‘I felt like cattle on a content farm’: Model who was paid $2,000 to attend Revolve’s controversial Coachella event as a ‘VIP’ slams brand for leaving influencers out in the burning sun for hours with no food or water
- Maddie White, 26, who has 2.4 million followers on TikTok, was invited to Revolve’s music festival in California last weekend
- She was paid, including a $2,000 shopping credit, to promote the brand on social media – but she says now that she no longer supports the brand
- Though she doesn’t mind being a ‘normal’ person, she said she did not get the VIP experience spelled out in her contract
- She and other influencers waited for hours in 90-degree heat for busses and were given little food and no shade from the sun at the event
- There were also reports of fights and people fainting while waiting for busses
- Maddie noted that influencers drive over two thirds of Revolve’s sales as she called the brand to do better
Yet another influencer has slammed fashion retailer Revolve for this year’s mismanaged Revolve Festival, complaining that she felt like ‘cattle on a content farm’ at last weekend’s event.
Following the two-day festival — which was attended by stars like Kim Kardashian and included performances by Post Malone and Jack Harlow — several attendees griped on social media that they were stuck waiting hours in intense heat for shuttles to the festival grounds.
Now TikToker Maddie White, 26, has said she no longer supports the company and won’t ever work for them again.
Maddie was given free admission and a $2,000 clothing credit to promote the event, but claims Revolve failed to deliver on their promises of a VIP experience written into her contract.
Like some other influencers who were unhappy with the event, Maddie insists she’s not spoiled — but points out that influencers drive about 70 per cent of Revolve’s sales and should expect better treatment.
TikToker Maddie White, 26, has slammed Revolve after attending Revolve Festival last weekend, saying she felt like ‘cattle’ at a ‘content farm’
Maddie was paid to promote Revolve and Revolve Festival on her TikTok account, where she has 2.4 million followers, bur said she can’t ‘advertise a company that I don’t support anymore’
My thoughts and experience at #revolvefestival
Maddie was paid to promote Revolve and Revolve Festival on her TikTok account, where she has 2.4 million followers, though it’s unclear whether her compensation included more than tickets and a clothing stipend.
She uploaded her sponsored videos before the event, but said yesterday that she doesn’t feel like she can leave them up ‘in good conscience’ and ‘advertise a company that I don’t support anymore.’
‘A few weeks ago, I signed on to go to Revolve Festival. They offered me $2,000 in website credit — not from the whole website, only from their approved list of a few things — [and] two VIP wristbands,’ she said.
On Saturday morning, she arrived at the festival pickup spot at noon, when she was told to bet there — but complained that the headliners didn’t go on until 7 p.m.
‘If I had gotten there maybe an hour later, I don’t think I would have gotten in at all,’ she added.
‘I waited about two hours for a shuttle,’ she went on, echoing similar complaints from attendees who said they spent hours in the heat with not enough shuttle service.
Maddie provided a photo of line behind her, showing how it spanned across the lot.
‘This was not a line of people that just thought they were influencers. Everyone was promised VIP wristbands. It became very clear that was not what we got,’ she said.
‘I have no problem being a normal person. I bought my own [general admission] wristband to [Coachella] and I had an incredible time. I felt safe, I felt comfortable, I felt valued by Coachella,’ she went on.
‘That was not the case at Revolve Fest. I wouldn’t have had a problem with not being VIP if I hadn’t agreed to that in my contract.
‘After about two and a half hours of waiting in the burning sun — it was 90 degrees and there was no water, two members of staff for the whole thing — I finally made it inside the festival,’ she went on.
She said they were promised a VIP experience and had contracts with the brand but were stuck sweltering in 90 degree heat
Maddie also took issue with a screenshot taken from an unidentified Revolve employee’s Instagram page
Inside, there were ‘amazing content opportunities’ as well as free drinks, but attendees were also given just one tiny piece of pizza per person.
‘There was also basically no shade. Maybe tiny little areas for people to sit in. All of the real shaded areas were for real VIPs, like Timothée Chalamet.
