A Tale of Two Fyres
Alright, people like to read about failure from other individuals. Whether it comes from your high school rival who boasted about being better than you or a celebrity being cancelled for some problematic comment from years ago, we like to see the fall of a mighty titan. That’s what the Fyre Festival was in 2017 on Twitter. An exclusive music festival for the well off on some island in the Bahamas that turned into scenes reminiscing Lord of the Flies or The Hunger Games. FEMA tents, cheese sandwiches and influencers off their rocker, what more could you have asked for? I’ll admit, I chuckled at the photos and top notch memes that came out of this disaster but wondered how did they get there. Well I was in for a treat when I heard both Netflix and Hulu came out with their own documentary on one of the biggest flops of the decade, even worse than Tanacon. With invested interest in the topic, I watched both docs to see how this amazing event just blew up in everyone’s face.
To give some context, Fyre Festival was pegged to the next hit festival for rich kids and social media influencers off the coast of the Bahamas. The festival was to promote the app Fyre, a service used to help book artist for events. It promised acts such as Major Lazer, G.O.O.D. Music and Blink-182, beautiful models and the island experience.
So, if you are debating which one to watch… I say watch both because they each offer something different. They intersect at certain points and each aim to provide context but in order to get the full story, you need to watch both. Let me break them down for you.
HULU: Fyre Fraud
Hulu’s Fyre Fraud felt like the Star Wars prequels for the founder of Fyre Festival Billy McFarland. In order for us to understand how we got to the festival, we have to understand who Billy was: A business prodigy with so much potential, yet sueded by desires of being the richest and most successful millennial and reaching idol status like Mark Zuckerberg. We learned about his early business venture with Magnesis, a black card but cooler. Through Magnesis, he met his business collaborator, rapper Ja Rule. Hulu looked into the business dealings of the festival, broke down the fraudulent numbers McFarland made and the outrageous expenses it took to put on the festival.We learned in Fyre Fraud, marketing agency Jerry Media was responsible for selling the luxury of the disastrous festival.
Once it got to the event itself, it shifted more focus on some of the individuals who were there. We got a glimpse as to how bad this event, how unorganized and unprepared it looked. The disaster in trying to get home. The way talked about it was broad when it came to the logistics of setting up the event and detailed into the wire fraud done by McFarland. Fyre Fraud felt more like an investigative journalism piece by a major news outlet.
NETFLIX: Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened
If Hulu’s doc was the Star Wars prequel of our flawed protagonist, then Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In the end, no one wins forreal. Netflix is visually interesting, thanks to it being produced by Vice News and Jerry Media. This documentary is takes at look into the event and the event alone. From its early stages to the dumpster fire it was. It offers more colorful characters and commentary that was not always found in Hulu’s doc. What Netflix had over Hulu as well was insight and behind the scene looks at Billy, Ja Rule and all the important characters who made… eeerrrr, attempted to make Fyre Fest happen. From relocating islands and promising a fantasy to charging outrageous prices and bringing a whole new meaning to “taking one for the team”. Netflix was more entertaining than Hulu and created sympathy for the wronged workers and citizens who did not get paid by McFarland for their efforts. It showcased how bad of a guy McFarland and the rest of his Evil of Doom posse could be.
In the end, this event is nothing more than a man who was too blind to see what was going on and ultimately screwed over thousands of people out millions of dollars. I feel bad for the rich kids who had high hopes for a successful event but instead got nothing but misery and headaches. I feel bad for the natives to the island who helped set up the event were basically given nothing a mess to clean up. Two stellar documentaries about one of the biggest blunders in the digital age. Highly recommend both films for your viewing pleasure.
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I'm Taylor with Moore To Say.