Fyre Festival: Epic Public Relations Fail.. And 42 West
Music festivals have been happening since before Woodstock in 1969, each with strengths and weaknesses, but the Fyre Festival scheduled for late April this year didn’t appear to have any strengths as the time came.Ahead of time, it sounded great, tickets going for amounts starting at $1000, but going as high as $250K for the festival extending over two weekends and held on one of the private Islands of Exumas (Bahamas). The idea was co-sponsored by Ja Rule, and the acts included Migos, Blink-182, Major Lazer, and more.
As news of the festival was released, touting itself as the most luxurious event of a lifetime, held on a private island with catering from a top chef, it sounded amazing. But maybe the organizers didn’t allow enough time to pull everything together, let alone plan for volatile weather conditions.
Some made it to the island, those were the ones who weren’t so lucky, their gourmet meal was a cheese sandwich and wilted (not in a good way) salad without dressing. The sandwich had no condiments, just bread and cheese. Then the conditions set up were more like disaster relief after a hurricane or such. Nothing at all luxurious about the situation.
Others that didn’t make it to the island, the lucky ones, were stuck in Miami at the airport with canceled flights and no word coming immediately on what they should do. Several of the musical acts cancelled a few days before the event was to have taken place, with Blink-182 stating: “We’re not confident that we would have what we need to give you the quality of performance we always give our fans.”
Friday morning at 2:30 a.m., the concierge in charge of getting details to attendees sent out an email to people saying, “Due to circumstances out of our control, the physical infrastructure was not in place on-time and are unable to fulfill on that vision safely and enjoyably for our guests.” It went on to say they were working to get people back off the island quickly. But, by that time, those stuck in the Exumas Islands and other airports had already been telling their woes on social media.
Ultimately, word came from Ja Rule and his people, their PR reps at 42 West left it for the organizers to get the word out and how they would be handling things. Which is probably a good strategy, giving bad news through a third party can look like those responsible don’t want to face the consequences. Ja Rule and his people came out with a statement to the effect that … “IT IS NOT A SCAM!” and that he would be releasing an official statement after they got everyone off the island safely.
Maybe the real shame for those who actually made it to the island, they didn’t even get the chance to hit the water, let alone swim with the pigs – one of the famous things about the island. For 42 West, they’ll be scrambling behind the scenes in all likelihood to get information out and keep the festival and its organizers out of the hot, pig-infested waters.