Fyre Festival: Dousing the Flame
(6 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
In 2017, Billy McFarland set out to create an immersive music festival in the Bahamas. He spent eight weeks with rapper Ja Rule planning the Fyre Festival, which, in the end, never brought a single act to the stage. The Fyre Festival became one of the most widely documented festivals of the century, and the subject matter of thousands of news articles, parodies, and memes that poked fun at what was an event planning nightmare. What had gone wrong from an organizational standpoint, and what proactive measures could have been taken to avoid the problems?
This case is intended for use in an introductory undergraduate-level course on organizational behaviour. It is comprehensive and best taught near the end of an organizational behaviour unit or as a testing point. The case gives students the opportunity to analyze the mistakes that McFarland made when planning the festival and create an action plan for a second festival to mitigate the missteps made during the first iteration. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:
- Consider elements of culture, leadership, power, and influence to identify both the root causes of the disaster and the ways the event planning issues could have been avoided.
- Understand the effects of groupthink, escalation of the commitment behavioural pattern, and a lack of accountability.
- Identify proactive measures to avoid failure and the struggle of having to react to problems in the moment they arise.
- Develop and evaluate event planning alternatives considering the available resources, with an aim to create a positive solution for all stakeholders.
Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Recreation
United States, Small, 2017
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