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Volume 32, Issue 2

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Thursday, 07 March 2019 14:21

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fyre

The failed Fyre Festival of 2017 serves as a cautionary tale to any who’d ignore warnings from trusted advisers and key stakeholders. Sandra Erez discusses how the Fyre Festival went so disastrously wrong – and the lesson compliance practitioners should take away.

The recent Netflix documentary “Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened” revealed the 2017 fiasco to be a real “trip” – the kind that comes from bad LSD with lingering, long-term effects. Touted as a luxury music festival set on the balmy beaches of the Bahamas, this highly publicized would-be event tantalized millennials with the chance to live the elusive elite lifestyle for a weekend (and talk about it for the rest of their lives). Dangling ads of bikinied supermodels frolicking in the waves succeeded as the bait that would reel thousands of suckers in to this Titanic event – hook, line and sinker. Never mind that it all seemed to be too good to be true; everything is possible if you have the right app, the right hair, the right attitude and are in search of the perfect Instagram backdrop – real or not.

The Fyre Festival launch started off with a splash worthy of any jet ski – selling 95 percent of the costly tickets within 24 hours. Like moths to a flame, the target audience was enticed into the web spun with golden promises, thereby proving to founder Billy McFarland and his team that his idea was on fire. Now, totally pumped and egged on by their initial spectacular success, the staff and partners literally dug their heels (and unfortunately their heads) into the sand to get this show on the road.