One spectacular failure dominated social media conversations in 2017 for all the wrong reasons. The Fyre Festival used celebrities to help market two weekends of music and partying never came to be. When the festival finally started, Twitter flooded with pictures of sad cheese on bread and tents with air mattresses instead of the gourmet food and luxury villas that attendees were expecting. Now, with the surprise release of Hulu’s documentary Fyre Fraud and the upcoming premiere of Netflix’s film Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, the poorly planned event that left hundreds of millennials stuck on the Bahamian island of Great Exuma has become a trending topic once again.
Billy McFarland, the man largely responsible for the scam, is currently serving a six-year sentence in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud. But McFarland couldn’t have pulled off the con on his own. Performers, models, and influencers who had planned to attend the outdoor concert promoted the Fyre Festival on their social media accounts, unknowingly helping convince people to spend thousands of dollars on the festival.