We Now Live in a Post Fyre Festival World

I remember waking up on a rainy, lazy weekend and heading on over to Pitchfork. My wife sleeps in. I don’t. So these mornings are when I catch up on what I might have missed during the week. I love my wife, but it’s one of my favorite parts of the week.

Of course, that morning, what caught my attention was this disaster called Fyre Festival. A mess put on by Billy McFarland and Ja Rule (it was probably my late-90s, early 00s music loving self that made me click on the story), the event had clearly gone astray.

Of course, the now infamous tweet of the plain bread with two cheese slices immediately made me gasp. I think it’s fair to say I became obsessed at that point. I wanted to know everything about how this could go so wrong.

In the last couple of weeks, two competing documentaries have been released on Hulu and Netflix. While the Hulu documentary, Fyre Fraud, highlights what is apparently wrong with youth culture at large, the Netflix documentary, Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened, asks much more intriguing questions, especially of marketers.

How much culpability do marketers have in these situations? Are those marketing the event responsible for misleading, or does the blame fall squarely on those in charge? Are agencies simply to do as their told and not ask questions?

I don’t think we have the answers yet. But there is some soul-searching to be done, a line in the sand to be drawn. One thing is clear, though. Marketers now live in a post Fyre Festival world, where new considerations and questions must be asked.

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