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Assignment on The Fyre Festival Scam

Paper Type: Free Assignment Study Level: University / Undergraduate
Wordcount: 1153 words Published: 11th May 2021

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On February 9, 2019, Mark Abadi, a writer for Life Hacker Magazine, wrote an article discussing the Fyre Festival and how it scammed investors out of millions of dollars. Abadi begins the article by describing how Billy McFarland, founder of the fraudulent music festival, portrayed it was going to be. He explains that the festival was advertised to be some type of upscale music festival in the Bahamas, which would include luxury beach villas, gourmet food, and influencers. Abadi explains, however, that what the customers received was actually quite the opposite of what had been advertised to them. He then provides links to two documentaries that go into far more detail as to what exactly the customers experienced upon their arrival. Abadi then addresses McFarland’s six-year prison sentence and explains that on top of his prison sentence, he was also ordered to forfeit more than 26 million dollars that investors had invested in the festival.

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In the article, Abadi provides slides that allow the reader to view slides from the Fyre Festival pitch. He explains that McFarland’s investor pitch began with Fyre’s app, which would allow users to book artists and celebrities for special events. According to Abadi, the Fyre Festival was created with the purpose of promoting the app. The Fyre Festival was said to take place on a small private island in the Exuma region of the Bahamas, known as Norman’s Clay, however, just months before the festival was set to occur, McFarland changed its location to a section of the Exuma island near a Sandals resort. Abadi goes on to describe several other incidences in which McFarland scammed his investors, one being Tablelist, who later goes on to sue McFarland for 3.5 million dollars. According to the lawsuit, Fyre allegedly violated its contract and defrauded the company. Abadi concludes the article with a statement from Billy McFarland in which he demonstrates his remorse regarding the incident and its effect on those around him. This article is directed to those who seek to educate themselves on what is going on in the world around them as well as towards those who possibly own a company and are seeking to invest in potential businesses and want to prevent something like this from happening to them. Because of this, Abadi uses an informative tone that allows him to better educate and inform his audience on the matter.

After reading this article, I learned to be more careful of whom I trust in and to do more research before fully committing to something. What surprised me is how Billy McFarland thought he’d be able to get away with such a crime. Throughout the article, the author uses an informative tone which I believe was effective at getting his points across as well as informing the reader about the matter. This article did a poor job however at providing evidence as well as resources to support the information that was being discussed. The website also doesn’t display any of the author’s credentials or achievements.

Abadi, Mark. “How Fyre Festival Hoodwinked Investors Out Of $36 Million.” Lifehacker Australia, 9 Feb. 2019, www.lifehacker.com.au/2019/02/how-fyre-festival-hoodwinked-investors-out-of-36-million/.


In 2019, Peter A. Stanwick, writer for the American Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Research, wrote an article where he discusses the Fyre Festival scam as well as Billy McFarland’s role in it. Stanwick begins the article with background information regarding the event. He describes how the founders’ Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule had advertised the event in a way that made it appear as if it was going to be one of the most exclusive festivals ever hosted. Stanwick then goes on to describe the history and origins of the Fyre Festival. According to Stanwick, McFarland began Fyre Media in 2016. It was an app designed to allow ordinary people to bid for celebrity appearances for special events. McFarland decided to create an exclusive festival in order to promote the exclusiveness of the app. In order for the Festival to gain attention, Stanwick says McFarland turned to social media users in order to promote the festival to their millions of followers. Stanwick uses Kendal Jenner to exemplify just who these influencers were and how much they were getting paid to promote the festival. For one Instagram post, promoting the event as well as announcing the launching of the ticket sales, Kendall Jenner received $250,000. According to Stanwick, McFarland paid 400 influencers to promote the event, which lead to tickets being sold out in just 48 hours.

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From the beginning, the festival was promoted under false pretenses and lies. Stanwick goes on to describe the many ways in which the customers had been scammed and lied to and includes examples and experiences of those that had attended the event. He describes how on June 30, 2017, McFarland had been arrested and then was later sentenced to six years in prison on October 11, 2018. Stanwick then lists the many other allegations and lawsuits brought up against McFarland as well as the social media influencers involved. Stanwick concludes the article by once again placing the blame entirely on McFarland. Despite McFarland’s remorse, he is still guilty and deserves to be punished for his crime. This article is directed towards those who may be interested in what occurred during the event as well as those that wish to learn from what happened so that something like this doesn’t happen to them. Because of this, Stanwick uses and informative and educated tone, that not only gives the reader a better understanding of the situation but also allows them to hear an educated approach regarding the matter.

After reading the article, I learned just how bad of a person Billy McFarland really was. Unlike the other article, Stanwich really dives deep in the issue and addresses important details that went unmentioned, while also providing numerous sources to support his claims. I also learned not to put my trust entirely in social media influencer advertisements. There have been many incidents in which a product that an influencer had been promoting turned out to be a scam, but this situation is by far the worst. No matter how famous the influencer, they can still lie or promote something that will scam their followers. Throughout the article, the author uses an informative and educated tone that not only allows the reader to gain a better understanding of the topic but also displays his knowledge and understanding of the event.

Stanwick, Peter A., and Sarah D. Stanwick. Fyre Festival: The Party That Never Got Started, 2019, www.ajhssr.com .


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