‘Best way I can describe it is I felt like cattle and I was on a content farm.
Maddie also took issue with a screenshot taken from an unidentified Revolve employee’s Instagram page.
The image shows several employees in an office, overlaid with a furious caption.
‘Just remember when you a-holes DM us for REVOLVE Fest tickets like it’s nothing, there have been 40+ [people] on the brand marketing team, warehouse, merch, site, email, opps teams, etc. working day and night for months to put this event on,’ the employee wrote.
‘Not to mention the $$$ we spend on RF. You are either bringing us impressions, media coverage, sponsorships, or you be standing outside bye bye byeee.’
‘I’ve come to terms with the fact that Revolve will probably never work with me again after this, but I’m hoping that by speaking out, and all of the other influencers who were treated this way can speak out, maybe the culture at Revolve will actually change,’ she said
‘Because influencer marketing makes up 70% of their revenue. So please, revolve, do better,’ she concluded
She also complained that the only areas with shade from the sun were devoted to celebrities
Maddie was far from impressed with the employee’s attitude.
‘I think this screenshot speaks volumes to the culture of what Revolve values. That’s why I’m making this video. Because I’ve come to terms with the fact that Revolve will probably never work with me again after this, but I’m hoping that by speaking out, and all of the other influencers who were treated this way can speak out, maybe the culture at Revolve will actually change.
‘Because influencer marketing makes up 70% per cent of their revenue. So please, Revolve, do better,’ she concluded.
The 70 per cent figure comes from an October 2017 WWD report that said 65 to 70 per cent of overall sales at the time were driven by influencers.
Maddie is one of several influencers to complain about the organization of the event, with several posting photos of the chaos as people waited for the shuttles.
The exclusive event is held annually during the first weekend of Coachella but isn’t affiliated with the bigger festival.
Now in its fifth year — with a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic — Revolve Festival has its own musical performances, as well as countless expertly-crafted photo ops.
Maddie is one of several influencers to complain about the organization of the event, with several posting photos of the chaos as people waited for the shuttles
Influencers were invited to the exclusive event to have fun and take photos, but several have complained that it was mismanaged after attendees were stranded in a parking lot for hours
Antsy ticket-holders were left hot and dizzy with no water, leading to several allegedly passing out
Those who put up with the wait and made it to the festival appeared to have a great time
@Revolve x FYRE Fest 🎡 #horrible #revolve #coachella #revolvefest #fyrefest #sos
But the journey to get there was far from picture-perfect, according to some who have spoken out.
Los Angeles Magazine’s Joseph Kaps broke the news on Twitter on Saturday, writing that there was ‘drama going down at Revolve Festival’ which ‘sinks to level of Fryre Festival.’
‘Influencers stranded in the dirt with no water, under the hot sun for HOURS, waiting for buses that aren’t coming to bring them to actual festival,’ he wrote, saying that there were ‘alleged fights, screaming, [and] everyone is dizzy.’
‘Security had crowds of influencers yelling how “important they were and why they deserved the first seat,”‘ he continued.
He described ‘chaos,’ quoting a security guard who said: ‘I don’t know who the F these people are. I don’t who is actually important and who is lying, or if any of them are important.’
Accounts soon began coming in from influencers who were there — but never actually made it to the festival, giving up after hours of waiting.
Los Angeles Magazine’s Joseph Kaps broke the news on Twitter on Saturday, writing that there was ‘drama going down at Revolve Festival’ which ‘sinks to level of Fryre Festival’
‘Influencers stranded in the dirt with no water, under the hot sun for HOURS, waiting for buses that aren’t coming to bring them to actual festival,’ he wrote, saying that there were ‘alleged fights, screaming, [and] everyone is dizzy’
On Twitter, @iamchrismangos asserted that Revolve Festival was ‘the MOST unorganized event I’ve ever gone too’
One, Averie Bishop, said the problem stemmed from the fact that attendees could only get to the festival in one of Revolve’s own shuttles — which didn’t come frequently enough.
She and a friend waited in line for two hours before they finally ‘bailed.’
