That Fyre Festival, White Privilege And Brand Caribbean

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A report–well, more like an editorial–from News Americas Now.

The now failedFyre festival, promoted as an “exclusive weekend getaway” by a 25-year-old White American and billed for the Bahamas island of Exuma, has suddenly become a “Caribbean island fiasco” as mainstream news outlets across the US present their alternative facts.

Suddenly it’s not Billy McFarland’s fiasco but it’s a “Caribbean island” disaster; a nightmare in Paradise and a problem with the Bahamas’ infrastructure.

And woe for Brand Caribbean and Brand Bahamas as it trends on Google News, tied to this mess, while McFarland gets to walk away largely scotch free, blame a storm and tout another festival in 2018.

This smacks clearly of White Privilege. Get someone else – preferably a small mainly black nation – to clean up your mess,  while you move on.

The reality is that this is not McFarland’s first dust-up. This is the same “entrepreneur” behind Magnises, the social-networking startup that charges members a $250 annual fee for discounted access to exclusive events. Except, according to Business Insider, few members received tickets and trips were also cancelled creating confusion.

Now in this latest Bahamas madness, McFarland gets to blame everyone else – infrastructure, a storm, naivety, et al – and turn it into PR for his next event in 2018.

So where are the authorities investigating this scam? The government of the Bahamas needs to investigate this rip-off that was perpetrated on its island and which has tarnished its brand all over the world.

A simple apology from the promoters is not enough given the fact that tourism is the number one industry for many Caribbean nations, including the Bahamas.

McFarland and his company should pay for the damages it’s caused to both Brand Caribbean and Brand Bahamas. White Privilege should not allow him to simply walk away and leave the little black island to clean up his mess while he moves on with an apology and to making more money on another farce.

It’s sad that a farce like this gets to be passed off as a music festival while top billing festivals in the Caribbean, including Jamaica Jazz & Blues, have been forced to cancel their event due to the lack of sponsorship and support. It’s time our Caribbean governments lend more support to our own and not be so quick to bend over back wards to support the outsiders who have no interest in building or supporting the country’s brand beyond just making a quick buck at their expense!

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