Both documentaries aim to tell a certain truth, but one compromises ethics in the process.
When something becomes a social media sensation, it becomes pretty inescapable. Just a few weeks ago it was Bird Box that was on everyone’s minds, now its the Fyre Festival. We shouldn’t be shocked because the Fyre Festival started as a social media phenomenon. My question to everyone is who produced the best documentary about the festival that scammed hundred of young people and investors of a new and excited music festival that failed horribly, Netflix or Hulu?
Even though I vaguely remember the Fyre Festival debacle in 2017, I didn’t follow it too closely for the sole fact that I’m not really big into the music industry or music festivals, so watching Netflix’s Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened and Hulu’s Frye Fraud back-to-back with little knowledge of what this fiasco was really about, gave me an unbiased opinion on what actually happened back in 2017.
A quick rundown on the greatest party that never was…
Co-founded by New York City entrepeneur Billy McFarland and rapper JaRule, Fyre Festival was intended to be a first-of-its-kind experience to rival music festivals Lollapalooza and Coachella. McFarland and JaRule intended Fyre Festival to be held on a private island in the Bahamas complete with the best musical talent and sexiest models in the world, set to a backdrop of white sandy beaches, luxurious beachside cabanas, yachts, private planes, and all the alcohol you can consume. The exclusive allure was made first made public by the queen of Instagram influencers Kendall Jenner, hence how viral word got out about the newly formed Fyre Festival – and if you weren’t going to be there, social media was going to make sure you felt you were missing the event of a lifetime.
Classic case of over promising and under delivering. Every promise was an illusion. The musical acts, which included G.O.O.D Music, Blink-182, and Disclosure were never really booked for this event upon its announcement – and quickly backed out before the festival was to take place. The private island, which once belonged to Pablo Escobar was beautiful – until Escobar’s family ordered McFarland to cease and desist forcing them to relocate to the island of Great Exema and draining the residents of all their time, money, and effort which led to them never to be paid anything for their work. However, McFarland, JaRule, and multiple others involved continued to promote, prepare, and take money for this festival, knowing it wasn’t going to be ready in time.
Who did it best: Netflix or Hulu?
Opinions are totally subjective. In this case, the winner of the fraud wars is Netlflix with Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened.
I chose the Netflix version because, once again in my opinion, it fully encapsulates the Fyre Festival from inception to failed execution and delves into how important social media influencers like Kendall Jenner were instrumental in creating this illusion of something that looked great and exciting on paper, but quickly crashed to the ground due to inexperience, greed, and lack of planning. Fyre gave us a better idea of what this festival was supposed to be, and how disastous it was for the people involved.
I’m not saying that Hulu didn’t produce a great documentary, they absolutely did! But its perspective from a very different angle. In Fyre Fraud, we got to learn straight from Billy McFarland himself on what his intentions were for Fyre Festival and a more in-depth look at the lead up to what was supposed to become in his eyes, and the lead up to how the Festival was conceived and its overall intent to become a world class destination music festival .
While I did like the Netflix documentary better, after viewing the Hulu version I felt deceived because Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened straddles the line of ethics, something that’s only realized if you watch both docs. The Netflix version omits the negative involvement of Jerry Media (responsible for @fuckjerry) of continuing to promote the festival leading up to the final days, consciously perpetuating the idea the festival was going to be as promised. Ethics are compromised because Jerry Media produced the Netflix doc, which explains why their negative involvement is objectively swept by the wayside because @fuckjerry founder Elliot Tebele is an Executive Producer on the project. Of course he’s not going to smear his, or his company’s name.
On the other hand, Hulu’s Fyre Fraud heavily focuses Jerry Media’s involvement with interviews from a former employee who worked on the social media campaign and was instructed to remove any negative comments, questions, or damning information regarding the festival. That information alone may implicate Jerry Media’s involvement by encouraging the fraudulent behavior caused by McFarland, and in result covering it up.
Everyone will have their own thoughts and opinions about who was right, who was wrong, and which documentary told the better story, and that’s alright! That’s how dialogues start! Both were well produced and offered information that may not have been known before so we can formulate our own conclusions about the event. Each documentary showcases a version of the truth, no matter what version it may be.