to Saturday


This is pretty good:

Let’s put this into perspective ... Imagine for a minute if thousands of Bahamians in Junkanoo costumes with cowbells, goatskin drums, Bacardi, Heneiken, Kalik and Sands Beer in tow, descended upon Palm Springs demanding all hotel rooms, guest houses, taxi, buses and RV parks - which had already been previously booked in advance - and informing the Mayor that we ain’t checking for Coachella this year, we “Jammin’ island style” and everyone can roll out?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:25 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


Yeeees, as the commenters to that newspaper article point out, why did the govt allow it in the first place? It "advised" the organizers to change the date and the location but in the end it did not pull the permits.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:17 PM on April 30






Turns out that this whole thing was supposed to promote an app

Because the schadenfreude wasn't sublime enough, bullshit tech-bubble culture had to be involved somehow...
posted by en forme de poire at 10:11 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


As if all of this wasn't sensational enough, the class action plaintiff's lawyer is Mark Geragos, who has represented:

Michael Jackson
Chris Brown
Gary Condit
Scott Peterson
Winona Ryder(!)
posted by mochapickle at 10:28 PM on April 30


And they're asking for $100 million.
posted by mochapickle at 10:28 PM on April 30


How America’s Luxury-Obsessed Festival Industry Made the Fyre Festival Debacle Possible
By my count, high-end tickets to at least a dozen major U.S. music festivals cost close to $1,000 or more—a marked increase from even just two years ago. The price to attend music festivals has gradually climbed out of the grasp of your average music fan for years, to the extent that now the cheapest possible weekend at Coachella costs more than $600, and that’s if you already live in the desert and bring your own dry bread and cheese from home. The VIP version of that same Coachella experience costs almost $8,500, including flights and hotel. It’s a lot of money. Bonnaroo, now owned by the concert behemoth Live Nation, sells its VIP tickets for $1,648.50 and you have to buy two at a time. And that’s just the midrange VIP price! You want that real VIP experience, with the up-close seating and the Le Bon cabana? That costs $7,000 for two people. And you still have to get there.
posted by octothorpe at 4:53 AM on May 1 [3 favorites]


I keep mis-reading this as the "Frye Festival" and wondering why Instagram kids would pay $9000 to hang out on Eczema with Stephen Frye. Then I remember I can't spell all that well and, well...
posted by staggering termagant at 11:58 AM on May 1 [2 favorites]


staggering termagant: "I keep mis-reading this as the "Frye Festival""

Oddly enough, not only is there a Frye Festival ("Atlantic Canada's largest literary happening"), its dates this year actually overlapped with Fyre Festival (April 22-29). Weird coincidence, eh?
posted by mhum at 12:37 PM on May 1 [3 favorites]


I also keep reading "Frye Festival" in my head every single time I see it. It was actually a couple days before I clued into the fact that it was "Fyre" but by then it was too late. Frye had stuck.
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:52 PM on May 1


Wait until I throw the FyreFrye Festival. It's going to be epic.
posted by bongo_x at 3:13 PM on May 1


Vanity Fair: Exclusive: The Leaked Fyre Festival Pitch Deck is Beyond Parody:
But for the investors who were able to glimpse Fyre’s pitch deck, little of this should have been a shock. The presentation, which I recently obtained and appears in full at the bottom of this page, is one of the most preposterous invitations for outside capital that I have ever seen (and that’s saying something). It’s hard to pin down, on some level, the most ludicrous element of the document. Perhaps it’s the fact that the 43-page deck resembles an amalgamation of a Miami Beach spa package with selfies you might find saved on a teenager’s smartphone. Or perhaps it’s the fact that the employees who work for Fyre (yes, it’s more than just a festival, it’s an app too!) are referred to as “The Fyre Squad.” Or maybe it’s that a pitch deck seeking $25 million in funding ends with a quote from the philosopher and poet Rumi, noting: “Seek those who light your flames.” Though, I’d venture to say that the most infuriating thing about the Fyre pitch deck is what occurs on page 21 through 25, in a segment called “The Fyre Starters.”
I can't do this justice in a summary. Just read it.

If we didn't have such a toothless FTC, all these "influencers" should be subject to significant penalties for their failure to disclose paid promotions on social media.
posted by zachlipton at 3:26 PM on May 1 [2 favorites]


Fuckin' lifestyle festivals; how do they work?
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 6:22 PM on May 1 [3 favorites]


panama joe: But that sad little sandwich is like, "hey, we tried."

