If you’re not yet satisfied with the scandal surrounding the Fyre Festival thus far, prepare yourself, baby, because this is a meal—much like two pieces of dry bread served with a slice of cheese AND an undressed salad—that comes in many courses.
On Monday, TMZ reported that attorneys for the Fyre Festival—an event spearheaded by Ja Rule and 25-year-old entrepreneur Billy McFarland (who seems to specialize in scamming rich millennials out of their money)—have begun sending out cease-and-desist letters to those blasting the festival on social media:
Attorneys for Fyre have fired off a cease and desist letter to at least one of the people who flew to the Bahamas for the festival. The person complained on social media ... communications on the island were non-existent and there was nothing but disaster relief tents that were on the verge of blowing over.
The lawyers said the statements were untrue and what’s worse, could “incite violence, rioting or civil unrest.”
And there was this warning ... “If someone innocent does get hurt as a result [of your postings] Fyre Festival will hold you accountable and responsible,” adding, “Inciting violence crosses the line.”
Considering that both Ja Rule and McFarland have denied responsibility for the disastrous event, it’s nice to see someone—a mostly-innocent festival goer, guilty only of spending their money something as obviously stupid as the Fyre Festival—held accountable.
Meanwhile, Vanity Fair has published the pitch deck (the materials sent to prospective investors prior to an event), which shows that the Fyre Festival was a nightmare from the jump.
“For the investors who were able to glimpse Fyre’s pitch deck, little of this should have been a shock,” writes Vanity Fair’s Nick Bilton. “The presentation, which I recently obtained and appears in full at the bottom of this page, is one of the most preposterous invitations for outside capital that I have ever seen.”
Bilton is not exaggerating, though, I’m sad to say, I think these types of campaigns are on the rise: Employees of Fyre (also an app) are called the “Fyre Squad” and part of their job is to recruit “Fyre Starters,” i.e. social media influencers such as Kendall Jenner and Emily Ratajkowski, to promote the festival in exchange for free flights, accommodations, and sometimes cash, all while never disclosing that these were advertisements.
Yet a few hours after the actual festival began, those same Fyre Starters who scammed all of their followers into buying tickets, quickly started deleting their promotional posts (that were never labeled as promotional). The few people who didn’t remove them, or seemingly forgot, were inundated with messages from fans telling them to delete the posts. Either way, almost all of the influencers in the pitch deck are back to their selfishly influencing selves, taking selfies in bikinis on a beach or by a pool, completely ignoring what actually happened. Jenner, Ratajkowski, and [Nick] Bateman haven’t issued an apology to their fans.
All the while, Fyre Festival organizers still must contend with a $100 million class action lawsuit on behalf of attendees.