At $250,000 a ticket, sold-out swanky music festival still isn't making any money

At $250,000 a ticket, sold-out swanky music festival still isn't making any money

MusicApril 04, 2017 By Brian Frederick

It's called the Fyre Music Festival, and it isn't intended for people like you or I. Taking place this month on a secluded (uninhabited) island in the Exumas, it sells itself as "the unparalleled best in music, cuisine, design & hospitality." Access to artists and one of the world's most luxurious experiences is what it's all about.

And get this, it's the work of JaRule. Yeah, that JaRule — he's behind this whole damn thing!

But it doesn't quite look like a home run just yet for Rule and his team, in fact, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the festival is having a hard time pulling in cash, even though one of their exclusive tickets sells for the exorbitant price of $250,000 ($1,500 is the festival's 'general admission' cost) — or what most Americans spend on a house over the course of about 30 years depending on interest rates at the time of closing their loan.

The festival has reportedly missed a few artist payment deadlines and is also having a difficult time chartering flights for the confirmed 12,000 people attending the festival. 

It's a tricky time for music festivals, though — Fyre isn't alone in its struggle. Even though Coachella pulled in close to $100 million in profit last year, others around the nation are struggling to sell tickets enough to make the effort worthwhile — the festival bubble, it seems, has finally burst. Now it's time to just sit and watch who can navigate the treacherous seas.

Fyre, in its defense, goes outside of the common festival model at least, aiming to provide rich people an opportunity to get farther from poor people than what flimsy VIP tents provide while actually giving them access to artists the whole weekend. It's like ... paying for friendship, which is what rich people are good at. Or so we'd hope, we've got rent coming up and wouldn't mind going to brunch with a Jenner to get it paid off.

It offers crazy exclusive options throughout the weekend too. As per Quartz:

  • Boats and jet skis for rental, starting at $249 a person
  • VIP access and individual yacht docking rights starting at $2,500 a person (must bring your own yacht)
  • “The Great Northern,” a $25,000-per-person package offering a “bonafide ship including two expansive sun decks” that comes with a full crew to attend to you for the duration of the festival
  • “Artists Estate,” a $49,999-per-person package offering personalized experiences, open bars, and resort housing “in the vicinity” of performers

Explaining what it's all about, the festival’s creative director, Mark Musters, told WSJ that Fyre is of course aimed at millennials who want to “capture those Instagram moments” in an “offline experience.” 

Which is weird, to not mention the music at all in explaining the purpose behind a music festival. But, who knows, it might be genius.

But geniuses are also required to pay bills. We're looking at you, JaRule ...