Nothing has ever quite caught the imagination and interest of the internet like the implosion of the Fyre Festival.
Originally touted as the most glamorous and immersive music festival to have ever been created, Fyre Festival was due to take place in the Bahamas, with ticket prices as high as $12,000.
But as soon as guests arrived they were instead greeted with mass chaos, as the luxury villas, gourmet food and musicians promised were absent, as was any semblance of organization, and it was cancelled just a few hours in.
What went wrong at Fyre Festival?
Thousands of people online took immense pleasure in the debacle, as it was described as Lord Of The Flies with social media influencers. Luckily for those that were hooked by the Fyre Festival failure Netflix documentary Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened takes a deep dive into the disaster.
“I actually heard about it when it imploded,” director Chris Smith tells Metro, who soon after wanted to go “deeper” to “try to understand what had happened.”
Initially, Smith wasn’t even sure if he could make a movie out of what had unfolded. “But as we got further and further in, you just started to see all these different layers, and all these different parts of the story that weren’t evident. You didn’t really see it just by looking at these headlines.”
“I felt like even looking back at what was written there was very little information actually about the festival, it was a lot of stories about Lord of the Flies, Instagram, social media influencers. But they didn’t dig a lot deeper.”
With Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened Smith does just that, and what he discovered is truly astounding, as co-organizer Billy McFarland repeatedly deceived and committed fraud in order to try and put on the festival.
“It wasn’t until you dug deeper that you understood where the deception started and how all these lies added up, to result in what eventually went down. There was deception on two main fronts.”
“One was the investors they were using false information to raise money and consequently had they been honest about the fundraising, they wouldn’t have been able to raise more money. It would have been likely that they wouldn’t have raised more money and the festival wouldn’t never have gotten as far as it ended up getting.”
Smith insists that those involved also had an opportunity to be more honest with the attendees and reveal that the vision they had sold of Fyre Festival, that it would include models, private jets and exclusive private islands, just wasn’t going to happen.
“When reality set in, and it changed, there was an opportunity to be honest with the attendees and communicate that the festival was something different than what they had advertised. There was a chance that people could have adapted and the ones that wanted to bail and that wanted out could have left.”
“Had the expectations been set properly that maybe there was a version that wasn’t what was promised, but could have gone off … You know there was never a chance that it was going to be the festival that was advertised. But could it have been less of a disaster? Yes.”
Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened is released on Netflix on January 18.