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Leaked ‘Fyre Festival’ Pitch Deck That Was Doomed To Fail
By Izza Sofia, 08 May 2017
Vanity Fair’s special correspondent Nick Bilton has shared the complete pitch presentation for the Fyre Festival, and calls it one of the “most preposterous” outside capital invitations he has ever seen.
The music event, which billed itself as the luxury “cultural experience of the decade”, has already managed to secure its place in history as one of the most disastrous events of all time. After roping in major Insta-influencers for its promotion, and making attendees spend up to US$12,000 for tickets, the festival fell apart on its very first day; greeting guests with gray food, feral dogs and rubbish heaps.
The lack of organization sparked a social media storm, with furious attendees now reportedly filing up to US$100 million worth of class action lawsuits against the organizers. Perhaps this pandemonium could have been avoided if investors had paid more attention to the original pitch. Thanks to Vanity Fair, the internet now has access to the 43-page deck that helped market the entire event.
Billy McFarland, a college dropout-turned-entrepreneur and festival’s mastermind, conjured up the idea during a Halloween trip to the Bahamas with American singer-songwriter Ja Rule. His first move was to announce the festival in the following month and spend millions to produce ads with Instagram models.
Organizers recruited a group of social media influencers dubbed ‘Fyre Starters’. Among the renowned were Kendall Jenner, Ashanti, Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, and Hailey Baldwin. The pitch deck flaunted millions of “media impressions” and pending partnerships with Samsung and Casamigos Tequila. The deck cited Ja Rule and McFarland as the event’s organizers. The ‘Fyre Squad’ of promoters included Chief Marketing Officer Grant Margolin and Elliot Tebele, who cultivated a social presence repurposing other people’s jokes on his Instagram account ‘fuckjerry’.
“Fyre Festival will feature music from the greatest talents in the world, immersive experiences through art, theatre, and a weekend long treasure hunt,” the organizers boast in one slide. “Fyre will be defined by its ability to connect: the ultimate in a tasteful experience.”
In another slide, the Fyre team vows that the “actual experience” of the festival “exceeds all expectations and is something that’s hard to put to words”. Additionally, this slide promises, Fyre will “IGNITE that type of ENERGY, that type of POWER in our guests.”
However, the festival did not deliver what was promised. High-end caterer Starr Catering Group pulled out of its contract with ‘Fyre Festival’ and attendees were fed with food far below expectations. Flights to and from the festival site were almost impossible to come by, and the luxury rustic lodging that Fyre had initially advertised was changed to disaster-tent style accomodations.
Discover the complete pitch deck below.
[via Vanity Fair, images via Scribd]
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