Start Getting What You Want: The Fyre Festival Documentary

Blog, TV Shows


Netflix released a new documentary titled Fyre. But based on the series of unfortunate events, this music festival was anything but “lit.”



Billy McFarland and Ja Rule planned to create this epic Coachella-ish party in on this private island in the Bahamas. They posted their images everywhere, convincing everyone from Emily Ratajkowski to Kendall Jenner that Fyre was going to be the biggest thing since sliced bread.

To be honest, it first seemed that way. The Fyre App was first developed to serve as the “Uber” for booking talent. A little ambitious, I know. But I have to admit, it’s a cool idea. Who wouldn’t want to book popular artists at the palm of their hands? To build popularity for the app, the Fyre team decided to put on “The Fyre Festival,” an event to build their customer base while creating an amazing experience for people, artists, and celebrities/ influencers.

Simple forumla: Attractive people + tropical location + music + alcohol = $$

Sounds easy, but this simple math equation ended up being a nightmare. Promotional videoes paraded Instagram models in bikinis lounging in luxury cabanas, chef prepared food, and a great time.

But, its beautiful island location lacked the infrastructure for such a huge event. The Frye festival was trying to build a city within the city. Days leading up to the event, islanders were frantically building to create the epic party scene that was promised to thousands of people.  To make matters worst, people spent a ton of money. Like a ton.

According to the documentary, a total of $50,000.00 was spent on “luxury” villas. Collectively, ticketed guests paid up to 800K on the Fyre digital wristbands to have a “wireless experience” throughout the festival.

The day of the festival was similar to a “Lord of the Flies” nightmare: An overcrowded Island with no food, water or method of escape.

There are a couple of lessons we can see right away:

  • Piss poor planning = piss poor performance
  • Don’t spend thousands of dollars through an event you see on Instagram
  • Don’t trust people in general
  • Take accountability for your actions

Blah blah blah, yes it’s terrible.

But I think we are missing something really important. We can all learn from this because let’s be real, none of us want anything remotely similar to happen to us in the near future.

To do this, we can’t just look at the aftermath we have to look at the source. The Fyre Festival would not have received an enormous amount of media coverage if people weren’t behind the idea since its inception. The Fyre Festival mastered persuasion on a whole other level. How else do you get thousands of people to feed millions of dollars into a failing idea?

BIG LESSON: Get People to Do What You Want! Master the Art Bullsh*ting, Persuasion, or Whatever You Wanna Call It.

We can all use more persuasion in our lives. Persuasion is a life-changing skill that allows us to use our rhetoric, actions, and tone to get what we want! It is the heartbeat of the economy. Every day, we are faced with human interactions that are centered around getting what we want out of the people around us.

Now I know what you are thinking. A persuader is a manipulative, loud, pushy, and demanding person. But this is often not the case. Impact does not originate from fear. Rather, a persuader will automatically be trusted and influence others with integrity and respect.

Billy McFarland, Ja Rule and the rest of his team had an amazing ability to persuade people. The result? They were able to separate millions of people from their cash. If you are anything like me, I have a hard time spending money on things other than food. So to convince me that I need to drop 5K on a music festival takes a whole lot of persuasion or good looks. Given that Ja Rule and Billy McFarland are no Channing Tatum, thei art of persuasion have proved to be a powerful weapon.

Have it Your Way All the Time: Just Create the Cognitive Dissonance

Have you ever gone to the store to buy something like a TV or computer but end up spending way more money that you intended? You see an advertisement with a great deal that says “While Supplies Last.” So you hop in your car, drive to the local Apple or Best Buy store and when you get there…..all the sale items have sold. Lucky for you, the more expensive model is there so you end up spending an extra $500. Not what you planned, but you already committed to buying a new TV/ computer. You imagined setting it up, buying a new case, getting more storage, etc. You paid the extra $500.00 because you had  to act on your subconscious desire to connect your need for a new television with making a trip to the store.

To be a true persuader, we need to find the internal commitments of our peers, co-workers, family, friends, crushes, partners, spouses, etc. Once we have that, we can create “cognitive dissonance” in people. The Law of Dissonance says that people will naturally act in a way that is consistent with their beliefs, values, and attitudes. So when people step out of that, they are uncomfortable and more inclined to regain some mental and emotional consistency to shift back to who they really are.

When a person has mentally committed to a decision or item, they are likely to stay committed, even if the situation calls for change. This is probably why we join fancy exercise gyms, sign up for the classes, or put down our email for that free trial. We see something in products or experiences that reflect who we really are. Therefore, we do pretty much anything to regain that mental and emotional balance when we experience this cognitive dissonance.

This is exactly the tactic that Fyre Festival used to bring in thousands of people who were MENTALLY COMMITTED to going to a great party, spending time in a tropical location and taking pictures on Instagram to make everyone jealous. They created a vision that people wanted to see, selling an experience deeply rooted in aspirations that thousands of people: being famous, being wanted, going to big parties and having everyone know their name. 

Even if you don’t want to be “famous,” everyone wants some form of clout. You may want someone to address you as, Doctor, Director, Executive Director, Chairman, Shareholder, Trustee, the list goes on. Since we are committed to this idea, we are going to stay committed regardless of external factors.


So the lesson is clear. To be a master persuader find what people value, look at their attitudes and discover their beliefs. Once you have this, create the tension. I know it’s not as easy as it sounds but I am still learning how to persuade as well. So come on, you can’t expect me to have all the answers.


In other news….Fyre Festival 2.0?

Apparently, Ja Rule has plans to make a Fyre Festival 2.0……what did we do to deserve this!?


I do not want to diminish any efforts made by the citizens of the Grand Exuma Island to make Fyre happen. Their diligence and commitment should not go unnoticed. If you would like to learn more or want to help out, the GoFundMe page is an excellent resource. (:


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