A 16-YEAR-OLD student who faked a major music festival for a college project has suffered a backlash from disappointed fans.
Ollie Yates caused a sensation with his Yorkshire Fields festival which promised acts such as Liam Gallagher and Arctic Monkeys.
Thousands of fans wanted tickets while catering firms, security companies, photographers, and unsigned bands begged for a piece of the action.
But Ollie, from Lancaster, came forward this week to admit that the August spectacular in the market town of Skipton, North Yorkshire, was a well-intentioned hoax.
And while social media users patted the lad on the back for his inventiveness, others were livid. One disappointed fan called Ollie a c*** while another said they had missed a free all-inclusive holiday to attend Yorkshire Fields.
Ollie is in his first year of a Computer Science BTEC at Craven College in Skipton, and was tasked with creating a social media campaign for a business.
Using his computer knowledge, he set up social media pages, created events and then an social media poster announcing a stellar line-up which included high profile acts.
The page said tickets for the event between August 2 – 4 would go on sale in March.
But after admitting this week the festival was a college project, many fans went on the attack.
Gaz Hough wrote: “Bunch of w**s mate.. Completely fake. C of a student set it up.”
Andy Harris wrote: “For F***’s sake – turned down a free a 2 week all inclusive holiday so I could go to this and put holidays in at work. Cheers.
Olivia Hanson tagged friends and wrote: “Sick, some kid ruined our lives.”
Joseph Duncan wrote: “This is so s***.”
Liam Ray Phillips wrote: “I hope this c*** chokes on his dinner.”
James Ford wrote: “I’m not angry I’m just very disappointed.”
Emily Menzies simply wrote: “Bloody students.”
Chloe Hind Bobby Muscart Ryan Walton “I’m fuming. I actually might cry now.”
Aleisha Robertson wrote: “I knew it was too good to be true, hope that lad has had a good laugh now he’s just shattered our dreams. “
Others were more sanguine, including Angela Clark who wrote: “It was the line up of artist more than anything that got people buzzing. Maybe with this much interest it could be organised.”
Adam Reamswood wrote: “I don’t feel betrayed at all, just shows the need for a big festival up north. Bravo sir, and good luck for future projects.”
Martin Dunning wrote: “To pull off what he did was pretty impressive in short amount of days over social media, line up looked cracking and prob would of been an ace festival but hey ho we shall never know.”
Ollie said he reached half a million people in three days using a £5 Facebook ad, proving the power of social media to influence the population.
Speaking today, he said: “We were set a project in our course at college and it was to use a business or create one and create a social media campaign and plan it out to every extent.
“The aim was to get a few reactions on how the post could be shared and how something that’s so ludicrous goes viral and actually gets people to believe it. I didn’t expect the result I got in the end.”
In his post admitting the festival was fake he wrote: “This was a social experiment created by a college student (Age 16) to test how a business could be created through social media.
“The response to this has been astounding and I could not have done it without all 500,000 people who saw, shared, liked and commented on the page.
“I’d also like to thank/apologise to those who have messaged the account with business opportunities including caterers, media teams, photographers and all other teams that would have tried to help put this festival together.”
Among those who posted excitedly about the festival when it seemed real was Jennie Hamlett who wrote: “If only this was a weekend sooner!”
Jordan Clarke wrote: “Getting tickets for this like.”
Tilly Drake tagged friends and wrote: “We’ve got to go to this!”
Megan Jones wrote: “Morgan Owen I’m getting you a ticket.”
Ian Newman wrote: “I’m defo going to this. F*** Foo Fighters at leeds fest.”