Fyre Festival truly is the gift that just keeps on giving. If you had told me that a failed 2017 music festival would be more relevant than ever almost two years later, I would have believed that about as much as I believed that Fyre Media had a legitimate business model. But speaking of, somebody leaked the Fyre Festival pitch deck on LinkedIn, and it’s pretty much just what you would expect from Billy McFarland. There’s a bunch of “fire” puns, and a lot of overblown statistics. In short, it is glorious.
On Thursday, Alvin Hussey uploaded Fyre Media’s pitch deck to LinkedIn, and it reads like a PDF made by a graphic design intern with copy direction coming from a coked-out CEO. So, basically probably exactly what did happen.
The first part of the deck describes Fyre Media and what it does. It opens with such gems as, “Understanding that today’s cohort interacts, engages and follows a new generation of role models who are defining today’s culture, the FYRE platform changes the way how they interact with their fans, followers and brands.” Which is a very longwinded and convoluted way of saying “kids these days do stuff different than the way we did back in our day.”
Then it gets into explaining why the live music industry is “broken”. According to FYRE, “Accessing talent is a mystifying, inefficient and inconsistent process.” Except, no it’s not. If you go on any artist’s Instagram or Facebook, you will find an email for their booking agent. Hell, even everyday hot girls have the contact info of their “booking agents” in their Instagram bios—if anything, accessing talent is even easier today, in the age of social media. It also says, “since launching in May 2016, thousands of offers representing tens of millions of performances and appearances have been made and accepted with Fyre.” We now know this to be a blatant lie.
Then we get to the revenue model, where it says, “Fyre assesses a 10% fee to buyers and does not take a commission from talent on bookings.” Okay, sounds good. It also says, “We also redirect 25% of the Fyre Fee (2.5% of the booking) to talent by way of benefits.” Excuse me if this is dumb, because I do not work in sales, but what does this mean?? What are these so-called benefits? My favorite part, though, is the disclaimer at the bottom, which states, “We take no direct liability for any bookings made with FYRE. Each agreement is between talent and the buyer.” LOLLLL well this explains why literally no artists were confirmed to book Fyre Festival—FYRE didn’t even guarantee their own bookings.
Then we get to the pièce de résistance: Fyre Festival. Over a collage of photos of models and beaches are lain the words, “Come, seek, for searching is the foundation of fortune.” Little did they know that the Fyre Festival attendees would literally be searching—for water, food, and shelter—but I doubt they’re any more fortunate for it! It then says, “What if we reimagined what it means to attend a music festival?” which is just about the understatement of the century. You did deliver on that promise, Billy.
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Fyre Festival hero Andy King has seen the memes, and he has a message for the fans – link in bio
And then we get into the really crazy part. “Fyre has a unique goal and inspiration: the exploration of the uncharted inspired by and referencing the five elements of the earth.” I’m sorry, what?? You think you’re the first music festival ever to have a theme? That’s it?! THAT’S what would make Fyre Festival this never-before-seen, once-in-a-lifetime experience?? Wow. Just wow.
While I do have the time and volition to go through this entire sh*tty Powerpoint presentation, I don’t think you all want to be here reading for the next 1,000 words. I’ll leave you with one gem: towards the end of the presentation about the festival, after spending like, 3 pages on all the influencers who promoted the festival, is a page containing a flow chart on how FYRE aims to secure sponsors for the festival. Here’s what the page reads:
What kind of Jean-Ralphio Saperstein bullsh*t is this?? This so-called “360 methodology” boils down to: “think of ideas, execute said ideas” with no information as to how said ideas will be executed. Honestly, it’s a metaphor for Fyre Festival as a whole. And with that beautiful symmetry, I leave you to explore this dumpster fyre of a pitch deck on your own.
Images: Alvin Hussey / LinkedIn
We all thought the Fyre Festival news couldn’t possibly get any worse, but just like that time a broken vending machine gave you three sodas instead of one, Fyre Festival truly is the
PR disaster gift that keeps on giving. How is that possible, you may ask? (Don’t worry, I asked myself that too—it seems impossible for anyone involved with Fyre Festival to shit the bed even more so than they currently have.) But thankfully for my sense of schadenfreude, Fyre Festival keeps delivering. In today’s news, Fyre Festival employees won’t be getting paid for their work. I think I speak for all of us when I say: hold up, there actually were Fyre Festival employees? Where the hell were they at when people were fighting each other for sleeping arrangements on an island full of stray dogs? Or like, where were they when the festival was being organized in general? And what is this aforementioned “work” for which they seek payment? I saw the tweets. I saw the photos. It was pretty easy to conclude that zero “work” was put into this festival at any point.
Probable frat star and known scammer, Billy McFarland, broke the news via a conference call, because I guess Fyre Media is so broke and illegitimate they can’t even afford a WeWork space. That’s pretty rough. In the phone call obtained by VICE, McFarland said, “We’re not firing anyone; we’re just letting you know that there will be no payroll in the short term.” So like… you’re not firing anyone, you’re just demoting them all to unpaid intern status? Actually, I’m pretty sure being an unpaid intern would be more lucrative at this point, considering internships at least offer college credit and zero chance of being investigated by the FBI.
Employees were upset, obviously, because if McFarland refuses to fire them it means they can’t seek unemployment benefits. Meaning that whether they quit or choose to continue working, they’ll be poor either way. Not to mention, good luck getting a job with Fyre Festival on your resume. It’s what is known in professional circles as being “totally fucked.”
But never fear, because McFarland is not giving up. He told the employees, “I understand that this is not an ideal situation for everybody, and this will likely cause a lot of you to resign, which we totally get and understand. That said, if you want to stick with us, we’d love to have you and we’d love to work together and hunker down and get back to a place where everything resumes to business as usual.” I imagine the immediate response of everyone on the call went a little something like this:
I mean, I think it’s almost cute how Billy still thinks Fyre Festival is going to happen. Dude, give it up. No amount of rebranding or Ja Rule’s participation can save you from this train wreck. Speaking of Ja, our boy was apparently on this call, but reportedly took on a “listener” role. His contribution came in the form of the following quote: “I’m on the phone, but I can barely hear you all because of this fucking hum.” If you weren’t already convinced that Ja Rule was just a patsy who had no part in the (lack of) planning of this fiasco, I think that quote says it all. This is a guy who can’t even figure out how to hang up and dial back into a meeting, or like, go somewhere quiet. There’s no way he could have purposefully sold tickets to an event and knowingly flown a bunch of millennials out to an abandoned island.
Now more than ever, Ja Rule needs our help. Start streaming his music on Spotify, because Billy McFarland is apparently determined to make Fyre Media happen, no matter how many friends he loses or people he leaves dead and bloodied along the way. If we don’t all act now, we could lose one of our favorite washed-up early 2000s rappers. 50 Cent is broke and has been for a while now, Bow Wow is lying about taking commercial flights—at this point if Ja goes bankrupt we’ll only have Nelly. That’s not a world I want to live in.