‘It was an absolute Fyre Festival.’ Before Miami contestants were enlisted to save the world, another group signed up in Montreal. But where were the cameras?
On a sunny Sunday in March, a gregarious man in shorts and a red polo shirt led an impromptu gathering in a rented warehouse in downtown Montreal. The scene wasn’t unlike a conference of the world’s most powerful businessmen, many of them dressed in business casual, their suit jackets open at the neck.
These were the executives and managers of some of the world’s richest companies, from Facebook and Uber to Google and SpaceX.
The group had been invited to a private event by a young entrepreneur and entrepreneur-in-residence, Kavin Senapathy, but only after they spent hours preparing in a dark and quiet warehouse space in the city’s old warehouses district.
“The organizers of this event had given me the OK to invite the CEO of Google,” a man dressed in black-rimmed glasses, who wished to remain anonymous said. “And I thought this was an incredible opportunity for Kavin.”
The event was the Fyre Festival.
The Fyre Festival was a multi-day music and art festival held in a remote location on the small island of Fyre Shire, near the border of the South American nation of Antigua.
It was billed as a festival celebrating the “golden age of creativity.”
The Fyre Festival was sold to the public as a three-day camping event, but many details of its event planning have not been revealed.
In addition to the Fyre Festival’s chief creative officer, who was hired to run the event, it was organized by a company called Eventbrite, which claims to be the first event management company in history.
Eventbrite was founded by CEO Ryan Patrick, a former Goldman Sachs executive who had previously led the firm’s $20 billion in digital media investments, and former executive Kevin Spacey.
The Fyre Festival had a budget of over $100,000 — money that was spent on the event, including over $45,000 on flights for a team of six.
The island of Fyre has been described as a “sham event site” with no services except the basic amenities.