Event Planning Lessons from the Fyre Festival Fiasco


By Alexandra Proko

If you’re like me, you like to spend your free time watching shows on Netflix.

Have you watched the documentary on the Fyre Festival? Get your antacids ready, because you’re in for a ride.

For those who aren’t already familiar, the Fyre Festival was promoted as a luxury music festival on a private island where around every corner one could find celebrities, gourmet catered meals and glamorous villas.

Not only was the reality not far from luxurious, but it was truly a nightmare.

Guests were brought in to an island that they couldn’t escape that didn’t have enough food, water or other necessities to sustain their stay.

Those luxury villas that they were promised? Try leftover hurricane tents with soggy mattresses from a storm that rolled through – and that’s if you were lucky enough to claim one.

Most of the music acts that were slated to perform dropped out before guests even arrived.

While the documentary unveils the moral indecency of the festivals founder, I personally couldn’t wrap my head around how someone was able to create such an awful experience.

I urge you to check out the film if you can; however, I also hope that you learn a few lessons on what not to do when planning an event of your own. In the meantime, I’m sharing some key takeaways.

First off, be upfront and avoid lying. It sounds elementary, but it’s a major part of why this festival fell apart. Respect the team you’re working with and their opinions. Don’t ever be afraid to share stressors with the group.

Nine times out of ten people will appreciate your honesty rather than dealing with a problem at the last-minute because you didn’t want to speak up.

On the topic of budget, don’t get ahead of yourself. It’s easy to want to make flashy and exciting decisions, but without the fiscal means and group consensus to back up those vendors, purchases, etc. you’ll find yourself scrambling to deliver on empty promises – no matter how good your initial intention. This is especially important when creating sponsorship packages, or something similar.

Next on the list of things to make sure you’re doing, is to talk it out. Communicate.

As I watched the documentary, I began to feel my insides quiver and on more than one occasion I shouted at the television.

A team of well-equipped professionals were on board to put on this event, but the organizer kept them in the dark most of the time and rarely provided them with guidance. When he did bark out an order, it was often inconsistent with what he’d informed others to work on.

Impulsivity, greed and poor planning were his driving forces, but it relates to the “real world” in that all too often someone who is responsible for pulling together a team to plan and execute an event doesn’t communicate well or often enough for success.

Teamwork makes the dream work, y’all.

Watch the documentary and see for yourself what I’m talking about. More importantly, learn from it.

Connect With Your Community

Subscribe to stay informed!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.