Fyre Festival is the train wreck that we all not-so-secretly want to see.
The tragically ill-fated “luxury” music festival turned out to not be what it said it was and was famously called out for it as publicly as it could have been, in real time. This all took place Spring of 2017 and played out from start to finish on social media, luckily for us rubberneckers.
What we learn in both the Netflix and Hulu documentaries is more about the serial startup scammer Billy McFarland and his festival co-founder Ja Rule. Together, they booked artists like Blink-182 and many more, selling tickets for supposed glamping on a private island once owned by Pablo Escobar. To help promote the festival, they also recruited the most followed models on Instagram, putting the festival on the world stage. So when thousands of (almost) festival-goers arrived in the Bahamas and couldn’t find any trace of where they were supposed to stay that weekend…well, you’ll have to see it to believe it.
Netflix’s Fyre looks at McFarland’s fraudulent crimes, including his fake app “Fyre” that sold itself as the place where you could book bands like Coldplay for your next barbeque. It also examines at the destruction McFarland left in his wake: the quarter of a million dollars local islanders were never compensated with for attempting to build the festival infrastructure in an impossible amount of time, the restaurant owner who lost $50,000 of her life savings to the scammer, and more.
Hulu’s Fyre Fraud looks a little further under the surface. Firstly, it includes interviews with Billy McFarland himself, which helps us paint the picture we need in our head of just the kind of person who could possible do a thing like this. It’s this documentary that seeks to expose the way that McFarland used the influence of social media to con the susceptible ticket buyers and investors.
Or maybe, for a scam this big, you’ll just have to see it twice to believe it. See what people are saying below.
The #FyreFestival documentary is giving me secondhand anxiety. How did these people function while they were planning this. No thanks
— Dani (@daniroulette) January 18, 2019
— Orli Matlow (@HireMeImFunny) January 15, 2019
Watching the #FyreFestival documentary on Netflix and it's just… un-fucking-believable.
Highlights: rich kids going Lord of the Flies and peeing on beds to keep tents for themselves, Ja Rule saying "It's not fraud, it's… false advertising."
— Maris (@MissMaris21) January 18, 2019
Hulu documentary is great and includes interview of the founder. Excited for the Netflix version, but be cautious. The fuckjerry guys (who helped fraud thousands of ticket buyers) are executive producers of the Netflix version #fyrefestival https://t.co/KXxiUqVLyb
— Harrison Cole (@harrison_cole) January 15, 2019
— ㅤㅤㅤً (@tatexsteve) January 18, 2019
— johanabram (@johanabram3) January 18, 2019
— Lexi Rose (@misslexirose) January 19, 2019
— E. 🌈 (@notejht) January 18, 2019
— The Future Ex-Mrs. Gritty (@CeeFright) January 15, 2019
Netflix and Hulu are rolling out competing #FyreFestival docs this week, which means millennials finally have a "Deep Impact" vs. "Armageddon" to call their own. @BPucino and I are not complaining. Ha! https://t.co/u3eG2bSdVe pic.twitter.com/Sjl1a9Bry1
— Martin Lieberman (@martinlieberman) January 15, 2019
— Brenda (@lonelypigeon1) January 16, 2019
— soul_of_twit (@soul_of_twit) January 18, 2019