We all remember the disaster that was Fyre Festival. Who could forget? The tents, the cheese butties, the lack of water. So naturally, when a very similar-sounding, high-end festival was announced for an exclusive island resort called Zaya Nurai, in Abu Dhabi, people were wary.
But NuraiFest's 25-year-old founder, Ayan Alieva managed to completely plan a luxury music festival in less than three weeks, and there was not a lunch pack in sight - and she totally smashed it.
But how did she manage to make sure that it lived up to expectations? Well, Ayan puts it down to the toilets.
Speaking to LADbible, the PR and marketing manager said: "The first thing we thought about wasn't influencers and models, we focused on toilets! We wanted to make sure the event was organised and had that VIP feel, starting from things like the boats, the logistics. It's the small things that matter."
Still though, Ayan basically single-handedly created an event that was a huge success - in less time than the entire Fyre team had to plain their own disastrous festival. Although we couldn't get ballpark figure, we imagine that the costs were fairly similar.
Ayan said: "When it's last minute, it involves more budget than what you had planned for. There are less suppliers who have what you need for the event. The artists - this is another issue. They tend to overcharge in the Middle East - we can pay up to three times the market price. The budget was millions, and we were helped by the government a lot with it."
Of course, you can't have a music festival without a decent soundtrack. DJs like Steve Lawler, wAFF, Tiga and more all accompanied the exclusive capped-capacity event, which took over the island in November.
So where did Fyre Festival and NuraiFest differ? Well, firstly, if you cast your mind back to the documentary (if you dare), they didn't have the permission they needed to stay on the original island. And then of course, they blew their money on filming high profile influencers running across beaches and partying on yachts.
NuraiFest also did that, but they had the logistics to back it up.
"We worked with the government and Abu Dhabi - if Fyre had done that they may not have been kicked out - which is where the problems all started from.
"Funnily enough, I think the disaster of Fyre both hindered and helped us. When we first started advertising people were kind of set off, they were like 'oh Fyre, we've heard all this before'.
"So people were kind of scared of it and it didn't help much in the beginning. But now, we have all media and influencers talking about how Fyre Festival just happened in Abu Dhabi, so it's helped a lot in the end."
One thing that might get in the way of the UAE becoming a party destination, is that, for some, Abu Dhabi has a reputation for being strict when it comes to things like drinking. But Ayan thinks this isn't justified.
"I don't really agree that it's strict at all; Abu Dhabi has been hosting a lot of events recently, we have Formula 1, UFC, music events - they bring in a lot of artists and Abu Dhabi is growing a lot. It's becoming more and more open. It's already OK to come and party and drink."
And what is next for NuraiFest? Well, now you have the guarantee that it's not going to be reminiscent of those horrific scenes of Fyre - the next event on the island is happening in March.
Ayan added: "I would compare NuraiFest to Ibiza or Mykonos. The advantage is that in the summer people can go to those regions, and off-season, they can now come to Abu Dhabi to party."
I think I speak for us all when I say that a holiday on a luxury desert island would go down an absolute treat right now.
Featured Image Credit: NuraiFest
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