‘The logistics of getting to the festival… out of [control],’ she said, while her friend added that it was ‘dangerous.’
‘There was pushing, shoving, shouting, yanking people in front of the buses. People standing in between the buses while they were moving! Just to get on these buses and get to the Revolve Festival,’ she said.
TikToker Hannah Kosh confirmed, saying: ‘You guys, it was all of that and more. People were raiding the buses. The bus drivers refused to come back. I saw three people pass out in line myself. Wild.’
Another TikToker, Kristi Howard, said she flew in from Nashville with her boyfriend to attend the event, but never got inside.
Averie Bishop, said the problem stemmed from the fact that attendees could only get to the festival in one of Revolve’s own shuttles – which didn’t come frequently enough
She and a friend waited in line for two hours before they finally ‘bailed’
TikTokers Hannah Kosh (left) and Kristi Howard (right) also complained about the event
I hope you made it to the festival @kate bartlett !! #revolvefestival @revolve
‘Waiting 5 hours in line like we were told didn’t get us anywhere thx to great security & organized transportation,’ she said.
‘Now I love Revolve, everything I wear is Revolve, but Revolve Festival was a sh**show, it was a disaster,’ she went on.
Kristi insisted she’s ‘not entitled at all,’ but there was ‘poor transportation, communication, and bad management’ that ruined the experience.
Kristi also complained of ‘randos’ who behaved badly, ‘shoving and acting like psychos.’
‘I think it was just an oversold event. People were acting like wild monkeys,’ she said, adding that it was ‘stressful’ and a ‘madhouse.’
While she conceded that people who who did get into the event looked like they had fun and posted a lot of great photos, she noted that they are expected share content to as part of their invitation.
Kristi Howard (not pictured) conceded that people who who did get into the event looked like they had fun and posted a lot of great photos
But, she she noted, they are expected share content to as part of their invitation
The festival itself certainly seemed well-planned, with incredible photo ops
There were plenty of large floral displays for guests to take lots of pictures
The exclusive event required an invitation or a very pricey ticket
In its fifth year, it’s held during the first weekend of Coachella but is not affiliated with Coachella and has its own performances
‘I don’t know why they’re acting like they didn’t just get trampled to get there,’ she said.
Kristi was also one of several attendees who say they had to spend quite a bit of money to attend. Typically, Revolve pays influencers’ expenses for attending, and will even give them store credit to purchase outfits from its website to wear.
But this year, Revolve appears to have extended invites beyond big influencers, sending last-minute invites to smaller ‘micro-influencers’ as well — and they didn’t get the same privileges.
Kirsti said she spend hundreds on her flights and other transportation, while Maria Caballero said she was asked by Revolve to pay $2,000 just to get a spot on the guest list.
“When you get an email from REVOLVE inviting you to REVOLVE festival but they’re asking you to pay $2k instead of [bringing] a +1,’ Maria wrote on TikTok, sharing a screenshot of the email.
Revolve Festival also had a roster of celebrities turn up, including Kim Kardashian and Kendall Jenner
Of course, none – including Chloe and Halle Bailey, pictured – had to take the buses
Also in attendance were Halsey (left), Sydney Sweeney, Chanel Iman (right), Storm Reid, and Olivia Culpo
‘@Revolve it’s giving greedy,’ wrote one commenter, while another said, ‘Lmfao not them charging u to pay for the other influencers??’
Meanwhile, on Twitter, @iamchrismangos asserted that Revolve Festival was ‘the MOST unorganized event I’ve ever gone too.’
‘They had ppl waiting outside in the heat with no water, there was no data to even call a Uber to leave. I was sitting in line for 3 hours. There’s so much more omg,’ he tweeted.
Revolve Festival also had a roster of celebrities turn up — though none of them would have had to take the buses.
Among the stars in attendance were Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Halsey, Chloe and Halle Bailey, Sydney Sweeney, Chanel Iman, Storm Reid, and Olivia Culpo.
DailyMail.com has reached out to a Revolve spokesperson for comment.
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