When Fyre Festival was announced in December 2016, it was advertised as a dreamy, boutique festival experience on an island that was bound to be highly Instagrammable. The event, which was to take place over two weekends in the Bahamas, was, of course, a complete shit-show. Two new documentaries, Fyre Fraud on Hulu and Fyre on Netflix, released this month aim to unpack where it all went wrong.
Many will remember when the event became the laughing stock of social media: the far-from-luxurious white relief tents that peppered the island, the truly bleak cheese sandwiches that were supposedly “gourmet” and hangry posts from many of the stranded guests left without food and water. It was truly a Lord of the Flies experience for rich people.
Both Netflix and Hulu have both been working on films detailing the lead up to the disastrous event. Hulu’s Fyre Fraud, released this morning, has been billed as a “true crime comedy”. In a statement, the directors Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nelson said that the film, which includes an interview with the notorious co-founder Billy McFarland, “offers us a window into the mind of a con artist, the insidious charm of the fraudster and how they can capture our imaginations, our investment and our votes in the age of Trump”.
Netflix’s take on the festival, directed by Chris Smith and simply named Fyre, aims to bring a more human side to the story, exposing the many people, from contractors to the local Bahamians, who invested time and money into working on the festival. It also examines how McFarland won over the trust of influencers such as Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski. The rich kids are certainly not the only ones who were duped, as a whole host of insiders come forward with their painful stories.