Fyre Festival Done Right with Keneisha Williams

On today’s episode, host Narmeen Kamran talks to Keneisha Williams, international event professional from Canada and co-founder of the global professional network Black In Events. Having been in the events industry for close to 10 years, Keneisha was inspired to dedicate her career to events through her work within female empowerment platform SHESOFAB, whereby the content involved confirmed her choice to go to university, specifically to learn more about events. Keneisha began the highly anticipated ‘Black In Events’ network at the beginning of 2020, which aims to connect, support and promote talent in a safe space. 

While she had a few ideas for her dream event, Keneisha would love to take the infamous music festival tragedy ‘Fyre Festival’ from 2017 and run it as an actual event professional. With the unlimited budget, she would begin with the logistical details and decide on a guest list that included high-profile celebrities, such as Beyonce, Rhianna and the Kardashians, who would both promote and attend the event. Such attendees would receive first-class plane tickets to arrive at the festival, which would be a full week of endless possibilities, namely concerts and fashion shows featuring exclusive designers. Similar to the original festival’s location of the Bahamas, it would take place on a beautiful hot island with great food, like the Carribean and Turks and Caicos islands. Festival accommodation would be a mix of already existing hotels for larger groups of attendees and customised luxury villas near the main festival stages for VIP guests.

In terms of the concert aspect of the festival, those headlining the shows and included on the lineup would be the likes of the Black Eyed Peas and numerous DJs, for example Paris Hilton, to get the guests excited, in the party mood and keep the energy going throughout the week. Canadian comedian Russell Peters would be hosting the festival, as Keneisha wants to have Canadian talent represented, alongside Kevin Hart and potentially Justin Bieber…? Regarding the fashion shows also taking place during the week, they would have a mix of young talent who were looking to step up within the industry and more well-known, established designers. Catwalks would be placed in unconventional settings, including on the beach or on water, to serve as a fabulous backdrop. 

A typical day of the festival would skip breakfast and begin with a beautiful yet chill catered brunch so guests could lounge, to accommodate those who stayed up late partying the previous night and set the tone for the morning. Activities either on the beach, yachts or around the island would kick each day off, to allow the attendees to explore their surroundings and go on guided tours, giving back to the local economy and conversing with the locals. Alongside these local initiatives, meet and greets with the performers would take place and an amusement park with rides would also be available for guests to enjoy. Attractions would feature many water-themed rides to compliment the island, such as water slides. While Keneisha is not a fan of rollercoasters, they would still be present for those thrill-seeking, in addition to a classic ferris wheel, a staple of all good fairgrounds and ideal for Instagram photo backgrounds. To further include both Canadian touches and good music, iconic ride ‘The Scrambler’ from Centreville Amusement Park in Toronto, Ontario would also be included. In order to support small businesses, a trade show would be set up throughout the festival for guests to visit and look through. Brands Keneisha would want to invite include vegan Canadian cafe ‘The Cold Pressery’ to provide them with international exposure. 

As Keneisha wants the festival to be large and luxurious, attendees could stay for a couple of days or the full week, with numerous well-designed packages to choose from for solo travelers, couples or groups. A website would be set up for guests to view all the available activities and create personal daily itineraries so they could check off certain events they wanted to participate in. VIP attendees would receive exclusive invitations in person, as Keneisha enjoys personable touches. In addition to the aforementioned celebrity performers, the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Adele, Drake and Ed Sheeran would be invited as guests that would hang out around the festival. For those who were unable to afford a ticket to the festival themselves, they could win a free giveaway to secure a place.

To improve upon the original marketing for Fyre Festival, Keneisha would promote her festival using reliable sources, major outlets and notable networks, such as discussions prior to the festival to generate discussion and hype around the event. Those sponsoring the festival would advertise across various avenues and take advantage of all social media platforms for promotional content. An advertisement video would be central to the marketing, with realistic clips being shown of what to expect from the festival – like Rhianna sitting on a yacht personally addressing the audience and letting them know that ‘Fyre Festival Done Right’ is the place to be! 

The festival menu would feature local catering and dishes from around the world to accommodate for all the guest’s dietary preferences, such as Indian, Asian, Carribean foods, in addition to fast food for those hungry late at night after partying. Waiters and event staff would have trays of food to pass around throughout the day and offer to attendees, alongside sample stations and food trucks scattered around the festival grounds to ensure everyone is well-fed. While Keneisha is a gin lover, an array of tropical and tangy-themed drinks would be placed around the event, in both drink and shot form, to fit with the festival’s environment. Overall, the event would be a chance for all those attending to get together, have a great time and celebrate.

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Episode 15