Netflix’s ‘Fyre’ entrances viewers like festival itself

Netflix's documentary was released Jan. 18.


Netflix's documentary was released Jan. 18.

Sumerlyn Yudell, Staff Reporter

Following the high-profile public disaster of the ‘Fyre Festival’ in the Bahamas in the spring of 2017, Netflix came out with a documentary about how this fraud-written debacle occured.  In Netflix’s new documentary Fyre, viewers are taken on the journey of  ‘The Greatest Party That Never Happened.” The documentary’s enthralling and surprisingly entertaining account of events is told by the filmmaker, Chris Smith, and is co-executive produced by Elliot Tebele, founder of Jerry Media, the social-media agency that was a key promotion partner in Fyre Festival, as many others who were connected with the festival.

Our storytellers begin with the pull of investors, and how this fantasy of a festival got to be sold out in a matter of hours. Social media was first blasted with pictures of top models upon luxurious boats, promoting the festival, thus followed by millions of likes. This kind of exposure pulled people into believing the festival itself would be just as compelling, and one of the greatest parties of their life. The festival promised a lavish stay, on the island of great Exuma, with exquisite foods and entertainment such as Major Lazer and Blink 182.

Smith does a wonderful job of stringing the chain of fraud written events into a taut narrative. All well knowing, Billy McFarland, the young entrepreneur behind the festival, is a convicted felon from this catastrophe.

As the documentary kicks off, interviews are what entices the watchers into seeing how a group of young, bright entrepreneurs go from the greatest business opportunity and party of their life, to facing crimes in their name. There are interviews from software engineers who worked for McFarland’s app, event organizers he hired to pull off the festival, and the social media marketers who aided and abetted his vision. What they all have incommon is that no one, except for maybe McFarland, truly knew the disaster of which the festival they were making would become.

As the Fyre brand begins preparing for what would become a nightmare, they see little discrepancies in the work they are doing before the festival. Being on a excluded and private island, there was not enough time or material to give what was promised. As the festival gets closer, you can see the production group and managing get more and more panicked, over the realization there is now way to make this festival happen. Despite it all, founder Mcfarland and Co-founder, the rapper Ja Rule, continued the illusion for the public and investors. As the viewers sees the story of the panic occurring before the festival from real-accounts, it allows them to see the intricate lies told to keep the huge life of Fyre continuing. The festival arrives and every concern and more comes to life as people are staying in what has been described as barbaric circumstances.

Netflix does a great job at explaining each aspect of the festival. From outside perspectives such as investors and marketing, to showing the story of those on the island preparing for the festival, as well as interacting with the hysteric people as the festival unfolded. Overall, it was extremely interesting for a documentary, and I recommend for those who enjoy a story about a bright idea, leading to a darker, more criminal ending.