Knight Errant

Netflix’s successful documentary, “Fyre,” goes beyond the average documentary

Netflix's "Fyre" brings awareness to the Music-Festival disaster in an effective and accurate manner.

Brooks Carver, Varsity Writer

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In January, Netflix released Fyre another “Netflix Original” documentary. This time, featuring the events of the infamous Fyre Festival 2 years ago. This is not to be confused with Hulu’s Fyre Festival documentary that came out around the same time titled Fyre Fraud. Both documentaries set out to uncover the “true” story surrounding the 2017 Vacation/Music-Festival disaster.

In case you aren’t familiar with the great calamity known as the “Fyre Festival” here is a bit of background. The festival was marketed heavily through Instagram and other social media towards a younger demographic as every man’s “dream”. The opportunity to Party and drink with supermodels on a private island in the Bahamas along with great food, concerts, and luxury villas. What festival attendees actually encountered was far from that. Instead, they got refugee tents, poor weather, and had no way to get back home. The lack of resources led to barbarity and panic amongst the mostly millennial ticket holders. Some people even compared it to The Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies.

Fyre isn’t your stereotypical, documentary with black and white pictures and boring narrators. This movie was bright and engaging with lots of insightful commentary from everyone ranging from the producers of the event to the people who even attended the festival. It also includes lots of the same pictures and videos that were used in the promotional campaign for the festival. One of my favorite details was the use of the “behind-the-scenes” footage that was originally intended to be used in a “making of” the Fyre Festival film. This footage allows the audience to witness firsthand what it was like to be on the island and why the creators of the event made the decisions that they did.

The documentary’s main focus is on Billy McFarland-the man responsible for the whole debacle. Billy originally had the idea for the festival and he financed it with his own money he had earned in his other business ventures. The documentary portrays him as a wealthy, selfish, and manipulative businessman who deserves 100% of the blame. Over the course of the movie, we watch as Billy leaves behind a trail of unpaid debts and broken promises not only to the Fyre’s customers but also to his own employees and the Bahamian natives of the Great Exuma island where the festival took place. Billy eventually ended up in jail for wire fraud.

There were many memorable moments from the movie. One, in particular, was when Andy King,  one of the executive producers of the festival recalled a time during preparation for the event when he was prepared to go to extreme measures just to ensure that water would be delivered on time. Another noteworthy part of the documentary was when one of the Island natives was interviewed and she emotionally explained all the trouble her people went through during the Fyre Festival. She talked about just how much of a negative impact the event had on the people of the island and how they were never paid for their services.

The movie does a great job of displaying the power of social influencers and provides the audience with an entertaining look at the 2017 disaster. If you are bored and want to amuse yourself for an hour and a half, I would definitely recommend Fyre.

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Netflix’s successful documentary, “Fyre,” goes beyond the average documentary