Let me explain....
Being a PR & Marketing strategist I was just as intrigued as everyone else when little orange boxes kept popping up on my feed. At first, I praised it's simplistic approach and it's Avante-garde use of Instagram as the festival's sole PR campaign strategy- not to mention the staggering amount of coin these people were throwing up for influencer marketing. It's not often a start-up anything, let alone music festival can afford 80-150k per social media post over and over again.
As the failure of FYRE hit media channels, I, like most strategists took it with a grain of salt. As a multi-business owner involved in a hyper localized version of the "Music Industry" took it with a little more disappointment. While the FYRE festival wasn't really for me- I love seeing music events win, no matter how douchey they appear to be.
When I say women were left out, I don't mean bikini clad models & influencers or big buck investors. After watching the FYRE documentaries, and getting a behind the scenes look at the festival planning, the marketing initiatives, the "big asks" for cash and the blinded greed/excitement of those involved I couldn't help but wonder where the women were at the table, making the backend plans, honing in the budget, keeping people accountable and watching out for the consumer.
I don't consider myself a radical feminist, or political at all really, but I became acutely aware that I had a black cloud of anger over me when I realized that the only women involved were gorgeous influencers like Bella Hadid or the lone female investor. There is not a shadow of a doubt in my mind that had there been women involved in the planning stages of this event, that it may not have failed as hard. I'd love to stand here on my "women are bad ass boss babes" pedestal but the truth is, out of all the documentaries and articles written- I've found none to have made a similar revelation. In an era where we are creating policy to put women in board seats, in director levels and beyond- It's surprising to me that the lack of professional women in this organization didn't set off red flags with investors and third party companies hired by FYRE.
Don't get me wrong, women fail at biz just as hard as men do- but in the case of FYRE there were no checks and balances in place. While a few team members voiced trying to reason with the scam artists- not a one actually did anything to STOP THEM. Interview after interview the FYRE team members mentioned feeling like they could trust Billy McFarland, that he seemed successful and smart and ready for anything. While watching the doc with my hubby, I turned to him almost every time and said " I do not get that vibe from this guy at all- he seems shady as hell and my intuition is ringing like crazy". Turns out, towards the end of the doc- he's at it again, scamming New Yorkers with deep pockets out of thousands of dollars for fake concert and sporting event tickets. I turn to my hubs again- "Told ya" I say.
I know I'm not the only one who's noticed. I know other women, especially women in PR, marketing, and business noticed the over abundance of men in positions of power at FYRE Festival. Women were indeed used in the making of FYRE festival, but only for their bodies- not their brains, business acumen or experience. This, is why it's failure was so monumental and the reason we are still talking about it.
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