If you're keeping up with the times, you've probably heard of the Fyer Festival and the disaster that ensued due to horrible planning. In fact, the festival organizers were hit with a $100 million lawsuit claiming fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract, and more.

The organizers worked with influential celebrities to successfully promote the festival through social media. While they managed to generate a lot of buzz at first, concert attendees revealed the reality behind the over-hyped event resulting the festival's cancellation after its first day.

So although Fyer Media succeeded in its initial promotion with influencers, they made a lot of mistakes that ultimately led to the event's failure.

The good news, however, is that other brands, organizations, and businesses can take this opportunity to learn from Fyer Media's mistakes. Other than the fact that they should have delivered on their promises, the organizers also provided us with valuable lessons on influencer marketing.

1. Maintain transparency

One of the biggest blunders committed by Fyre Media in their promotion of Fyre Festival was the apparent lack of transparency. Celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid created social media posts promoting the festival but failed to disclose that they had been paid to promote it. This goes against the FTC guidelines and some report that any concert attendee could have a case against these promoters.

Although the promotional posts have since been deleted, some managed to take screenshots such as the one below.

This served as a valuable lesson for many brands and marketers judging from a survey conducted by Influencer Marketing Hub. IMH surveyed 287 marketers, out of which about 45 percent of them said that they had not paid much attention to the FTC regulations before the Fyre Festival fiasco. But now all of them have stated that it will be top priority to maintain compliance.

And while these influencers promoted the event as a luxury music festival that was to be held on a private Caribbean island, guests were left stranded with insufficient food and shelter as well as medical care. Although this lack of adequate amenities was the organizers' faults, it was proof that celebrity influencers simply promote products and services because they have been paid to.

2. Activate a community of relevant influencers

Another big mistake was that Fyre Festival organizers spent all their money on influencers, according to a Vice News report. Kendall Jenner was reportedly paid $250,000 for a single Instagram post (the one in the screenshot above). And the other influencers were paid not less than $20,000 for promoting the festival on Instagram.

Interestingly enough, despite all the money spent on influencers these celebrity influencers failed to yield the desired results. According to the IMH report cited earlier, only 8,000 tickets had been sold by April 27. That's when the first people began arriving on the island. 8,000 isn't even 25 percent of the total tickets available.

And even if all 8,000 tickets resulted from Kendall Jenner's post, it's a huge disappointment since at the time of her post she had 72.5 million followers. So it's apparent that she did not have sufficient influence on her audience especially regarding the event. It seems like the promotion was all hype and no substance.

Instead, the Fyre team could have made a more significant impact if they worked with micro-influencers and relevant influencers without paying them exorbitant rates for promoting the event. They could have promoted their event through upcoming musicians and relevant micro-influencers who would've been able to influence their target audience effectively.


These are some of the best lessons that the Fyre Festival disaster taught us. For your influencer marketing campaign to succeed, you need to maintain transparency and work with relevant influencers. What do you think about it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.