February 6, 2019

Where there’s smoke, there’s FYRE

It's been almost two years since the notorious — and endlessly memed — Fyre Festival debacle, but the hits just keep on coming.

A quick recap: In April 2017, after months of social media hype billing Fyre Festival as “Coachella in the Keys,” would-be attendees flocked to the Bahamian island of Great Exuma with the promise of luxury accommodations, 5-star catering, an eclectic music lineup (Blink-182 AND Migos?), and the chance to cavort with all the hottest Instagram influencers (and maybe even swim with a pig or two). When they were greeted by disaster relief tents, cheese sandwiches, and nary a musician or Kardashian in sight, it was clear that something was terribly wrong.

Fyre Festival continues to inspire numerous think-pieces on millennial entitlement and the deceptive allure of influencer culture. Sure, the festival was a punchline (and perhaps an exercise in hubris), but the consequences have proven to be no laughing matter. In October 2018, disgraced festival organizer Billy McFarland was sentenced to six years in prison for fraud. In recent weeks, several GoFundMe campaigns have been started to compensate Bahamian workers who were never paid by festival organizers, including Exuma restauranteur Maryann Rolle, who spent over $50,000 of her own money to feed stranded festival attendees and pay her employees.

In January, both Netflix and Hulu delved into the drama with their own buzzy documentaries chronicling the aftermath of “the greatest party that never happened” — Hulu’s Fyre Fraud dropped first, with Netflix’s Fyre released several days later. It’s clear that this scam has touched a nerve with many (including yours truly). If you love a good white-collar crime or social media polemic, check out our Hustles, Hoaxes, and Heists Recommended Reads list by copying and pasting UI 447645 into the NoveList search box. Or try our field codes to fill that trash fyre-sized void in your life (until the inevitable Fyre tell-alls are published, of course).

Some good genres and subjects to search for are:

Genre (GN):

GN True Crime

GN Society and Culture

GN Business and Economics


Subject (SU):

SU White collar crime

SU Fraud

SU Deception

SU Identity (Psychology)

SU Internet and identity

SU Internet marketing

SU Social media

SU Celebrities

SU Consumerism

You can also mix-and-match genres and subjects to make your own search that fits your interests. For example, GN True Crime AND SU Consumerism.

Worried about FOMO (fear of missing out) and want more ideas for using pop culture in your library? Watch our pop culture webinar to learn how you can use the latest trends to connect with your patrons. 

Kaitlin Conner is a Readers’ Advisory Librarian at NoveList and a member of the NoveList Book Squad.

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