Full disclosure: I was ready to write off the Spring 2018 edition of Alexander Wang's annual rager, #Wangfest, before it even started. Thanks to Midtown traffic, Tyler and I were stuck in a car leaving Manhattan for over an hour before we arrived in Bushwick for the runway show; due to our tardiness, the front-of-house team would not let us in to watch the collection walk down the blocked-off street even though we beat the party bus filled with models by 15 whole minutes; when the after-party portion of the night began around 11 p.m., the venue turned into a mob scene, with guests pushing and shoving so aggressively that they knocked over the metal NYPD blockades and the line to actually enter was so long that some people bailed before even making it to the front.
At some point during this debacle, Tyler and I looked at each other and, in unison, declared: "This is what Fyre Festival must have been like." As disastrous as the event seemed at the beginning — from the logistics of checking in to the remote location that essentially stranded us, waiting to be saved by Ubers — it turned out that #Wangfest was the Fyre Festival the world was promised in its original marketing plan that famously featured Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner, who both walked in the show. Need proof of our epiphany? Read on friends, and please keep us in your thoughts as we fight off our Wangovers.
There were models galore.
Unlike Fyre Festival, which used Instagram-famous hot people Emily Ratajkowski, Hailey Baldwin, et al. to attract sexy, rich ticket buyers to its "luxurious" event in the Bahamas, models actually attended #Wangfest — and enjoyed it! From the pre-show party bus ride to the roped-off VIP section that was buzzing late into the night, the Wang Squad seemed to have a blast. And, more importantly, none of them needed to issue a Notes App apology after the fact.
It was in a remote location.
Saturday night was not the first time Alexander Wang staged a show in Brooklyn — and in February he opted for Harlem — but the empty warehouse space he chose in Bushwick this time around was, in the words of a text I received from a friend who chose to sit the party out, "faaaaaar." Getting home was a bit of a challenge — though not on the scale of Fyre Festival attendees scrambling to get on flights home from the Exumas.
It was highly branded and centered around a hashtag.
#FyreFestival was basically a hashtag that took on a life of its own before the event organizers could figure out how to legitimately plan the thing. However, #Wangfest is the product of Wang's brilliant marketing talents, and it was #sponsored as far as the eye could see.
From ice luges to those inflatable, wacky tube guys to each individual piece of confetti, everything was labeled with #Wangfest. A quick scan of Instagram or Twitter will prove that guests used it, too, which is proof of both an excellent strategy and success.
There was "the best in food, art, music and adventure."
No terrible cheese on bread sandwiches here, folks! While #Wangfest did have grilled cheeses passed around — made using very on-brand black toast — there were several open bars, a shrine made from Dunkin Donuts, inflatable pools filled with Budweiser, Ketel One snow cones and a late night order of Domino's large enough to feed an entire campus full of drunk college students.
On the adventure front, there was a bouncy castle, the aforementioned ice luge and a stage setup that could rival those at Coachella.
Finally, there was an actual Ja Rule performance.
Ja Rule, co-founder of Fyre Festival, not only didn't bother to show up to his own event, he also completely renounced responsibility for its failure. He did, however, perform a set at #Wangfest, complete with nostalgic hits like "Always on Time," "I'm Real" and "Put It On Me." His frequent collaborator Ashanti also hit the stage, as did of-the-moment rapper Cardi B, who was very hype to be there. "Oooommmmgg Bitch guess what I did toodaaaaayyyyyyyy!!!!!!!? I performed at the @alexanderwangny Party yaaaass Bitch Alexander fucking Wang!!!!!," she wrote on Instagram.
So, if Fyre Festival does, in fact, try to redeem itself with a 2018 edition as its founders promised ticket holders, the team should probably give Alexander Wang a call. His people know how to throw one hell of a party.