If you have been Netflix of Hulu lately you have probably seen the promotion of the recent FYRE documentaries. These documentaries highlight the marketing scheme that was a “luxury music festival” located in the Bahamas created by Billy McFarland CEO of Fyre Media Inc. and rapper Ja Rule. The festival was supposed to be held in Exuma Bahamas in April of 2017, but the organizers are now being accused of defrauding ticket buyers, and now face eight lawsuits. Billy faces six years in prison and was asked to forfeit $26 million dollars. Attendees expected a five-star festival experience because they were paying up to $100,00 for tickets. They received FEMA tents, soggy beds, and cheese sandwiches according to Michelle Braggs from News Beat.
A huge reason the festival became so popular was because of the influencers that participated in the promotion of Fyre. Models like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Hailey Baldwin were a part of the promotion of the festival. Court Records show that influencers and performers were paid $5.3 million in advance. In January, Bella, Kendall, and others were said to be facing subpoenas for involvement and payment from Fyre Media Inc. This according to ABC News (2019).
Many people are bashing these influencers, saying that they didn’t do their research and that people were “lured by the modern sirens of Instagram, hundreds of festival-goers were horrified to find squalor instead of the luxury they were promised.” (Duran).
This makes me wonder about the pull of Influencers in social media today. According to the Hulu documentary “Fyre Fraud” if people who were purchasing tickets to the festival would have looked into the festival at all it would have been easy to discover that there was no way that the Fyre would be able to become a reality. Our trust in influencers has become so tightly knit in our everyday lives that cases like this are becoming more and more common.
Let me know what you think!
Do Influencers need to take more responsibility for their negligence in research on Fyre?
What are other cases where you’ve seen a deep trust in influencers suggestions and opinions?