One of the biggest scandals of 2017 was the Instagram-fueled, millennial-funded scam known as the Fyre Fest, a planned music festival on Exuma island in the Bahamas.
Noted for its slick marketing that many relied upon Instagram influencers to push a “vision” of a festival that was nowhere near expectations, Fyre Fest was an utter disaster for attendees who found no music acts, few accommodations, and a lot of hard realizations that they were scammed out of thousands of dollars.
It was such a big deal that it had everyone from pundits and academics to normal people asking how so many people could fall for such a scam and how the Fyre Festival’s organizers were able to get away with it.
Today, we have some idea of just how the marketing teams behind Fyre Fest were able to spin something out of thin air.
Shutterstock released its own “Fyre Fest-style” promo video for an imaginary festival using nothing but stock photos and video.
It’s impressive, and it is exhibit A into how the scam put its claws into people using social media platform Instagram as their lure.
The parody video made by Shutterstock, known as Fyrestock, cost a little less than $USD 5 grand according to PetaPixel, while Fyre Fest’s influencer-laden Hollywood fame simulacre cost $USD 161,000.
Naturally, without the numerous celebrities endorsing something that didn’t exist, we doubt it would have gotten off of the ground. Still, Shutterstock’s “Fyrestock” is a testament to the power of visual cues.
Discussing the parody, Shutterstock wrote on their blog: “With what looks like a truly epic budget, the official promo video features famous supermodels and hard-to-reach filming locations, not to mention that adorable swimming pig…The video struck a chord with us at Shutterstock. We know that promo videos don’t need to cost the world. The festival organizers could have saved a lot of money by using footage from Shutterstock and royalty-free music from PremiumBeat.”
You can watch the video over on YouTube by clicking here.
Here's the original promo video from Fyre Fest.
Also, if you’re interested, you should check out Netflix’s documentary, Fyre, and also the documentary on rival streaming service Hulu, Fyre Fraud.
Do you know about the Fyre Fest debacle? Let us know what you think in the comments.
I watched that documentary. Billy McFarland should be sitting in jail for a very long time. He is nothing but a con man. He hurt thousands of people immeasurably, and not just the people who paid for tickets… but also the people of the Bahamas who worked around the clock and were never paid, and the investors who lost a fortune while trying to hold onto their belief in him. He should rot in jail.
A very bad guy, indeed. Thank you for your comment :).