Rating: 5 stars
Fyre Festival was touted to be the new Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and projected to be as popular as Woodstock. Despite these predictions, it ended up being a scheme that conned many celebrities out of thousands of dollars and a punch line to those who couldn’t afford to attend weekend festivities.
Fyre Festival guests believed they were purchasing a weekend where they would stay in private villas, attend parties on yachts and listen to live music from artists including Blink 182. The event was promoted by hundreds of social media influencers and celebrities, including Kendall Jenner.
In the days leading up to the festival, those who planned to attend became skeptical as there had not been any photos released of what the housing accommodations would look like and the only footage that had been released were promotional videos.
When the attendees arrived, they were shocked to discover the reality of the festival. The promoted live artists had backed out, accommodations were not as luxurious as advertised, instead consisting of disaster relief tents, and meals consisted of bread and cheese in styrofoam containers.
Now the festival has sparked additional controversy, as both Netflix and Hulu released documentaries on the festival in the past week. This raised the question of who produced a more enjoyable documentary. On content alone, Hulu’s version provided me with a deeper understanding of the events. As a journalist, I find myself more drawn to the version released by Hulu because of the thorough investigation conducted. The Hulu documentary included a wide variety of interviews, including one with the man behind all of the madness, Billy McFarland, the festival’s creator.
If you were like myself, having had no idea what the festival was before the documentary release, I suggest you watch Hulu’s version first. Hulu told the story of McFarland’s schemes before the Fyre Festival controversy and the continuation of his fraudulent activities while he was out on bail. Netflix’s documentary was not bad, it just lacked information and was harder to follow without prior knowledge of what the event was and the chaos that it created.
Both major streaming networks released the documentaries, but do yourself a favor and watch “Fyre Fraud” on Hulu. It might make you realize just how thankful you are to be a broke college student, watching the disaster unfold from the comfort of your bed while thousands of influencers wasted entire tuition payments on a fraudulent music festival that did not deliver on its promises.