It’s been nearly a year since Hulu and Netflix released their competing Fyre Festival documentaries, and sadly, the Fyre-related drama has slowed down. Billy McFarland is in prison, Ja Rule’s tweets are complete nonsense, and Andy King’s days of sucking dick for water seem to be behind him. But this week, the official Fyre Festival Instagram account popped back up in our timelines, and I’m confused, to say the least.
Gone are the photos of feral hogs in unnaturally blue water. Gone are the models hanging out on a boat. Instead, the account has been completely wiped clean, and rebranded with posts about… the fires in Australia. Over the past week, there have been 20 posts on the account, all about the devastation caused by the bushfires, and what we can do to help. So essentially, they’re now taking their name literally, and telling us all how we can help fight fires. Or fyres? Idk, something feels weird about this. Billy McFarland isn’t out here selling his nudes or anything, but it’s an unexpected turn of events nonetheless.
Originally, the Fyre Festival IG was shut down after the festival disaster, but it was reactivated in the wake of the documentaries last year. The account is being run by Oren Aks, the designer and social media strategist behind the original festival, who was featured prominently in the docs. The account hasn’t really been active in the last year, so the recent rebrand seems especially random. Like, can we not just let the Fyre Festival brand die? The bushfires are important, but literally every other person on Instagram has already posted about them, so I don’t think the Fyre Festival IG is really going to be the tipping point in saving the koalas.
All of these posts are especially weird considering that the bio of the account still says the “page is now an Internet archive.” That’s obviously not true anymore, now that all the original posts have been deleted (or archived). I kind of assumed the posts were still there for legal reasons or something—idk, is deleting Instagram posts like, tampering with evidence or something? Slide into my DMs if you’re a lawyer, I know nothing. Either way, it’s odd that the old posts are gone, but the bio of the account hasn’t been updated to include anything about the
fyres fires. Oren should know that he needs to keep his message consistent, at the very least.
I’ll admit, I’m really curious to see if the Fyre Festival account continues with this new activism focus after caring about the fires stops being trendy. The post captions seem pretty in-depth, and not gimmicky at all, so the intent here does seem fairly genuine, even if it’s odd. I don’t know how busy Oren Aks is these days, but there’s literally always a new natural disaster to focus on, so this could just become their main thing?
Honestly, it’s probably only a matter of time before there’s like, a Fyre Festival Foundation or something, dedicated to fighting bushfires, and also probably paying off Billy McFarland’s legal bills. Even if Oren Aks is ostensibly the one behind all of this, I still can’t shake the feeling that Billy and his scammy energy must be involved in some way. A scammer is always gonna scam, and you KNOW Billy McFarland already has ideas for how to con people once he gets out of prison.
At this point, we really have no idea where this Fyre Festival rebrand is headed, or if there’s some ulterior motive, but you bet I’m going to turn on post notifications for this sh*t until we find out. As tired as this sh*t makes me, I hope the Fyre Festival never truly dies. And also, go donate to help fight the fires.
Images: fyrefestival (3) / Instagram
Maybe 2019 won’t be a terrible year after all, because this Fyre Festival content just keeps on coming. In the battle of the two dueling Fyre documentaries, one of the most interesting aspects was the role of Fuck Jerry, and who was truly responsible for the fiasco. In the Hulu documentary, one of the main interview subjects was Oren Aks, who worked for Jerry Media to help market the festival. Oren no longer works there, and the movie ended with him giving Jerry Media the middle finger, in case you were wondering where that professional relationship ended up.
Well, it doesn’t look like Oren and Fuck Jerry will be patching things up any time soon, because Oren is stirring up some serious sh*t on social media. He apparently still has the password to the official Fyre Festival Instagram account, which seems like a major oversight, and he relaunched the Fyre Festival IG account over the weekend. That’s right, Fyre is back in business.
In the bio for the account, which is still verified, it says that Oren is running the account, and that it’s not affiliated with Hulu, Netflix, or Fyre Media. I’m no lawyer, but I feel like as far as legal protections go, this is about as ironclad as posting one of those “I do not consent to Facebook sharing my data to third parties” statuses. I mean, he’s still using their name, handle, and logo, but whatever. And if you had any doubt about whether Oren was truly the one behind this, he’s posted about it on his own Instagram Story, and he’s also the only account that Fyre Festival follows.
So now that Oren has brought back the Fyre Instagram, what does he intend to do with it? His ultimate motives are still unclear, but I have a feeling that it’s not something Billy McFarland would approve of (unless it’s a scam). The biggest clue we’ve gotten so far is an IG Story of the comment keyword filters on the account being deleted. If you forgot about these, this was their way of hiding criticism in the weeks leading up to the festival, when it should have been clear to attendees that it was going to be a sh*t show. If comments contained words such as “fake,” “scam,” or “festival,” they were immediately hidden. So, when concerned ticket holders tried to ask questions on the Fyre Festival Instagram about things like how their plane tickets were getting to them or just generally what the deal was, those comments would automatically get deleted and they would get a swift block. Same thing would happen to anyone who tried to warn festivalgoers that the so-called “one-in-a-lifetime experience” may not have been what it seemed. I mean, you know things are bad when a literal music festival is afraid of the word “festival” being used against them.
Now it looks like you’ll be able to comment whatever you want on any of the Fyre Festival posts, so if you’ll excuse me, I have to cancel all my plans for the rest of the week. For now it just looks like people making Fyre Festival jokes, so I hope something big breaks soon.
No matter what ends up happening with this, I’m happy to see that Oren, like me, is a messy bitch who lives for drama. I’m also glad that the Fyre brand isn’t truly dead, because nothing else has brought me more joy in the last month. If I were to Marie Kondo my entire life, I’d be left with approximately two shirts and five hundred Fyre documentaries. With this news and rumors of Evian enthusiast Andy King getting his own show, there’s lots more to look forward to, so stay tuned.
Images: @fyrefestival / Instagram (3)