Okay so it’s super easy to take potshots at the Fyre Fest from the 2 documentaries released in the last week, but what are the takeaways for djs and event promoters? Well first of all this should be required watching for anyone doing events of any kind, especially festivals and destination retreats (like me!). And if you’re worth your salt as on organizer watching the disastrous Fyre festival unfold will make you uncomfortable. It’s good to squirm a little.
Still we can learn both from our own mistakes and the mistakes of others so here are my suggestions:
(1) Dream small – Too big a vision is too hard to execute and it’s better to be realistic and grow towards a goal over years than expect everything to be easy in year one
(2) Budget comes first – Before announcing a date you need to have your venue locked in and budgeted for, and all the major production areas including sound, lighting, deco, security, promotion, talent. It doesn’t have to be 100% set in stone but you should at least have realistic estimates in there.
(3) Don’t sell tickets without a venue contract and budget in place. I know, who would do that? But it happens all the time.
(4) Learn from past mistakes. The solution in your failing venture is never to save it by starting another one. One of the most disastrous situations in our scene over the years has been the ill-advised “make-up” party where someone tries to make back money on a failed party which ends up being a failed make-up party. Or people who throw disastrous festivals and then come back the next year with the same name and branding
(5) Try to under-promise, not over-promise. When you under-promise, or understate how amazing things are going to be you can really blow people away by going above and beyond. But when you over-promise you are almost certain to disappoint
(6) You can’t be good at everything. You might be really amazing at promotion and be able to sell out an event in year one – amazing! Doesn’t mean you can produce the event though – if it’s not your skill make sure you find someone more suited. And make sure you listen when people say you don’t have enough time – this is a very risky business so no need to rush into extra risk