Both Netflix and Hulu released documentaries about Fyre festival, the failed music festival promoted by top influencers and masterminded by Billy McFarland.
I watched both. I liked the Hulu one better.
Hulu’s documentary was cleaner, more organized, had a better narrative, and said something about what we can learn from Fyre. Hulu also included an interview with McFarland, so viewers could asses him for themselves.
Fyre Fraud suggests that Fyre Festival is an ultimate culmination of millennial vices: wish fulfillment, selfishness, greed, relentless positivity, warped reality and a complete disregard for consequences. The real victims of Fyre Festival? The 2,000 Bahamians who received no pay for around- the- clock work.
The Netflix documentary *did include information about how the workers tried to kidnap and ransom festival organizers. The Americans simply got off the island.
Fyre Fraud traces Fyre’s roots all the way back to the dawn of the Internet.
“There were no parents. There was no one telling you what was right and what was wrong.” – Billy McFarland, on coming of age with the Internet
The Hulu documentary presents a portrait of an entrepreneur- turned- con artist. But isn’t con the natural progression of entrepreneurship? Don’t entrepreneurs just figure out how to make more money with fewer resources? In that sense, Billy might be the greatest entrepreneur of all time.
In contrast, Netflix’s Fyre mostly limits its scope to Fyre Festival and the people involved. The Netflix documentary is co- produced with Jerry Media and Vice. Jerry Media (of @fuckjerry fame) also promoted Fyre Festival, so the Netflix doc doesn’t make Jerry Media (or Fyre, for that matter) look *that bad. In fact, it begins and ends with the promo video of beautiful models.
“That was the real Fyre festival,” said one producer.
In the end, Netflix’s Fyre says: “Fyre didn’t work out. But we still want everything it offered!”
Fyre Fraud, Hulu’s doc, gets a little accusatory when the interviewer asks Billy if he is a compulsive liar. The scary part? Billy’s not lying. He really thinks he did nothing wrong. He tried to offer people an incredible experience, and it didn’t work out. That’s it.
He is currently teaching music entrepreneurship classes from prison.
Closing thought: Hey Netflix & Hulu, can we get some Woodstock 99 dueling docs?