Emergency Conspiracy Thursday: Fyre Festival Was a “Producers”-Style Hoax

Emergency Conspiracy Thursday: Fyre Festival Was a “Producers”-Style Hoax

I consider myself many things. At the top of that list is an unlicensed amateur detective/investigator. What’s my resume read like? Oh, I don’t know. How about that I figured out the plot of Westworld about halfway through season one? How about that I had my own R + L = J Game of Thrones theory before I dumbly stumbled across it in the GoT subreddit? Since life imitates art, I believe I have stumbled across what might be 2017’s greatest conspiracy thus far:

If you don’t know what went down in the Bahamas this week, read up on it real quick here.

On the surface, this looks like just a master class in false advertising and poor planning. I’m a little too woke on this one.

Fyre Festival was a hoax that follows the exact same scam model as “The Producers.”

What’s the plot to “The Producers”? Cliff’s Notes: Bialystock and Bloom are down-on-their-luck Broadway producers. Bloom, a wide-eyed accountant by day, dreams of becoming a Broadway producer and have his name in lights, eat at Sardi’s on opening night, etc. etc. Bialystock, a jaded former producer, realizes that he can get rich quick by producing a gigantic piece of shit Broadway musical as long as the show doesn’t make it past opening night so they don’t have to accrue the massive costs that go with a Broadway musical. Together, they produce “Springtime for Hitler.” Despite their efforts, the show is a huge success and they go to jail for fraud. It’s probably my favorite musical ever. Big time musical guy.

The premise of Fyre Festival was pretty simple: Throw a festival so shitty, that it would be cancelled after one day to avoid the risk exposure and logistical costs of a two-week long festival, meanwhile, you’ve been collecting interest on the massive amounts of money people paid you for tickets. Promise huge musical acts like blink-182, then don’t pay them as the date approaches so you can blame the band for cancelling on short notice. Finally, throw it in a foreign country, hire locals to raid the camp to steal valuables and really scare off anyone who was willing to wait this thing out. It’s evil genius, big brain-type stuff.

One of the co-chairs of the event, Billy McFarland, is an entrepreneur who runs an exclusive “app” that basically connects your debit card to what looks like a fake AmEx Black Card, but still just operates as a debit card and charges users $250 a year just to use it. He’s raised $3 million in venture capital for this company. This guy is a hustler, through and through.

I don’t know what infuriates me more, the fact that this festival was even a thing or that rich kids fell for it and ended up handing over huge amounts of cash to two dudes trying to throw a low-rent Bahamian Glastonbury because they saw a YouTube video full of stock video footage from Adobe.

I’m also kind of mad that I didn’t think of this sooner.

What’s left of Ja Rule’s reputation is probably gone, but our boy Billy McFarland probably just pulled off the biggest scam of 2017. He’s probably living large somewhere on a yacht, while the $500/hour PR firm he hired puts out all these flames.

You da man, Billy! May you continue to see great success into the future, at least until these kids’ parents email the family lawyer and you get your dick sued off into class action oblivion.

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Brian McGannon

What do I love? I love happy hour, a good golf tan, and getting moderately drunk during dinner.

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