Fyre Fest was a lot of things, but a success story is not one of them.
Now the subject of not one, but two documentaries, that delve into the failed scam of a pseudo-luxury festival. But which one is actually worth watching, if either? Can either documentary really compare to watching the Fyre Fest saga play out in real time?
Who could forget seeing that sandwich photo when it was posted and the ensuing memes? How about the vertical video of rich millennials reacting to the disaster? At the time, it was the ultimate example of social media schadenfreude seeing influencer culture turned on its head.
What was touted as an ultra-luxe music festival to rival the likes of Coachella was a failure of epic proportions.
Tickets to the event cost at least $1,500 and went up from there. VIP tickets packages cost $12,780, or for the seriously-loaded, there was a $250,000 exclusive package with a private villa. Sounds fancy, right?
The private island festival taking place in the Bahamas was supposed to play host to several large musical acts, too. Plus, it was even advertised on Instagram by supermodels like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid.
What attendees found when they arrived, however, was not even remotely what was advertised. Rather, it was more like they paid thousands of dollars to live in a disaster relief encampment for a weekend. Food and water were scarce and instead of luxe cabanas, they found FEMA tents.
Fyre Fest was, at its core, a total scam.
The Netflix documentary, Fyre, gives us quite a comprehensive look at how the whole debacle went down. Not only that, it tells a story. It gives insight into those who attended, those involved, and the impact it had on the locals as well.
Netflix also gets points for their Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross soundtrack.
What Netflix’s documentary lacked was an interview with the event’s organizer, Billy McFarland.
Hulu, however, actually paid to sit down with McFarland and ultimately made him the centerpiece of their film. Also, the sudden release of their film just days before Netflix’s certainly upstaged Fyre for a brief moment as well.
That said, Fyre Fraud was quite focused on the McFarland’s background and how he came to become a scam artist. In a way, this detracted somewhat from their telling of the Fyre Festival story itself.
While it’s certainly noticeable that McFarland wasn’t in the Netflix documentary, his presence in Fyre Fraud wasn’t anything illuminating. It’s very clear to see that he’s an unrepentant liar and con artist either way. Of course, it is somewhat interesting to watch him from a psychological standpoint.
While you may not have time to watch both documentaries, there is different content to be gleaned from each one. While Fyre documents what happened with the event, Fyre Fraud delves more into why it happened.
We, personally, felt Netflix’s documentary had better direction overall, but there’s still something to be said for both.