Fyre Festival was set to be the biggest and most luxurious festival the world had ever seen, even going so far as to be described as “a once-in-a-lifetime musical experience on the Islands of the Exumas,” according to a press release back in 2017.
Founded by Billy McFarland and Ja Rule, the festival had generated a ton of buzz prior to it’s opening with the help of social media influencers and high celebrity models Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner. Music acts such as the Migos, Lil Yachty, and Blink-182 were announced as additions to the Festival’s lineup and many people were excited.
Festival attendees were promised an epic experience with high class villas, parties on yachts, and of course an amazing lineup of music artists set to perform for two weekends.
But that all came crashing down when Fyre Festival came to light as a large scam. What they found upon arrival was a disaster, and many rich young millennials were left stranded on an island they knew nothing of. A disaster for the ages.
On January 18th 2019, Netflix released their documentary on the Fyre Festival with retold accounts from company employees, executives, festival attendees, app engineers, and Bahamian locals. Netflix’s side of the story was well told from everyone who was involved in the festival’s fiasco and it does a great job in leading the viewer chronologically through all the ups-and-downs while shedding light on the aftermath.
There were many themes and lessons that stood out from the documentary such as how we as consumers should be weary of social media and influencers. In this age of celebrity worship we don’t always have to appear to be living like we’re in luxury just to be seen on Instagram.
We should think before following certain trends because they may land you in stranded on an island thousands of miles away with no food, water, with no way home.
This one small lie, snowballed into a great lie that negatively impacted the lives of hundreds of people, and some people at the top felt no remorse for the damage they caused. One line in particular stands out amongst them all, and it’s from the footage before the festival took place, is of Billy McFarland saying (paraphrased here) “This experience is for the average middle class loser.”
Not only were the attendees losers in this situation, but the Bahamian hosts were severely impacted. Many workers were unpaid, and one in particular who shall not be named as to uphold the integrity of no spoilers, told a story that would crush the heart of any living soul.
While this isn’t the greatest tragedy ever documented, the human elements involved from the realization of a dream, to the willingness to sacrifice one’s morals for the team, to seeing rich young adults struggle without the internet are well worth the watch.