fyre festival event planning tips graphic
March 15, 2019

Fyre Festival: 3 Event Planning Must-Know Takeaways

The Fyre Festival. Have you heard of it? If not, you may have already come across the cheese sandwich that took the Internet by storm in 2017. Fyre Festival, a large-scale music event, was the product of Billy McFarland and musician Ja Rule. It was advertised as an immersive music festival on a private island where guests could stay in upscale villas and party on the beach. Kendall Jenner and other well-known influencers were even paid to endorse the festival. With FOMO running deep these days, anyone who was anyone wanted in on the biggest music festival of the year.

However, the Fyre Festival never happened. It was a complete disaster for an infinite number of reasons. After watching the Netflix and Hulu documentaries and reading the outstanding amount of coverage, we’re sharing three musts for any event planner.

Think About Location, Location, Location

Fyre Festival’s original location was a beautiful white sandy beach, Norman’s Cay, and while it seemed perfect on the surface (literally), it was not ideal for the amount of activity that was going to take place. Due to the lack of proper planning and unexpected high costs, the quality and number of bathrooms, showers, and housing was compromised, all of which received public backlash.

When you’re vetting locations for your event, don’t be fooled by what you see on the surface. Think about how your event would be integrated into the area. Ask the venue coordinator and yourself detailed questions before investing to help avoid as many surprises as possible. Will this area help me achieve my vision and goals for this event?

Remember: don’t try to fit a square into a circle.

Hone In On Your Digital Strategy

You cannot ignore your event’s digital presence. In the beginning, the Fyre Festival had a strong digital strategy, including working with one of the top media companies, Jerry Media, and eye-catching promotional materials and influencer partnerships. As the event approached, people would comment on its Instagram posts with questions and concerns; however, any negative comments were deleted.

Digital activation should not be taken lightly. Besides having a strong online marketing strategy, events also need a thorough procedure for addressing comments and concerns. People will have questions, and you should be equipped with answers. Deleting unfavorable comments or executing other questionable social media actions require a gut check because if you feel you’re being unethical, you probably are. Be smart and strategic about what is implemented in an event’s digital strategy.

Manage Expectations

In addition to the underlying financial scandal that is the Fyre Festival, one of the biggest takeaways from this ordeal is to not over promise and under deliver. Fyre Festival promised a unique, luxurious experience with high-end cuisine and famous performers. Attendees were given bread and cheese, housed in FEMA-like tents, and performers dropped out before the event date.

“Under promise, over deliver” is tried and true. It’s especially important when marketing events because once you begin providing information, guests expect you to deliver. Event planners need to be realistic in what they can execute. Setting clear expectations about the event will make for smoother planning and execution.

When planning an event, make sure to work with professionals. There are plenty of logistics involved, so don’t miss a step–give us a holler! We’ll get all your bases covered!


Katie BiersachPublic Relations Account Coordinator
Element’s public relations account coordinator is a recent grad and joined the team in 2018. She’s a huge fan of food, Netflix, and pups. Follow her on Twitter to stay up to date with her shenanigans: @katiebiersach.