Netflix’s new documentary, ‘Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened,’ offers viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the legendary failure of Fyre Festival.
When Netflix dropped its newest documentary, “Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened,” the world got to relive the chaos and drama of watching one of the biggest parties ever crumble.
The documentary exposes how the over-the-top and exclusive music festival transformed from idea to a full-blown nightmare. It takes viewers through the entire creation of Fyre Festival with interviews from a number of different people in charge of major components of the festival.
In 2017, entrepreneur Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule crafted the idea of throwing a luxury music festival to promote an app for booking talent. But this wasn’t going to be just any music festival. It was going to be the most envy-inducing festival ever.
The plan was to host the event on an exclusive island in the Bahamas with some of the world’s top models like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid, as well as other high-profile influencers.
However, as the idea moved into the production phase, it was clear this festival was either too grand to pull off or would need more time to come together. McFarland insisted the event proceed as scheduled, which resulted in the mess known as Fyre Festival.
The documentary features an abundance of exclusive video content giving viewers new insight into the festival. As cynical as it sounds, it was kind of incredible to watch the festival fall apart in front of attendees but also the world through Instagram and Twitter, from the lack of models to disaster relief tents to the iconic cheese sandwich tweet.
The documentary makes it clear that McFarland is a scammer at heart and Fyre was just another hustle for him.
One of the most interesting aspects of the documentary is its interviews with everyone, from the locals tasked with building the festival to the young post-graduates in charge of booking talent to one of its head producers.
In the beginning, those working on bringing the event to life seemed hopeful about the festival’s outcome. They were aware that it was an ambitious task and that it would require a vast amount of work; yet, they knew that if they could pull it off, they would go down as heroes in the history of social media and influencers.
However, the festival quickly became impossible to deliver, and it was fascinating to see how every employee had, at some point, a revelation that this festival should not and could not happen. Interviewees shared the immense stress they were under and how when they approached McFarland with concerns, they were brushed off or fired.
The documentary also explores the dark repercussions the festival had on the island’s residents. McFarland hired dozens of local Bahamians to help build the festival, provide services and cater the event itself. Yet, as the festival fell through, none received compensation.
MaryAnne Rolle was hired to help cater the festival but was never paid (although a GoFundMe page has now raised more than $219,000 for her). In an emotional interview, Rolle revealed she spent $50,000 of her savings catering and is still owed $134,000 by Fyre. Rolle said she worked hard to put Fyre in the past because thinking and dwelling on it causes her too much pain.
The documentary makes it easy for viewers to champion the festival’s downfall and mock those who attended. However, what is often overlooked is how it truly altered people’s lives.
The documentary itself is a fascinating look into the planning of one of the biggest event failures in recent history and how it played out on social media. What’s even more interesting is its critique of “F.O.M.O” (fear of missing out) culture.
People so desperately wanted to attend Fyre in order to flaunt the experience to followers they ignored signs that the dream they bought was too good to be true. The film exemplifies how the effort to keep up and out-do others on social media helped drive Fyre Festival to the catastrophe it became.