“No, it’s not fraud. It’s uh… it’s false advertising.”
It’s a battle of the documentaries with Netflix’s Fyre and Hulu’s Fyre Fraud. These two docs show the now infamous luxury music festival that was basically the festival from hell. If you have heard the news stories, or the read the social media posts informing us regular folk about what happened, then all I can say is you don’t even know half of the story. Both Fyre and Fyre Fraud fully explain, or at least in their opinion, fully explain what happened. Each one explaining the corruption and aftermath that followed.
In explaining these documentaries, let’s start with Netflix’s Fyre. This doc really gives the audience a detailed look at what happened to this luxury music festival, and the scandal that followed. More importantly, introducing the man behind the whole crazy circus, Billy McFarland, an entrepreneur and founder of a millennial credit card company named, Magnises. You’ll hear this name in both documentaries, and both make sure to paint McFarland in a bad light. Maybe even more so than “co-founder” of Fyre, Ja Rule. Yes, that Ja Rule. The one that screams out random sentences in rap songs. He was basically the DJ Khaled of 90s hip hop. But I digress… Netflix gives you a lot of details surrounding almost every element of the event. Some of these details will goes as far to make you cringe or cause your jaw drop. But even with its plethora of information, Fyre doesn’t feel saturated or heavy. That’s what Fyre does so well. It gives you so much and tells a full story. That is where Fyre Fraud lacks.
Though Hulu’s Fyre Fraud does give a similar viewpoint, it does lack in detail. Unlike Fyre, Fyre Fraud has the luxury to sit down with McFarland, and goes in-depth in the shady dealings that he has worked on since he was a kid. This interview doesn’t result in anything but the same old lies you continue to be told. Fyre Fraud also has a bit of a lackluster lineup when it comes to the people that they interviewed. Fyre had several key people who were greatly affected by this fraudulent activity, who then gave their personal experiences in dealings with McFarland, and eventually how they coped. But I felt that Fyre Fraud’s interviews weren’t as impactful as the other doc. But what really left me perplexed was the constant holes in the story. For some reason, the doc would explain certain problems going on prior to the festival, but then there was no explanation as to how or why that happened in the first place.
It’s sad that people fell victim to one of these frauds. But in the end, it made for a rather entertaining set of documentaries. There are some truly awful stories that you hear as you watch the madness and chaos ensue. After watching both documentaries, I walked away shaking my head, because the Fyre Festival was not the last con that these people tried. All in all, both of these documentaries offer an incredible amount of information concerning these events. And to be honest, it’s a bit of a trade off in the information that you receive. But if I had to suggest just one, Netflix’s Fyre is the standout.
Director: Chris Smith
Jenner Furst & Julia Willoughby Nason