Vanity Fair explores how millennial marketing mess of a music festival happened.
Of late, all of the reports on the doomed-before-it-started Fyre Festival have been about its aftermath—the onsite chaos, subsequent lawsuits, and eventual, arrest of co-creator Billy McFarland.
But Vanity Fair has taken a little extra time to weave a soup-to-nuts tale of the buildup to the event—through the eyes of “serial entrepreneur” McFarland.
It appears that this wasn’t McFarland’s first big failure. He got his first bite of success in 2010 via a startup called Spling, which led him to drop out of college. But it was rendered obsolete when Google+ launched with a similar theme.
He then started the Magnises business, which was a members-only club that were given exclusive access to a Manhattan townhouse and bar—later adding high-end, celebrity-hosted parties around town. But after bringing in a supposed marketing whiz, who tried to scale the company up, McFarland ended up cutting costs to the business’ detriment. “They began trying to do things bigger and cheaper. The original kids, these rich kids, got disillusioned and began to leave. It was a mess,” says photographer Patrick McMullan, who McFarland burned on a proposed website project.