Social Media and Fyre Festival

Social Media and Fyre Festival

If you’re a digital marketer, brand or just an avid Netflix watcher, you probably know everything there is to know about Fyre Festival.

Marketed as a luxury music festival in the Bahamas, Fyre Festival was a vision created by Billy McFarland and Ja Rule, with the help of the social media company, Jerry Media.

If you’ve seen the documentaries on Fyre Festival, you would know that social media played a huge role in the overall build up and ultimate demise of the festival.

F*** Jerry

Jerry Media is an advertising company who founded the popular meme account @f***jerry. The company was responsible for coordinating the overall media strategy for Fyre Festival and utilising their existing following to encourage people to purchase tickets.

What did they do?

In terms of building brand awareness, trust and loyalty, Jerry Media did it well to begin with. Focusing on a millennial target audience, utilising well-known influencers and high quality imagery, tends to be a recipe for success.

In order to hype up the festival amongst the target audience, Jerry Media utilised an ambiguous orange tile. Nearly 400 influencers, posted this orange tile on Instagram in unison, disrupting the feeds of users. These orange tiles directed users to further imagery and videos about the festival. This tactic was instrumental in capturing audience interest and following.

The key factor that made this strategy work was that it immediately secured audience attention. Not to mention, the uploading of consistent content enhanced overall excitement and discussion.

What didn’t work?

Well, aside from a Twitter user posting the image of the infamous cheese sandwich and essentially exposing the festival for what it actually was, the marketing campaign had misrepresented the entire experience. The social media content seemed to be so effective that festival goers didn’t raise any red flags until they arrived to the venue to find nothing reflected what had been promised.

As the fiasco unravelled, Jerry Media were told to ignore all questions and negative comments on social media. According to Rolling Stone Jerry Media deleted any negative comments about the festival and banned accounts who attempted to inform festival goers that Fyre Festival wasn’t what it was marketed to be.


What can we learn?


  • Never promise something you know you are unable to deliver.
  • Images or videos on social media can go viral in an instant and they have the potential to bring your campaign to astronomical heights or be a PR nightmare. You must ensure your post doesn’t turn into the latter.
  • Utilising influencers to promote products, brands or services on social media is highly beneficial. They have niche audiences who trust their overall judgement. However, it is crucial that if you choose to engage in influencer marketing, it is made clear to their audience that they are being paid to advertise the product, brand or service.
  • When you post to social media, ensure it reflects reality. Honesty and transparency is how you build reputation and trust amongst your clientele and audiences.
  • In your next campaign, consider how you can create content that brings awareness to your brand and piques customer or audience interest.
  • If you are receiving negative social media comments, acknowledge them! The easiest way to showcase to your followers that you aren’t being transparent is to disregard their point of view. However, if you acknowledge their concerns or frustrations, a positive outcome will likely come out of it. It’s all about mitigating potential damage online.

This content is derived from the number of sources listed below. VO Group does not take ownership of the content. Read more about Fyre Festival from a marketing and social media point of view:

Grail Insights 

Rolling Stone 

Sparkloft Media 



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