Another reason not to trust anything you see on Instagram.
The show documents the lead-up to the biggest music festival that didn’t happen and the repercussions that stem from it. You have Billy McFarland, a supposed start-up wunderkind, teaming up with rapper, Ja Rule to produce a music festival to end all music festivals: Fyre Festival. But when plans start to collapse, the parties involved—both guilty and innoncent—will not walk away unscathed.
Here be spoilers…
What we like
This is schadenfreude at its finest. Who wouldn’t want to cackle and rub his or her hands in glee after hearing about a bunch of seemingly vapid Instagrammers be cheated out of a shitload of money for a music festival that’s an actual shit show? 🙋🏻♂️
It’s petty, I know. But then your joy over an influencer’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day gives way to sympathy for the Bahamians, who worked in the building and catering for the festival. They have not seen proper compensation for their work (at the point of writing, two GoFundMes were created to aid Maryanne Rolle, who bankrupted her savings to feed the crew and the construction crew). The documentary casts a light on the ones who were really negatively affected by this.
There’s also a relatability in how Fyre Festival came about. How many of you work or used to operate under an incompetent boss? One who doesn’t listen to advice and thinks that he or she is the shit? 🙋🏻♂️ To see the best-laid plans of Billy McFarland unspool before my eyes, there was a sense of catharsis of some unnamable episode that had occurred in my own life. I actually know what undergoing through this all-consuming dumpster fire is like.
What we didn’t like
Given that this documentary is a giant lesson about not trusting anything that seems too good to be true, we have to cast our lens at the documentary itself.
One of the parties involved in this trainwreck is Jerry Media. They are the media and advertising company that helped with Fyre Festival’s online campaign (we haven’t forgotten the influencers hawking this BS as well but let’s not forget the people who also buy into this FOMO culture. “No, Melissa. You absolutely can live on for a few more years if you do not have that pair of expensive shoes.”) Jerry Media actually originated from the less family-friendly sounding FuckJerry. Remember FuckJerry? You should. It started out as an Instagram account that appropriates other comedians’ jokes and memes without attribution (another joke thief would be the Fat Jew). Elliot Tebele, who is behind FuckJerry, is also one of the executive producers on this documentary.
With this in mind, it could be possible that the Netflix documentary glossed over some of the facts of Jerry Media’s knowledge about Fyre Festival’s failings. In fact, having Tebele as an executive producer takes away the documentary’s nonpartisan approach.
(We actually saw Hulu’s Fyre Fraud and while they scored with an interview with Billy McFarland, it was reportedly a paid appearance.)
What to look out for
Think of Andy King.
Sympathise with him. Know that this man is your icon, represents those who are willing to go above and beyond, despite the management being total an asshole. It shouldn’t be this way. If you are ever pressured to that point where you have to resort to sexual favours just to broker a deal, you might have to rethink your relationship with said company.
Think of Andy King.
FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened is now out on Netflix.