Here’s a story that can only happen in the sort of normal, healthy society we all currently love and enjoy living in. If you know just one thing about Fyre Fest, it’s probably the infamous picture of the world’s saddest sandwich. That photo was posted by Trevor DeHaas, who is now auctioning the NFT of the tweet off to help pay for his $80,000 medical expenses.
There’s a lot going on in this story so if you’re a little confused by the first paragraph, fear not. This is the sort of story that might trip up even the extremely online among us, so let’s take it one step at a time.
First of all, Fyre Fest. In 2017, famous and beautiful influencers started promoting an exclusive new music festival that would take place in the Bahamas, featuring hot bands, luxurious accommodations and endless partying. Despite the eye-popping ticket price (upwards of $12,000), Fyre Fest drew swarms of young attendees who found a disastrously organized non-event, including Trevor’s lunch, which sort of sums up the whole grift. Fyre Fest organizer Billy McFarland was sued and ultimately sentenced to six fears in prison for wire fraud. The story ended up being the subject of twin documentaries that premiered on Hulu and Netflix (both of which are very much worth watching). That’s the story behind the photo.
— Trevor DeHaas (@trev4president) April 28, 2017
Then there’s NFTs, which are a little harder to explain. NFT stands for “non-fungible token” and is basically a way of buying and selling ownership of digital items like tweets, GIFs, photos, video game power-ups, you name it. The idea is that while anyone can screenshot a post or save a video to their phone, the NFT is the “original.” And just like in our real, physical world, originals have value. Some originals have lots of value. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey auctioned off the NFT of his first tweet for $2.9 million last month. That’s what inspired DeHaas to get into the NFT game.
According to his GoFundMe, DeHaas is in end-stage renal disease. “I currently do dialysis for 7 hours every day and in the mean time trying to find a living kidney donor,” DeHaas told The Verge. “The expenses from a kidney transplant can be astronomical even with insurance. Plus there are expenses for my donor that I would like to cover.”
The party of a lifetime gone awry. The consumerist scramble to find a way to capitalize off of an increasingly digitized world. A broken healthcare system that forces the sick to concoct eye-raising schemes in the hope that it’ll attract enough attention from the rich to warrant pity. There’s a lot of different angles in this one, and it could only happen here.