Don’t Blame the Bahamas for Fyre Festival

The Coordinators and Attendees Brought it on Themselves

Promo photo from the Fyre Festival website

I love the Bahamas and I’m sorry to see them dragged through the concert festival mud. The more I learn about Fyre Festival the more I’m disappointed in my peers. It’s shocking to me that this event actually managed to sell thousands of tickets for thousands of dollars. Admittedly, it’s easy for me to say that after reading the “tormented tweets” of ritzy millennials, sitting here comfortably in a $50/night Airbnb on Hvar, Croatia. Stick with me for me moment.

When #FyreFestival took over the internet, I initially felt bad for anyone tied up in this epic shit storm. I try not to jump on the hater bandwagon or drink the fake news Kool-Aid. I am a human of great empathy. However, I just did a little recon. I am now deeply concerned for our generations critical thinking skills. Let’s review…

Official Fyre Festival Promotional Video from YouTube

The promotional video contains:

  • Hot chicks in skimpy bathing suits
  • Generic concert b-roll
  • Yachts with young people jumping off them
  • Pretty blue water (theoretically in the Bahamas)
  • One small pig (admittedly, it’s the cutest thing in the video)

Visually, it’s essentially the same formula as an alcohol ad or rap video. Can’t say I’ve spent $12,000 on either in the last year, and I enjoy my adult beverages more than most.

It gets worse when you break down the words in the video. I’ve transcribed them here for you, in the exact order that they appear in this atrocious trailer:

Welcome to fyre festival
Two transformative weekends
An immersive music festival
On a remote and private island in the Exumas
The best in food, art, music and adventure
Once owned by Pablo Escobar
On the boundaries of the impossible
Fyre is an experience and festival
A quest
To push beyond those boundaries
Join us
Limited availability

Seriously. That’s their pitch. I am a millennial. I like music. Even though I’ve matured out of the multi-day-rager stage of my life, I do enjoy the occasional “immersive experiences” with my friends when I can afford them. I like adventure. I like Pablo Escobar documentaries. But I don’t give money to anything that has grammar this bad. The text of the video doesn’t even make sense. When you pair it with the generic “hot, sun, fun” visuals it’s clear that they had absolutely nothing figured out when they started selling tickets for the event, except for Ja Rule.

And yet, people still bought tickets. Thousands of them. They were sold by the promise of an elite travel experience to the Bahamas. Newsflash: every flight to the Bahamas save for Nassau is on a small, cozy plane. This is a part of the fun. I know because I’ve been to the Bahamas three different times in the last two years. First on scholarship for a leadership retreat, then with my mom, and most recently surprised my boyfriend with a trip to Bimini for his birthday. The place is magic, and the draw to visit is one I understand. Now let’s get back to the story at hand…

This is Billy McFarland, the guy you trusted with your money:


Billy is 25 years old. Probably the exact same age of the average concert attendee. He’s is best known for his failed startup that promised VIP experiences for rich kids in NYC, Magnises. I repeat, he started a pay-to-play concierge service that failed in the most party-packed city in the union. What about this made you trust him with your money internationally? He failed in America so he exported his fraudulent practices to the Caribbean. That, Pablo Escobar may have been proud of. Magnises isn’t even a real word, but by now you know words aren’t really this team’s forte.

His business Fyre with Ja Rule, whose musical career peaked before Billy had graduated kindergarten, is a talent acquisition service. The exclusive artists featured on their website? Ja Rule, Fat Joe and Bow Wow. Do I even need to say why this is a red flag? Bow Wow announced his retirement from rap in August of last year, so booking him through Fyre will likely leave you disappointed. In fairness, they have with 7 other has-been artists that are all male and haven’t dropped a single club-banger in a decade. The last song of note was Sean Kington’s “Beautiful Girls.” Perhaps that’s why that is all the promo video contains.

I could go on, but I actually want this piece to be short enough you’ll read and share it. We need to wake up people. Foolishly not doing our homework is exactly what landed us in the political state we’re in. Please start to use your gray matter my friends, or else there’s a very dark, cheese and ham sandwich future ahead of us.

And seriously, do consider traveling to the Bahamas despite all this B.S. The tourism board had nothing to do with this. The people are friendly, the conch is to die for, and the waters actually are that beautifully blue (that was perhaps the only non-false advertising bit in this whole charade.) I’m sure you’ll be able to get a screaming deal now, and you can listen to music that is actually relevant from your personal bluetooth waterproof speaker. Festival safely my friends.

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