2019 is the year of documentaries, from ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ to ‘Leaving Neverland’ and now ‘Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened’ which aired on Netflix this past weekend.
After the documentary aired Frye Festival was trending throughout the weekend, well if you have never heard of this festival, it was one of the biggest festivals flops in the history of festivals back in 2017. The organizers of the event promised luxury and the best festival experience in the Bahamas but it was never meant to be as the organizers failed to deliver on their end.
Fyre Festival was the most talked about the festival experience of 2017, but not because anyone had any fun there. Advertised by famous faces including Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Hailey Baldwin, it was billed as a glamorous party on a deserted island. Tickets cost up to $100,000 and guests who booked were promised luxury accommodation and “the best in food, art, music, and adventure” in the Bahamas.
Instead, they turned up to mattresses on rain-soaked floors, meals of cheese slices on bread and their luggage was thrown into an unlit car park.
According to the BBC, Seth Crossno, a blogger and podcaster, and his three friends spent $45,000 (£34,785) on tickets, travel and luxury accommodation but when they turned up they found it was still practically a building site.
The Netflix documentary, ‘Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened’, focuses on the disastrous build-up to the event which was organized by businessman Billy McFarland. However, a rival doc was released earlier this week on US streaming service Hulu.
While Fyre was promoted as an exclusive party for wealthy Instagram influencers, Seth says there were more ordinary people at the event than Insta-famous models.”Everyone watching assumed everyone there was an influencer who was wealthy, who had been flown down and was expecting this life of luxury but was being slapped in the face with reality,” says Seth.
While the chaos of the festival was mostly told on Twitter, the Netflix documentary focuses on what went on behind the scenes on the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas.
“The organizers had six to eight weeks to pull off something that should have taken close to a year,” says Chris Smith, who directed the documentary.
Fyre Festival wasn’t just a miserable experience for the people who paid to party, it also had a major impact on the local people of the island who helped organizers build the festival.”They had engaged with so much of the local community to try and pull this off. There were hundreds of day laborers working,” says Chris.
Organiser Billy McFarland failed to pay workers on the island for their time or resources and he’s the one man missing from the documentary – Chris says he refused to be interviewed unless he was paid for his time.
Following Fyre’s collapse, Billy was convicted of fraud and jailed for six years in October last year.
Rapper Ja Rule was originally described as a co-organiser of the event – but was not arrested or charged in connection with the fraud. His lawyers have argued that McFarland used his name and connections to promote the event.