Like everyone else, we’ve been transfixed this week by the Netflix documentary on Fyre Festival. We watched the furore around the festival unfold as it lit up social media back in 2017 and the insight provided by the documentary did nothing to quell the impression of utter disaster that first hit us.
It’s easy to be pretty dismissive of the whole saga, and to watch the documentary simply as ‘entertainment’ (if you find cringing on your sofa to be entertaining!) and by all means feel free to do so, but surely there are also lessons to be learnt here.
There’s been a lot of talk about whether the whole debacle has damaged the role of influencers and certainly there is increasing pressure on instagram’s biggest personalities to make it clearer when they are being paid to promote a product or service but there are no guarantees that this would have changed the outcome of Fyre Festival even if there had been greater transparency about the marketing machine driving the festival’s buzz. What’s surely worthy of more consideration here are the roles of the professionals involved in the event; it’s comparatively easy to forgive the naivety of ticket buyers but much harder to forgive those who jumped on board to make money and who also seemingly failed to do their due diligence before getting involved. Whilst the now-infamous Billy McFarland is now serving time for fraud, do none of the others deserve to share some of the responsibility from the point of view of professional negligence at the very least, rather than increasing their own personal notoriety via behind-the-scenes documentaries?