The Truth Behind Fyre Festival

In April 2017, the world’s greatest music festival of its time was supposed to occur. Though, what happened fell 100% short of all expectations. With how long ago this event was, it’s surprising that people would even remember the public scam. Yet, with the help of two documentaries, one on Hulu and the other on Netflix, the Fyre Festival fail is back on everyone’s radar.

Before going into the documentaries themselves it’s important to provide a brief overview of what Fyre Festival was, and was advertised to be. Fyre Festival was created by Billy McFarland (a young “entrepreneur”) and Ja Rule (a popular 90s rapper). The idea behind Fyre Festival was created to promote the celebrity booking app Fyre, but the concept quickly shifted away from the app to this luxury Bahamian experience. Fyre promised a beautiful private island, wild parties, incredible musical performances, grand villas, and much more. The fraud of Fyre Festival shook the country and thanks to the two documentaries, we are able to see the inner workings of what really happened.

"Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened" on Netflix takes you through the actual planning process of the festival. It provides a brief overview of Billy McFarland’s past ventures, but the focus was on Fyre the app and the festival. The documentary was created by Jerry Media who managed the Fyre Festival social media. This means the documentary is likely full of bias against their involvement in the fraud. The documentary is well produced and does a better job of telling the story of Fyre Festival than its counterpart, in my opinion. If you are looking for more shock value and entertainment out of the Fyre Festival fraud then this is the documentary you should watch!

The focus of "Fyre Fraud" on Hulu is much different than the documentary on Netflix. "Fyre Fraud" gives you a more in-depth overview of Billy McFarland’s life and his past ventures. It provides much more information on the financial aspects of the festival and the Fyre app. It also talks a great deal about the power of social media and how it is what truly built Fyre Festival. I’d say about 70% of the documentary was spent going over the information I listed above, and 30% was going over the actual festival. What really sets this documentary apart is the inclusion of an interview with Billy, though you really can’t trust anything he says. If you’re looking for something more informative this is the film you should watch.

Even after watching these documentaries, there’s still so much to be learned about Fyre Festival. There’s a lot of information not covered, and you are left with many questions. If you want to learn more, you’d need to conduct your own research. But with $38 million dollars gone and no real proof of where it went, who wouldn’t want to figure out this fraud?

I think what we can take away from Fyre Festival is how important social media is in making the public believe what you want. Fyre Festival didn’t even exist in any shape or form until they created a commercial to post on social media and an orange square (like the one pictured above) was posted by over 200 influencers. They didn’t start fully planning it until there was enough social media hype surrounding it. It was all a concept that they couldn’t deliver. With that, be careful with your money when something seems too good to be true.

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