The Fyre Festival: How the Media Helped the Producers

‘It was an absolute Fyre Festival.’ Before Miami contestants were enlisted to save the world, another group signed up in Montreal. But where were the cameras?

This story was first published on Nov. 15, 2016.

There was a time when we all would have believed that a single event could have a transformative effect on our lives. From the legendary rock and roller days of Woodstock to the recent days of Ferguson, many believed the media had a role in the story. One thing was certain though: the media did not.

In August of this year, thousands of people made the trek to the far reaches of the globe to sample the exotic fruits of Fyre Festival. The festival in question spanned four days of music, art, fashion and revelry, with a total bill running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Attendees enjoyed performances by Ariana Grande, Coldplay and Lady Gaga; and food was in abundance, though most of the food was a scam to get you to pay for food. Fyre Festival cost $915,000 to put on from April to October, which was a number that was too good to be true.

But it was.

In Miami last month, a group of contestants were asked to help with the production. The team of five from Canada, who were all former contestants on The Amazing Race, had a job to do. As it turns out, the biggest story of the week was the fact that none of the former contestants had ever been invited to anything like this before.

The job was the same role that former Canadian contestant David Kwong played on the Fox TV show Out There — to help the producers with logistics of the event. As David recalled, he had to:

“figure out how to provide food for everyone when we had no idea how to produce the food we wanted.” “We had to look into the local government, figure out how to get what we needed and then find our way to where the music was.”

The team of five arrived in Miami the next morning, ready to get to work before a Monday deadline.

When producers arrived and tried to enlist David to help them with their logistics, he declined. “I’m not really a people person,” he said. “I would just stand in the

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