By: Donald Smith
Last week I spoke a little on how influencers and people’s trust in them on social media. Well, after the Fyre Festival debacle that trust may have taken a hit.
First, let’s see what the Fyre Festival was supposed to be. Most of you probably had not heard about it before because it was an inaugural event. The music festival was supposed to be a “once-in-a-lifetime musical experience” on a private island previously owned by Pablo Escobar. It boasted a packed line-up of A-list artists such as Migos, Disclosure, Major Lazer, blink-182 and many more. Along with music, there was supposed to be “a uniquely authentic island cuisine experience” and “luxurious accommodations.” Ticket Packages for the festival started at $1,200 and some came with six-figure price tags. The festival was also endorsed by multiple celebrities via their social media channels such as Ja Rule, who was also a founder, Kendall Jenner, people might want to stop using her, Emily Ratajkowski and Bella Hadid.
Now, come the day of the festival and all of the luxuriousness and music that was promised was nowhere to be found on the island. Instead, attendees were met with disaster relief tents and sandwiches, not submarine sandwiches. It was not until most of the guest had already arrived on the island before the festival founders released statements saying the festival was canceled. However, none of the other celebrity influencers, except Ja Rule, posted any apology for their promotion of the event. Actually, they did the opposite, they deleted any social media content on their accounts that included mention of the Fyre Festival. But, even when looking at Ja Rule’s “apology” it does not seem sincere. Only Billy McFarland showed any real acceptance of responsibility for the festival’s demise.
With the silence of the celebrities who promoted the event, is it possible to say that trust of other celebrity influencers will be lost? Personally, I am going to have to say no. Only those who have been caught up in situations such as this one will lose trust from their followers. It would not be rational to say that because Kendall Jenner and Ja Rule got caught up with this festival that Beyoncé’s or Drake’s followers will lose trust in them. Therefore, it is still okay to use celebrity influencers, as long as they have not been in the news in connection to controversies because they have been successful in driving reach and sales. Lastly, here is an article from Vogue that all influencers should take a look at before accepting someone’s offer to promote a product or event, due diligence is key.