Sure, Billy McFarland is a sociopath and a crook.
But everybody working for him wanted to get paid.
And everybody who bought tickets to the festival wanted to live the dream.
This is not a music business story, even though it was first depicted as such.
The movie is about what a bad guy Billy is, and dumps all the blame on him, but what about everybody else who was complicit?
The acts were irrelevant. Sure, there had to be some on the bill. And this proves if you want to book a band, you can, even though newbies might end up paying double, like Fyre.
But what Fyre really was about was an entire generation of entitled people who want to party like rock stars, even though rock stars themselves oftentimes don’t live this life.
As for the models…
You’ll be stunned how young they appear.
In the ads, they’re airbrushed, Photoshopped, but when you see them up close and personal, they’re just tall, skinny youngsters, kinda geeky in fact. Kinda like when I stood next to Linda Evangelista at a Bryan Adams show… She wouldn’t turn your head unless you knew who she was, and she was always my favorite of the supermodels.
You see it’s an illusion. You think if you can just climb the social ladder, be in the room… Yes, “Hamilton” speaks of a room, but where it happens. Nothing happens at a party, other than drinking, drugging and if you’re lucky, sex. Whereas the stars of “Hamilton” were building a country.
Then again, the guy running today’s country is a con man just like Billy McFarland, his acolytes should watch this flick to see how they too are being duped.
But they’ll cry no! Just like the brain-dead who could see things didn’t add up and continued to work for Billy, those overpaying for a first year festival.
It was the advertisement, the social media campaign that got people interested.
When Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew derided the media, that’s all we had. When Sarah Palin denigrated the mainstream media, it still had the majority of power. But today? Millennials get their news online. And not all of that news is about D.C. It’s a giant community, I tell you, and they want to belong.
This is what baby boomers, Gen-X’ers, don’t get. Used to be you only knew a small group of people, used to be your dreams would not be fulfilled. You didn’t have access. But you can tweet the President these days, rock stars too, and chances are if you’re negative enough, they’ll read it.
Everybody can be a star.
And while the hard-working bitch about their college loans, nitwits who didn’t go to college want to be like Kylie Jenner. And those who did want to keep the opioid-addicted at bay. That’s why they overpay for V.I.P. Otherwise, they’d feel inadequate. Like the influencers pissed they flew coach to the Bahamas.
So you’ve got a population with cash who got it by working very hard or inheriting it and another population who gained fame, and probably not much cash, by acting as if they were rich and famous on social media, primarily the visually-oriented Instagram.
So if someone proposes a festival where you can all mingle, you say YES!
This is not Coachella, with nearly 200,000 attendees. This is a small group, of not even five figures. An elite. The rest of us can’t afford it, or don’t know about it, we’re not allowed in.
The fact that the guy at the top was a crook?
And I worked for a sociopath. It doesn’t take long to realize they’re such. Because you don’t get paid. But they always find new marks, because their story is so good. How come more people didn’t quit? How come people invested with this clown?
Because they wanted to believe. That they were on to something new. That they could beat the investment game. Hitch their ride to this tireless self-promoter and win.
And the funny thing is Billy McFarland is just at one end of the continuum. Most successful entrepreneurs are hucksters, but how big are their lies? Despite running a public company, Elon Musk keeps promising to deliver cars and charging stations and misses his targets. If Tesla goes bankrupt, what are all the hipsters who own one gonna say when they can’t get their cars repaired, when they’re worthless?
And getting them repaired already is difficult.
So what we have here is an American story. Man without portfolio wants to make it to the top. So he charms and pays people to get close. With better planning, the Fyre Festival would have worked out, and then you would have felt left out.
Kinda like Woodstock, which was a gargantuan failure until the album and movie rescued it.
Watch this movie, and when you see Billy and the models cavorting on the island you say to yourself…THAT LOOKS LIKE FUN!
And if you can get yourself some of that, would you pay a few grand for the opportunity?
Oh, there are federal workers laid off for a month who say they can’t make ends meet. On one hand, Americans can’t stop poor-mouthing. But on the other, there are plenty of twenty and thirtysomethings with disposable income. And everybody seems to want to overpay for luxury items.
So Billy beat the usual suspect festival promoters at their own game. They’re selling music, he’s selling EXPERIENCES! And it’s experiences that the millennials want.
his guy could make millions teaching old farts how to do it.
Meanwhile, everybody wanted in on the action, the experienced festival guy, the social media marketing company, they’re all lining up for the dream, to get paid, while those with the truly deep pockets are kicking the tires and becoming reluctant. What did Marcie Allen recently say, corporations are done with tour sponsorships?
So if you want to take the pulse of America, watch this movie.
Although it is two years out of date. The internet and social media are not static, they evolve. But the desire of hucksters to get rich and nobodies to be cool is never-ending.