How Not To Throw A Party
Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened is an engrossing, shocking documentary that sheds light on one of the biggest flops in festival history. Led by entrepreneur Billy McFarland, this Netflix Original sheds light on the idealistic vision and eventual disastrous repercussions that happened as a result of lying to consumers and not paying workers their rightful wages. While the documentary points the finger solely at Billy, given the involvement Ja Rule had as an influencer over the entire project, it does leave a bit of a bad taste in the mouth seeing him get off without any real punishment. Still, the documentary does well to shed light on the project and the shocks continue to mount through to the uncomfortable climax of this tale.
Beginning with the conceptual design of the festival, Fyre opens with a somewhat optimistic tone, showing Billy’s desire to put on one of the biggest parties to ever happen with the help of Hip Hop mogul Ja Rule. After seeing his history and drive in building his previous venture Magnetise from the ground up, from a purely idealistic perspective the idea of Fyre is a good one. The execution, however, leaves a lot to be desired. What begins as a pipe-dream quickly spirals out of control as the cocky entrepreneur defiantly pushes forward with his plan despite various critical mouths concerned about the logistics of putting on an event like this without the proper infrastructure in place.
From having to change locations months before the due date to the various catering and accommodation problems plaguing the project, Fyre invokes one heck of a strong sense of dread as you watch this horror show play out. Seeing just how much money some of the people paid to get their tickets, along with the millions poured in by Billy, is truly horrifying and through the use of various phone cameras and selfie sticks, we see the carnage unfold first-hand. Toward the end of the documentary, we then witness the aftermath, including the various people who haven’t been paid and the ripple effect this has had on the beautiful Bahaman paradise.
Through interviews with insiders and people involved with the project, Fyre sheds light on the shady goings on behind the scenes, the way Billy exploited these people’s money and the eventual introduction of law suits against the company. As someone who’s dabbled a little with putting on events, it would be very easy to say a lot of the people are shifting the blame to Billy and those in charge but given the hierarchal way these projects are sometimes borne, a lot of project managers are just relaying orders from those above. When you’re stuck with a stubborn boss that won’t listen to reason, you really don’t have much of a choice but to carry out those plans if you want to get paid for your effort.
More so than anything else, Fyre is the perfect example of the power social media has and both the good and bad effect it can have on people. Seeing this festival live and die by the power of Twitter and other social media platforms is something that really echoes the digitalised world we live in. Although the festival itself was an absolute disaster, if those in charge had better planned the project and respected the logistical complications of the whole thing, perhaps we’d be looking at Fyre in a completely different light. For now though, this Netflix Original is as engrossing as it is shocking and well worth checking out.
Verdict - 8/10