This Netflix documentary film looks at the events surrounding the famous “Fyre Festival” in 2017, an event which was billed as a luxury music festival in a Bahamas paradise, which turned out to be an unprecendeted disaster on a multitude of levels.
Personally, I had never heard of the Fyre Festival so I went into this documentary with a high level of intrigue, what I watched astounded me. We are quickly introduced to the now disgraced Fyre Media founder Billy McFarland and it becomes immediately obvious that this is a man massively out of his depth, a talented salesman and promoter, with no experience of event organizing. It doesn’t take long to realize that this Fyre Festival idea is nothing more than an unachievable dream, being driven forward by an overambitious, naive team.
This isn’t only an interesting look at the trainwreck festival, it’s also a powerful social commentary on the dangers of Instagram “influencers” and how strongly people desire to live a lifestyle that simply isn’t attainable or realistic, this reality of social media is both hard-hitting and unsettling at times, as the documentary highlights how far some people will go to achieve “likes” and to portray a facade lifestyle to their legions of followers. Really, it is the “influencers” that were the catalyst which allowed this festival to get as far as it did, and the documentary does an excellent job of highlighting this. One thing is for sure, you’ll certainly have a new perception of Instagram and other social media platforms after you’ve watched this.
But, most powerful of all, is the human impact of this festival. Admittedly, it’s hard to feel much empathy for the thousands of rich kids that were sold this lie, mainly due to the fact that it’s hard to understand how exactly they fell for it. But the true victims are the workers who are still yet to be paid, and the documentary does a fantastic job of showing all sides of the story, providing moments that are genuinely quite moving and emotional.
You’ll experience a range of emotions throughout this documentary. You’ll be shocked at how badly everything is run, you’ll probably laugh at the misfortunes that occurred during the festival, because let’s be honest, who doesn’t like to laugh at rich kids suffer? (If you’re saying you don’t, then you’re lying. Besides, some moments are genuinely very funny.) But ultimately, you’ll feel anger and outrage. Because once all the humour has subsided, you’ll realise that this isn’t a joke, this event has destroyed careers and lives, all thanks to the actions of one man who just didn’t know when to stop and the team that went along with it. Seriously, you won’t believe what McFarland does post-festival.
This is one of the best documentaries I’ve ever watched, and I implore you to give it a go. It’s got everything a documentary should have and I’ve found myself researching and looking into it more since I watched it, because it is such a crazy story and now I can’t get enough of it. It’s an interesting look at modern society and it will certainly make you think. I felt a rollercoaster of emotions watching this and I can’t remember the last time a documentary moved me so much, when a film makes you question the modern world that we live in today, you know you’ve got a winner.
I give Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened a 9/10.