This weekend’s Fyre Festival went up in flames. Acts pulled out of the event last minute while Instagram influencers deleted all traces of the event from their feeds. A festival that gained fame from social media influencers had its demise well documented on the same channel. Fyre Festival’s appeal as being an exclusive culture and music festival attracted festival fanatics looking for a taste of the good life. Popular Instagram models promoted Fyre Festival for months leading up to this allegedly epic event they all planned to attend. When guests touched down at the exclusive event in the Bahamas, the whole event appeared to be a scam.
The Lies Were Less than Lit
Fyre Festival gained a sizable following through its advertising as an exclusive event for the rich and famous. Followers of Instagram influencers see lavish lifestyles on their feeds every day. Therefore, Fyre Festival served as an opportunity for normal people to get a taste of the jetsetter lifestyle. Celebrity models such as Hailey Baldwin, Bella Hadid, and Kendall Jenner promoted the event, claiming how cool it would be. Festival goers bought tickets ranging anywhere from $1,500 to $400,000 – definitely not an event for money-conscious individuals.
Acts such as Blink-182 pulled out last minute from rapper Ja Rule’s luxury music festival. As guests arrived to the Bahamian island, they expected to find luxury tents and dining options like they saw on social media for months. Instead they were met with minimal food and lodging that mimicked that of refugee tents. This environment differs from the luxurious lifestyle their favorite Instagram stars promoted.
Influencers Spreading their Influence
Social media influencers reach a huge audience on a platform that millennials already actively use. When planning how to promote a music festival targeted at young, affluent millennials, who better to market it than other rich young people? The obvious individuals to turn to include popular influencers on Instagram, and Fyre Festival did exactly that. Not only did they advertise popular music acts, but through Ja Rule’s connections in the celebrity community, highly followed individuals jumped on board with Fyre Festival as well. Thousands of people invested in going to this festival to live like their favorite social media. Upon arrival, normal people had the opportunity to become social media influencers themselves. Snapchat had so many users posting stories from the catastrophic event that they created an entire “Bahama Drama” story to allow people to document the rip off.
Social media and its influencers gave birth to Fyre Festival. Unfortunately, social media publicly broadcasted the death of the event and its reputation.
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