Fyre Festival Documentary - Review
Fyre Festival – Netflix & Hulu Documentaries
Netflix and Hulu both released their own documentaries about the infamous Fyre Festival disaster that happen in April of 2017. The Netflix version is called: Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. The Hulu version is: Fyre Fraud. After watching both movies, I can safely say the Netflix documentary is much better. The Hulu film looks at the situation from an outside perspective while the Netflix one looks at it internally. Would you rather see a documentary about a burning building from the people watching it or from the people inside the building? The only thing the Hulu documentary has going for itself is that it actually interviews the scam artist himself, Billy McFarland. But he really doesn’t have much to add because he is just defending himself. So going forward, I’m just going to focus on the Netflix documentary.
The first time I ever heard of the Fyre Festival was when #FyreFail was trending on Twitter with a picture of a piece of bread with a slab of cheese on it. After reading the tweets, it quickly became clear that people were swindled into paying for what they thought was going to be an exclusive musical festival in the Bahamas. But it turned out to be nothing but disaster-relief tents on a gravel lot in the Bahamas. So, I was very interested to see a documentary about how this whole thing started.
The “master-mind” behind this phenomenal failure is Billy McFarland. Billy is responsible for some other incredible failures including some Pinterest-type website and a credit card company called Magnises. So after two failures, who did Billy turn to for his next adventure? Ja Rule of course. Who better to partner with than guy who just got out of jail for tax evasion? The two of them decided to start a website/app where you could book talent for any event. Which is definitely an untapped market. How else could you get Nickelback to play at your kid’s birthday party? But the craziest idea they had was to create a musical festival in the Bahamas just for the simple fact of promoting the app! I feel like the app is practical enough to get people interested. You don’t really need to bother with trying to create a music festival.
The Netflix documentary does an absolutely incredible job of capturing the chaos of this catastrophe. There are interviews with the people within the Fyre company, the social media managers promoting the festival and the workers from the Bahamas. I don’t want to spoil any of the revelations in the documentary because they unfold quite beautifully. It’s almost poetic the way things collapse around this festival.
The one thing that the documentary also does very well is capture the spirit of social media. The Fyre Festival is the embodiment of an Instagram filter. It had the appearance of a perfect life: beautiful models, clear-blue oceans, high-class living and exclusive lifestyles. But the reality was ugly, depressing, sad, dangerous and disappointing. It was a 21st Century heist for the digital world. It’s honestly quite spectacular to watch. I highly recommend Netflix’s Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened.