Baby's On Fyre: Using audience data to tell the story of 2017's doomed music festival....

Unless you’ve been asleep or in an internet blackspot for the past couple of weeks it is likely the story of Fyre Festival has already come to your attention. 

The story of this much hyped but ultimately tragic music festival failure has already been a hot topic across much of the media but we’re interested another view and one which we specialise in here at EntSight, namely - ‘What does the audience data tell us about this event?’

A Sentimental Story…

The best place to start when trying to understand audiences reactions is sentiment data and so we used Brandwatch to identify social posts relating to the Fyre Festival from Twitter and Instagram in order to analyse how sentiment shifted over time. Given the level of pure and unrelenting sarcasm involved here we also needed to spend a fair amount of time re-categorising certain subjects to ensure accuracy here too.

Anyway, the results looked like this:

Fyre 1

As you can see, following sponsored social posts from supporting celebrities and a glossy video promoting the event, audience sentiment from Twitter and Instagram was entirely positive and it is clear from audiences social posts that there was visible excitement from the audience...

Fyre 2

However from the end of March and in the run up to the event it is clear that some people had begun to have their suspicions about Fyre:

Fyre 4

By the weekend of the event itself and through the following weeks the sentiment has been very negative indeed - with the most recent negativity relating to the announcement of legal actions against the event organisers.

Audience Expectations - The Burning Truth 

A highly publicised festival which results in an organisational catastrophe was always going to be a popular story for the schadenfreude seeking masses of social media but we thought it would be interesting to look at the target audience in order to understand why this has been so amplified over the past couple of weeks.

Whilst social media data is great for sentiment tracking around an event like Fyre it isn’t always the right source when trying to best identify consumer behaviour and so to profile the audience more accurately we made use of Global Web Index. GWI allows for some very specific profiling and in this case we focused on the following: 

- U.S audience

- Top 25% earners (given the high ticket price )

- Aged 16 - 25

- Interested in Music and Travel 

Analysis of this target audience group using GWI reveals something which we believe was key to the hugely negative reaction we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks - namely that this particular group expects to be treated like a ‘valued customer’ by brands (and we believe by extension, festival brands) above almost all other aspects of the  consumer experience.

Fyre 5

As much as it is easy to criticise their organisational skills you have to hand it to the team behind Fyre Festival, as when it comes to promoting the event it is clear that their celebrity and social media focused approach drove a strong positive reaction - initially at least. However, given their target audiences expectation of service it is no surprise that both attendees and their peers reacted with such extreme negativity online and on social media.

So it is clear that the cautionary tale here is “deliver what you promise” - especially when your audience has high such expectations and the means to document and share your failings with world instantaneously. 

If you're interested in learning more about the Audience Intelligence solutions we offer here at EntSight, then take a look at our website to find out more or drop us a message. 

Edward Bass

Edward Bass

EntSight Founder & Director