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What the PR industry can learn from Fyre Festival

Blog date

07.02.2019

Author

Phoebe Frost
Account Executive

If you haven’t seen Netflix’s latest documentary, Fyre Festival: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, where have you been!?

The festival, which promised ticket holders a luxury music experience in the Exuma islands featuring beautiful beach cabanas, the world’s hottest influencers and must-see bands, was set to rival the likes of Coachella and Glastonbury in popularity. But it really was all too good to be true, and Netflix’s latest phenomenon takes viewers from the initial excitement as the planning gets underway to the crashing lows as the stressed, exhausted team realise the dream will never become a reality. Billy McFarland’s scam is revealed, ticket buyers and local businesses are left thousands of pounds out of pocket, and don’t even get us started on THAT cheese sandwich!

For those working in the PR and events industry, Fyre Festival doesn’t just offer us cringe worthy viewing, but also a sweet reminder of what not to do when it comes to planning events, no matter how big or small. Here are our three key takeaways:

 

1. Influencer marketing does work when it’s done right

Fyre used largely top tier influencers to promote the campaign, including names such as Hayley Baldwin, Bella Hadid and 400 other affluent influencers dubbed the ‘Fyre Starters’. These influencers featured just a plain orange tile on their Instagram page to launch the festival reaching a whopping 300m people in 24 hours. They also partnered with Kendall Jenner to announce the first wave of acts on her Instagram page. This one post amassed 6 million unique impressions in just five days. These figures show that partnering with and putting spend into influencer marketing can reach a huge number of people, as well as opening your brand up to a new pool of consumers. Be sure not to mislead influencers though, and always be open about your event expectations, giving them a concise and thorough brief. The fallout from Fyre Festival could have hugely impacted the influencers reputations, something they wouldn’t of been best pleased about!

2. Don’t lie, ever!

When planning an event of any size, things do go wrong, and plans may need to change. Whatever you do, do not lie or mislead any of your attendees or partners. It’s much better to be transparent from the start and keep everyone updated on any changes so you don’t tarnish your reputation or future relationships.

3. Be realistic

Was Billy McFarland a scam artist or just a dreamer? When it comes to planning an event, be very realistic on what it is that you can achieve and manage expectations from the start. If you’re going to think big, ensure you have the budget and time to see if through. Also, look at the team that you have or the agency that you’re working with. Make sure that your plan is achievable based on their skill set and experience. Not many people can put on a multi-million-pound music festival in the Caribbean with Kendall Jenner on the guest list…

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