Shoppers who liked the desperate attempt to deliver something, ANYTHING FOR FUCKS SAKE also liked.
[See page 10 of the class action complaint Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey linked.]

Usually I like to tell the people who work for me I don't want to hear what you can't do, I want to hear what you CAN do with what you've got. Be creative. Overcome obstacles. Someone... went and got a few locker banks. For thousands of people with luggage and valuables expecting hotel rooms. That is NOT what I mean when I say that, and maybe I should stop saying it. Of course, I'm pretty confident I'd have said "Gym lockers!? This isn't working, cancel the whole thing". Hard to say, though, because I'd have been so out of that (non)planning clown show six months before gym lockers was even a question...

One person. Who had ever put on even a medium-sized event. That's all they would have had to hire. They may not have pulled it off, but they would at least have known they weren't going to pull it off in time to cancel gracefully.
posted by ctmf at 7:21 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]


One person. Who had ever put on even a medium-sized event. That's all they would have had to hire.

But, according to the pitch deck, they had an influencer named Fuck Jerry! How could they know they would need more talent than Fuck Jerry?
posted by Squeak Attack at 7:41 AM on May 2 [2 favorites]


One person. Who had ever put on even a medium-sized event. That's all they would have had to hire. They may not have pulled it off, but they would at least have known they weren't going to pull it off in time to cancel gracefully.

But...then they wouldn't be legends, man!
posted by nubs at 8:11 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]


How could they know they would need more talent than Fuck Jerry?

Nobody could have known, it's time to move on and quit being mean. It's like you people think they should suffer some consequences or something.
posted by bongo_x at 10:40 AM on May 2


Something that's sort of bugged me about the write ups is the description of the tents as "FEMA tents" or "disaster-relief tents". As far as I know, they're not literal government surplus, and there's certainly nothing inherently wrong with a geodesic dome as a form factor, especially if you want them to be big enough for 2-4 king size beds. The problem as far as I can see seems to be that the aesthetic is off, that they aren't colonial safari tent chic enough? It's weird, is what I'm saying.
posted by quaking fajita at 10:45 AM on May 2


I can't imagine being the person setting up tents the day before. At that point, you're far past "this isn't going to go well" and into "we're going to get killed and eaten, aren't we?" territory.
posted by ctmf at 11:06 AM on May 2 [2 favorites]


quaking fajita: "Something that's sort of bugged me about the write ups is the description of the tents as "FEMA tents" or "disaster-relief tents". As far as I know, they're not literal government surplus, and there's certainly nothing inherently wrong with a geodesic dome as a form factor [...]"

Indeed, there's nothing inherently wrong with geodesic dome tents. However, in this case, I think people noticed that the particular model they used are apparently very similar to -- if not exactly the same -- tents marketed for disaster relief and used by US aid agencies, including FEMA. Also, these tents were emphatically not what was presented in the marketing materials, so there's a serious amount of bait and switch, regardless of the underlying quality or utility of these tents.
posted by mhum at 11:08 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]


Like, why was there even anyone left doing anything? That's the mind set I'm curious about.
posted by ctmf at 11:09 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]


Probably mostly for the exact reason you said before: Usually I like to tell the people who work for me I don't want to hear what you can't do, I want to hear what you CAN do with what you've got. Be creative. Overcome obstacles.

There's nothing that makes me commute-cry and stress-puke at work more than the manager who "doesn't want to hear it" when we have A Problem and I need Your Help to Avoid This Clusterfuck.

I have no doubt that most of the people involved in working on this thing were young and ambitious, probably mostly privileged, and not very experienced with very little actual-business-leverage in the world, who want to be able to put high-profile projects like this on their resumes and ride that wave until they have enough experience to be valuable for that reason instead (or just surf their mediocrity to ever higher levels, that seems to work in that industry too). Probably most of them didn't know enough about what disasters look like - how hard can it be, right? - to know they were in one, and the ones that did got out fast. There were a few suckers in there who'd been convinced they should never give up, and their mamas didn't raise quitters, so let's get 24 lockers and a case of American cheese at least.

