Navigating the FYRE Storm


Social media has been ablaze with the torrid details from the Fyre Festival saga – marketed as an elite, luxury music festival that saw participants forking out extravagant fees from $1500 to $250,000 just to attend.

Promising glamourous accomodation, luxury yachts and gastronomic delights, the VIP music festival  (supposedly) held at Escobar’s private island, was touted to be’ bigger and better than Coachella’.  Alas, the VIP experience ended up with thousands of guests stranded in a “festival of horror”, in conditions “worse than refugee camps”.

Stoking the fyre even further, A-listers such as Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski had publicly endorsed and promoted the event, amplifying ticket sales with a vengeance across all social media.

Here’s a quick recap on what was expected:

And here’s what the festival-goers got:

  • Gastronomic cuisine
  • An Exotic party location
  • Glamorous accommodation
  • All the VIP bells and whistles


The epic proportions of the disastrous execution of Fyre Festival is shocking. Even more shocking is that despite the numerous red flags waving in-front of the eyes of Ja Rule and the entire Fyre Squad, no pre-emptive measures were taken to avoid this impending disaster.

Which drives home a key point – no matter how great your top-line strategy may be, execution is KEY. Especially when your brand promise involves influencer amplification and marketing.

When influencers endorse your product, they (almost) always tend to do so based on a personal affinity. After all, I’m not going to endorse a recommendation unless I believe in it right? Especially when it comes at the expense of my personal brand. Best case scenario? Distancing myself from the brand, just like how Bella Hadid did:


Advocacy strategies revolve around building brand affinity with your target audiences. If you have influencers who are willing to endorse your brand, there has to be measures in place to ensure that the overall CX – customer experience – is upheld according to your brand promise.

As seen with the Fyre Festival, implications have a rippling social effect, and the last thing a brand would want to do is burn bridges with impending influencer advocates.

Your target audience today is demanding, and as a brand, you will need to deliver.

“If you’re going to play with Fyre, you’re gonna get burned.” Well then, preparation means wearing flame retardant gloves – made of top notch quality!


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