July 20, 2017

Preying On The Privileged

Photo Courtesy of vulture.com

by Bridget Blain ’19

Opinion Staff

Fyre Festival made its debut this weekend and has quickly become one of the most discussed events of the spring, but for all the wrong reasons. What was promised to be a luxurious two-weekend getaway to the Bahamas filled with music and models quickly turned into a colossal disaster. And as bad as it may seem, it is hard to feel sympathy for people who had $12,000 in extra cash lying around and spent it on tickets to a suspicious music festival.

Every aspect of Fyre Festival seemed to be purposefully catered to a certain demographic: the young and privileged. There were also several signs that should have warned someone who was about to spend thousands of dollars on a ticket to rethink their decision.

Let’s start with the price tag. The prices of tickets ranged from $450 to $12,000. Obviously, music festivals are not cheap, but for reference, the most expensive ticket package for Coachella is $899. Paying almost $900 to spend the weekend at a music festival seems ridiculous to the majority of people, but spending over $12,000 to attend a festival is just outrageous.

People are free to spend their money however they please and those who purchased tickets did not deserve what Fyre Festival turned out to be, but it seems as if that $12,000 could have been used in a better way. Was a music festival in its first year being astronomically more expensive than the most popular music festivals in the world not a red flag?

Secondly, the advertisements for Fyre Festival clearly catered to extremely wealthy millennials. Advertisements promised an unforgettable weekend with young models and private yachts galore. These advertisements appeared to be more focused on how beautiful the island and models were instead of the music or any other aspect of the festival.

The purpose of a music festival is to bring people with a shared love of music together in an enjoyable and safe environment. The purpose of Fyre Festival, however, appears to be to see how many young and incredibly wealthy people could be convinced to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on an event that was more about being able to live like a celebrity for a weekend than about music.

One cannot help but wonder how many people who purchased tickets did so because they genuinely wanted to have the experience of seeing performances by the musicians on the lineup or because they simply had two free weekends and an immense amount of money to spend.

Fyre Festival was troublesome from the beginning as it was strictly marketed toward and really only available to the privileged youth. Perhaps it is easier to say now that everything has been revealed, but it is hard to feel sorry for those who put themselves in a suspicious situation so they could spend a weekend reveling in their privilege.

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