You can't just "overcome obstacles" when that obstacle is the Bahamian government or that someone else spent the entire budget on models.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:54 PM on May 2 [9 favorites]


There's nothing that makes me commute-cry and stress-puke at work more than the manager who "doesn't want to hear it" when we have A Problem and I need Your Help to Avoid This Clusterfuck.

It's a figure of speech, nobody's stress-puking here. It's a reminder to try, not just throw every setback on my desk to solve and give back robot instructions. (People will do that if I let them, trust me.) Obviously, "we have no food for thousands of people without money from YOU for vendors" isn't a routine problem a field person should be able to handle.

Also, a status report of "we're thinking of cheese sandwiches instead" isn't going to make me think, "ah great, you've got this. Yes, do that." I mean, good, that's thinking of solutions, but I'm GOING to help. This total lack of management is what's the problem here, not the well-meaning field people doing their best. I'm not blaming the field people, just saying, it's surprising how long people kept wanting to believe it would be ok, or stayed anyway. I would have expected to have zero employees by then.
posted by ctmf at 1:53 PM on May 2


And for the employees on the ground hauling water bottles and setting up tents, it could have been as simple as trusting they would get paid because someone told them they'd get paid.
posted by mochapickle at 3:00 PM on May 2 [4 favorites]


Well yeah, if you're a tent setup person being paid by the hour why do you give a shit if the thing is going to come off or not?
posted by bongo_x at 4:22 PM on May 2 [4 favorites]


Oddly enough, not only is there a Frye Festival ("Atlantic Canada's largest literary happening"), its dates this year actually overlapped with Fyre Festival (April 22-29). Weird coincidence, eh?

Earlier this year, a Dutch teenager headed for Sydney (in Australia) managed to screw up his ticket arrangements and not realize he had done so before arriving in Sydney (in Nova Scotia). Apparently this is a thing that happens every so often.

So now I'm wondering how many would-be Ja Rule elbow rubbing trustafarians managed to accidentally end up at the Frye Festival, at first were blown away by how badly they fucked up, but are now realizing they totally dodged a bullet.
posted by Naberius at 8:35 AM on May 4 [2 favorites]




Is anyone else here finding themselves doing this?

Like, at least once a day I say it. Should I take the trash out? Let's just do it and be legends, man. Should I walk the dog? Legends, man. Should I grab my canvas bags for my trip to the supermarket? Legends.
posted by mochapickle at 10:42 PM on May 4 [4 favorites]


From the pitch deck:
In the tech space, [Ja Rule] is an investor and advisor to the hugely successful members-only benefits platform Magnises.
I can only imagine that Magnises is a contraction of "Magnificent Penises". Hopefully someone will tell my I'm wrong, but hope isn't doing very well in 2017.

Also, is the presence of Kendall Jenner the canary in the PR coalmine? Either she goes where disaster is or a miasma of disaster floats around her like a cloud of flies.
posted by Grangousier at 12:29 AM on May 5 [3 favorites]


Also: "Fyre removes the friction to securing talent." It is, if you will, the KY Jelly of talent procurement.
posted by Grangousier at 12:32 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]


The confusion of "friction" with "logistical capabilities" is an easy mistake to make.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 6:58 PM on May 5


From Vice, "'There Will Be No Payroll'":
On Friday, Billy McFarland, the 25-year-old founder of the disastrous Fyre Festival, told his shell-shocked employees that their paychecks covering the past two weeks would not be coming. Nor would he be firing them, a prerequisite for unemployment benefits in most states. Instead, McFarland offered to allow his dozen-or-so employees to stay on in unpaid roles, where they could work to grow the business to a place where they might get paid again.
The audio is pretty brutal. A rough transcript starting at around the 3 minute mark:
Male employee: I'm unclear as to how you're asking us to remain employed while not paying us.

Billy McFarland: We're not asking anybody to remain employed. We're saying that we can no longer continue payroll so understand if that means you're leaving the company. If people want to stay and help out then we're of course willing to do that. [indistinct]

Male employee: I understand that but that's a breach of my contract that I signed with you. So are you firing me?

Billy McFarland: We're not firing anybody. We're letting you know that there will be no payroll in the short term so there's no more [indistinct]

Female employee: So you're not going to lay us off which will allow us to file for unemployment benefits. You just are not going to pay us any more, then making us quit ourselves. Is that kind of what we're saying?

