The highly-anticipated Hulu and Netflix documentaries covering the Fyre Festival scandal have released this January. After watching both, I was pleasantly surprised at the depth which with they investigated the whole situation.
What could have very easily been a superficial look at the Fyre Festival, was actual extremely expository and eye-opening in the approaches taken. Instead of choosing to poke fun at the rich kids who spent (and lost) their money on this fraudulently marketed event or at the event creator, Billy McFarland, both Netflix and Hulu examined how the idea got so out of control, and what the impact was in the aftermath.
I think it was important that investors, designers, assistants, and people from every corner of this project were interviewed. The way that the event was being planned meant that almost no one, besides McFarland himself, had the whole story in terms of just how much of a mess they were in.
From the outside, it is easy to accuse everyone involved and say that they knew exactly what was going on, or that they knew what was happening and they let Billy get away with it. Watching the documentaries, however, it becomes quite apparent that Billy himself did not know what was going on. In a deluded and headstrong mindset, he continued to find ways to "fix" problems like budget shortages or capacity issues. These fixes, however, were small patches on a project that had no foundation to stand on.
Fyre Festival was doomed from the beginning of McFarland's involvement in it. His expectations were too high, his flexibility, minimal, and his sense of reality, all but gone. He was determined to create a festival in conditions that made it an impossible feat. Over and over, his colleagues try to slow him down or minimize his plans, while he reassures them that he has it all under control - and he seemingly does, until festival time.
Not only did both documentaries talk to people involved in every level of the planning and design process, but they also talked to locals who worked for and were exploited by Billy McFarland. Before seeing these documentaries, I had not even considered the amount of damage that was done to the island, nor was I aware that there was a community there who were impacted by the massive project that McFarland devised.
The disregard he had for not only these locals, but for his investors, his team, and his customers cannot be explained by mere greed. He had deluded himself into believing there was no way he could fail. And yet, as those with the biggest egos usually do, he crashed and burned.
To watch: Netflix Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened
Hulu Fyre Fraud