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In 2017, Fyre Festival, perpetrated by entrepreneur and fraudster Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule took social media by storm, becoming a worldwide phenomenon in just weeks. With more than 40 thousand #FyreFestival tags and models such as Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid contributing to the promotion of the music festival, McFarland created a movement so big that there was no going back. Social media provided a platform so powerful that Fyre Festival was able to be taken to extremes. Originally intended to promote Fyre Media’s Fyre app for booking music talent, the festival soon became a weekend-long music festival on a private island with private jets, cabanas, alcohol, food, and so much more. Once they arrived, the 5,000+ festivalgoers that purchased tickets quickly took to social media to express their extreme disappointment. Coming full circle, social media provided a powerful platform to generate a movement from #FyreFestival to #FyreFraud. In this case study centered on the promotion of the Fyre Festival, the researcher explores the concept of social media influencers through the ethical lens of equity and truth telling.
Chad E Painter
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium poster
"Social media influencers: The case of the Fyre Festival" (2019). Stander Symposium Posters. 1759.