Billy McFarland: I'm sorry what was the question?

Female employee: The question is this: You're not going to lay us off so that we can't, like, file for unemployment benefits. What you're going to do is just not pay us, forcing us to then quit. Is that kind of what we're saying?

Billy McFarland: I'm not aware of how this impacts the employment [sic, I think] benefits. The goal is to definitely not to put you in a bad position there. So I will need to get some advice on my side and figure out the best way to proceed. [indistinct] And not impact or hurt your job there.

A different male voice: What they're saying is that if they resign because they're not getting paid, they can't collect unemployment versus if they are fired then they can collect unemployment.

Billy McFarland: Ok. I was not aware of that so I will talk with the team and then I guess if this impacts you, you can email me and we can figure out what the right way to proceed is to make sure that everybody is in a good place to collect any benefits.
"I was not aware of that" Meanwhile, in sane employment jurisdictions, if your employer doesn't fire you but just stops paying you, that'd still be considered a de facto firing by the relevant authority regardless of what the employer says (although it'd still probably be much more of a hassle than if the employer just did the normal thing).
posted by mhum at 4:47 PM on May 11 [9 favorites]


mhum: Meanwhile, in sane employment jurisdictions, if your employer doesn't fire you but just stops paying you, that'd still be considered a de facto firing by the relevant authority regardless of what the employer says

Is "constructive dismissal" the term?

I think some jurisdictions differentiate, for the purpose of unemployment benefits, between firing someone with cause and laying someone off because you don't have work for them. Hopefully Billy "Legend" McFarland doesn't screw that up, too.
posted by clawsoon at 6:43 PM on May 11


clawsoon: "Is "constructive dismissal" the term?"

Yeah, that's the one. For some reason I couldn't think of it off the top of my head. Although, I think I've usually heard the term used in somewhat more subtle cases like where the employer changes the employees work conditions and/or responsibilities in such a way to induce the employee to quit rather than outright fire them. Simply not issuing paychecks is so obvious and egregious that it seems like a bit of a stretch to call it "constructive dismissal" (even though that's what it is).
posted by mhum at 7:02 PM on May 11


. Although, I think I've usually heard the term used in somewhat more subtle cases like where the employer changes the employees work conditions and/or responsibilities in such a way to induce the employee to quit rather than outright fire them.

CD is often cited in cases where an employer zeroes out an employee's hours but won't actually fire them, too.
posted by Etrigan at 7:39 PM on May 11


He's asking for unpaid volunteering to further the company's business, which I believe is more commonly known as a "Labor Law violation."
posted by rhizome at 7:41 PM on May 11 [3 favorites]


It's the "I won't Fyre you Festival".

Would normal companies go bankrupt under these conditions? Doesn't the inability to pay your employees, with no prospect of paying them any time soon, count as a liquidity crisis?
posted by clawsoon at 7:50 PM on May 11


*five minutes of swearing.*
"What's wrong?"
*tells wife*
*five more minutes of swearing*

I mean, my worst boss ever tried to get me to quit in order to avoid having to deal with unemployment compensation. But that bastard, abusive though he was, at least paid me while I was working. Fyre Festival makes him look ethical.
posted by happyroach at 7:53 PM on May 11


Could they form a union and immediately go on strike? I mean, even if it's a fire-at-will jurisdiction, that would be better than the current situation.
posted by Grangousier at 11:02 AM on May 12


Grangousier: "Could they form a union and immediately go on strike? I mean, even if it's a fire-at-will jurisdiction, that would be better than the current situation."

I don't think that's how it works. My understanding is that you form a union in order to negotiate a collective agreement. If they're halting payroll, they're well past the point of collective bargaining. Plus, who would they be bargaining with anyways? You can't get blood from a stone. These guys probably have almost no remaining money and certainly won't be able to raise any more given the zillion lawsuits aimed at them. This whole "just keep working for us but we won't pay you" is just a ridiculous idea by the ludicrously out-of-touch 25-year-old CEO who (as far as I can tell) has never actually had to hold down a normal job and hence has no idea how filing for unemployment works.
posted by mhum at 5:08 PM on May 12 [3 favorites]


How is this not wage theft? I hope those employees are called their state employment commissions immediately.
posted by snickerdoodle at 6:10 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


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