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Fyre Festival Fiasco and What Went Wrong?

Ja Rule?  No Ja Don’t!


I cannot even imagine what Ja Rule was thinking. He was either obliviously ignorant or his ego is such that he couldn’t imagine his name wouldn’t be enough to skirt around details like permits and planning well in advance.

This ‘festival’ was such an unmitigated disaster it should make you kiss the ground production personnel walk on.  From Technical Directors, to Stage Directors/Managers, to Production Directors/Managers/Coordinators, to Travel Coordinators, all the way to caterers, port-a-potty rentals, fencing, and the list goes on.  The only thing they got right, apparently, was advertising, because tickets did sell - but there’s not enough Pepsi in the world that could have saved this mess, with or without Kendall Jenner’s participation!

So, let that be a lesson to anybody who thinks they can ‘wing it.’ If you don’t know what your crew does, learn! If you reach a certain level of success and can afford to delegate to a crew, don’t assume that, because everything seems to be going smoothly, they don’t have much to do, they do more than you could possibly imagine. If your show or tour runs seamlessly, that’s a testament to their skill level.  They make it look easy, because they know what they’re doing - they’re professionals.

A festival cannot be thrown together 2 months before the event, especially one promising to be so grandiose it could get away with charging tens of thousands of dollars per ticket. And, a festival is not like an arena or shed show.  It is usually held in a spot that doesn’t host shows on a regular basis, so there are a lot of unknowns, the aforementioned permits for example.  How much power is available? Where can Catering set up? Generators, etc. What is the weather forecast? Did you hire a weather monitor to make sure the stages don’t get blown away by strong winds? How many Paramedics? Where will you set up the Mobile Hospital Tent?  What about Security? And the list goes on.

There are always unforeseeables, these things cannot be left to inexperienced people, if you hire someone who accepts a less than the going-rate fee, there’s a good chance he/she will be in over their head - you get what you pay for.  Whoever’s name is on the ticket will be the one forever associated with the debacle, that will cost them more than money.  They will be touted as the prime example for what not to do, and the butt of many a joke until, well….forever.

There are times you negotiate down to get the best deal, there are times you accept the fact that the vendor/employee will not compromise; bite the bullet, pay them what they’re worth or you could be the next Ja Rule - and you know exactly what that references, and it ain’t his music.





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