• Christian Michaels

Fyre Festival and the Staggering Reach of Social Media

It recently came out that Kylie Jenner and Emily Ratajkowski, amongst other celebrities and agencies, are being sued for their involvement in the Fyre Festival scandal. These individuals and groups were paid to promote an event which didn’t only not live up to expectations, but outright lied to its patrons and abandoned them on an Island in the Bahamas.

The fascinating thing about this disaster was the way in which it was facilitated. Using only a handful of models and famous influencers, the organisers of Fyre Festival were able to make this event one of the most hotly-anticipated occasions of the year through social media. Though the festival itself was nothing short of a catastrophe, the way in which it was marketed demonstrated the power and reach of social media like nothing before it. In today’s article we’d like to take you through our thoughts on the subject.

So What Actually Happened?

Well, Christ where do I begin? So, this guy called Billy McFarland decided that with a little help from his friends he would organise and pull off the most luxurious festival the world had ever seen. The marketing of the event reflected this as he, his crew and a handful of famous models essentially had a party on an island for a week. The footage and pictures taken were used through the social media accounts of famous models in order to create hype around the hashtag FyreFestival.

Remarkably, it took off like Magic Mike’s trousers, quickly, efficiently and to the sound of applause from its audience. Through no other means than the Instagram accounts of a few famous models, and some guest posts from the likes of Kylie Jenner, Fyre Festival became one of the most talked about topics on social media. Off the back of its overnight popularity, thousands of people bought tickets. In fact, they sold so many, and due to poor planning, that they even had to tell people not to come!

When it came to the festival itself, the organisers promised the world but delivered something more comparable to a reliant robin which had been magnet fished out of a canal. Huge acts were booked but never turned up, there was a shortage of food, luxurious villas were in fact hurricane tents... you get the picture. As a result, various law suits and criminal charges ensued in what can only be described as the most beautifully chaotic scandal of the century. There is a documentary on Netflix which cover the whole topic and it’s well worth a watch.

The Importance of Social Media

Though some other avenues of marketing were used to promote Fyre Festival, the interest in the event came primarily and predominantly through social media. As a result of the few initial posts by household names, thousands of others started discussing and inadvertently advertising the festival themselves. Through a handful of carefully-crafted Instagram and Twitter posts, Fyre Festival became THE topic and THE event. The hype created around this festival was truly staggering and nothing like this has ever been seen before.

Though we certainly don’t condone the way in which social media was abused as a tool in order to facilitate this farce, nothing has more aptly demonstrated the reach and power of social media to date. Being able to not only reach, but influence people and grow your brand through only a few posts is no longer a fantasy but a reality. This is the way that marketing has changed, trust in a brand need not come from years of loyal service anymore, it can be initiated, cultivated and established using only the free online marketing tools that are social media.

Social Media Services in Manchester

So with that in mind, is your business and brand truly benefiting from these seemingly boundless platforms? Are you inspiring loyalty in your clientele and piquing their interests? Don’t worry, you don’t have to organise a festival in the Bahamas, all you have to do is give us a call and we can have a chat about how we can improve your social media exposure.



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