Directed by: Jenner Furst & Julia Willoughby Nason
Written by: Jenner Furst & Julia Willoughby Nason
Fraud has never occurred for a dumber reason than this dumpster fire (get it?) of a festival. Please let me know if any other comes close. Through interviews and an overview of the event, this documentary displays the incompetence on display in the attempt to put together this event and provides the difficult questions to the man at the center of it all, Billy McFarland.
The Fyre festival promised a luxurious getaway on an island owned previously by Pablo Escobar. It promised exclusivity of the highest order but could never deliver. All of it done by the mastermind, Billy McFarland. This documentary pairs well with the one released by Netflix but this one offers a sit-down interview with McFarland himself about the events leading up to the big day. The interviewers pressed him on the impact his actions had on others. These questions could only go so far but at the very least it seems to have had some sort of impact on this man. Although, he could be bamboozling us the same way he did to investors and attendees.
The promises could never be kept and the pure hubris of the men involved caused this catastrophic event to impact people who worked tirelessly for a lost cause. McFarland tapped into the millennial cultural obsession of exclusivity and in the process, people spent money they did not have to attend an event that did not exist. The story of this festival will serve as a lesson and a reminder that social media can be weaponized to paint a picture that may not be true. Just as people should not trust everything on Facebook because individuals will only put the positives and hide the negative, McFarland and the others involved used the same tactic, but it conned people out of millions of dollars in the process. The sentence he received does not match the harm he caused, but what else is there to expect with the justice system. For more of my thoughts on this mess, you can check out my review of Netflix’s Fyre.