The Ill-Fated Fyre Festival: Why It Is Popular Again

The Greatest Festival That Never Happened

In spring 2017, the Bahamian island of Great Exuma was going to host the Fyre Festival. The festival’s organizers were the now-former Fyre Media CEO Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule. Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski, as well as other social media influencers, promoted the festival on Instagram. Additionally, the Fyre Festival’s advertised lineup included performers like Blink-182 and Major Lazer. However, the festival experienced problems such as accommodations, food, medical services and security. For example, the attendees received prepackaged sandwiches and FEMA tents instead of luxury villas and gourmet cuisine.

The Aftermath Of The Festival’s Failure

After the subsequent postponement of Fyre Festival, the organizers encountered numerous lawsuits filed against them, especially regarding ticket fraud. One lawsuit required the organizers, particularly the aforementioned Billy McFarland and Ja Rule, to pay $100 million in damages. Consequently, McFarland plead guilty to one count of wire fraud and a second count of defrauding a ticket vendor. As a result, McFarland got sentenced to six years in federal prison and was ordered to pay $26 million. Fyre Festival is in the spotlight again due to two documentaries released by Netflix and Hulu respectively.

Hulu’s Fyre Fraud And Netflix’s Fyre

Netflix’s Fyre documentary showed the origins of the festival, which started as a promotion for Fyre’s live-music booking app. Explicitly, the documentary showed McFarland as a narcissistic individual who wanted to “live in a bro fantasy”. Meanwhile, Hulu’s Fyre Fraud documentary had a sardonic look at the debacle and even had McFarland appearing in it. While Hulu paid McFarland for his services in Fyre Fraud, Netflix’s Fyre had Jerry Media as the co-producers. Jerry Media is the media company that promoted the Fyre Festival and Fyre included interviews from Jerry Media’s employees.

Reignited Interest In Fyre Festival

Hulu Content Chief Craig Erwich said that both Hulu and Netflix’s respective Fyre Festival documentaries reignited interest in the festival. Fyre Fraud discussed more about McFarland’s life and Millennial culture whereas Fyre broke down each event step-by-step. There’s even a third Fyre Festival documentary coming out soon titled, “Fyr3: The Third (Mostly Crowdsourced) Fyre Festival Documentary”. Owing to the popularity of the Netflix and Hulu documentaries, Villa Italian Kitchen launched a pizza called the “Festival Pyzza”. The pizza is sold for $25 a slice “for only the wealthiest consumers and industry influencers to enjoy”.

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Ken Ngo

Ken is a passionate sports and music fan with soccer being his #1 sport and European (particularly French and Dutch) house music being his #1 genre. His favorite producers are Martin Solveig, Sebastian Ingrosso, Madeon, Tiesto, Martin Garrix, and Armin Van Buuren.

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