The festival, which Fyre promoters had marketed on Instagram as the next Coachella, didn’t quite turn out to be the opulent Bahamas getaway, as promised, with yachts and luxury cabanas, celebrity-chef catering, and the greatest live-music entertainment that anyone had ever imagined. Instead, it was more like Lord of the Flies dystopia meets social-media hysteria, circa 2017.

A fool and his money, etc etc.

As a side note: does it seem like writer are taking it as a challenge to link everything to Trump? The story is easy enough to make interesting without invoking him. There are a ton of things to do a deep dive on, too! Like the epidemic of undisclosed promotion or the ridiculous amount of VC money thrown at ridiculous products.


Nick Bilton is an insufferable choad. Paul Carr can be, too, but Paul Carr didn't write this sentence:

    Even with all of the transformations that have developed during the technology age, few industries have been as visibly thrown into disarray as the advertising business.

Right - certainly not

- the music industry

- the publishing industry

- journalism

- motion pictures

- television

- retail

I mean, I'll bet he says something stupid about VCRs next.

    Later, DVRs came along and made it possible for us to fast-forward through unimaginative 30-second television spots.


Nick Bilton Aside I'm sharing this anyway because the pitch deck makes the whole travesty make sense and for some dumb reason, Nick Bilton got it. Because the thing is, music festivals in stupid places aren't new. These things can be done. Friends of mine put on Yanni at the Taj Mahal and that wasn't a three-cornered clusterfuck and it was like 20 years ago so what the hell went wrong?

And what the hell went wrong is that Ja Rule wasn't interested in putting on a concert, he was interested in eliminating talent agencies.

For the record, talent agencies are limited by law to no more than ten percent of their artist's revenues. Annoying magazines like The Hollywood Reporter even call them "tenpercenteries" rather than talent agencies so they can feel special about themselves. And that ten percent is paid by the artist to their agent because, obviously, the artist stands to benefit the most from getting the job.

Fyre, bless their black hearts, decided that the ten percent should be paid to them by the booker. Meanwhile, they would maintain no stable of artists, maintain no relationship with clients, and work their influential magic through a third party app (instagram). Meanwhile, everybody with a talent agent is staring down the barrel of a massive contract-violating conflict of interest and Fyre pretty much has to operate at the pleasure of WME, UTA, CAA, LiveNation and all the rest.

So their festival was comprised of people with no existing relationship to the true bones of the industry.

You could actually write something interesting about this. This is a company attempting to "disrupt" the client-management relationship. That's actually pretty interesting, and has a lot of implications for entertainment. But no, instead we got

    As the investor deck notes, and one person who was pitched by the organizers told me, the Fyre Squad (yes, I just wrote that) had recruited over 400 Fyre Starters (ugh) with mass followings on social media (mostly Instagram and Twitter) to share promotional videos and photos of the Fyre Festival and say how excited they were to attend. In exchange, the Fyre Starters, which included names like Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski, and Nick Bateman, were offered free flights, accommodations, and tickets to the event, which ranged in price from $1,500 to $12,500 for people who were not Fyre Starters (some ticket packages surpassed $100,000). Some of the more influential influencers (a little part of me dies inside every time I type that word) require being paid for these kinds of promotions, too.

Note that he can't write anything about any "influencer" (talent) actually being paid because if they were, their existing agencies probably would have gotten in the middle and pulled the plug. But since they were apparently remunerated entirely in swag, they got the sort of talent that works for trinkets and exposure.

You could write something about that, too... if you were, say, an actual journalist.

posted by forwardslash: 840 days ago