Film Review: Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019)

by - January 24, 2019

Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019) is the latest documentary produced and distributed by Netflix. This documentary focuses on the events leading up to Fyre Festival, from the announcement right up to the event and what happened afterwards. This film goes right behind the scenes as they conduct interviews with the team behind Fyre, as well as using live footage showing the breakdown of the festival, uncovering how unorganised and messy this entire event was from the start.

Fyre Festival 2017
Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019) - source: Netflix

In case you are not aware of what Fyre Festival is, it was a music festival set up in 2017 that was planned to be set in the Bahamas. This was meant to be a rival to the likes of Coachella, and was used to promote the Fyre company that allowed consumers to purchase musicians for private events. The line-up included Blink 182 and Disclosure, and had roughly 100 influencers from Bella Hadid to Kendall Jenner promote their festival. This was meant to be a luxury festival filled with private jets, yachts and villas, and what was presented was shockingly bad.

I was not aware of this festival until it was actually happening, and I was just totally confused about the whole situation. This is such a fascinating case to research, as the whole thing seems completely unreal. This documentary has so much information packed into 100 minutes, and every time something is said, it gets completely more ridiculous. It was shocking how much they were trying to get away with, and their ambitions were simply unreachable.

What helps this documentary out is the live footage of what was happening at each moment. Whilst it is nice to have people who were behind the scenes do interviews and comment on the mess of the site or the attitudes of Billy McFarland or Ja Rule (the people behind Fyre Festival), it was all supported by seeing footage of it all. It also helped create a narrative of the leaders against the rest of the company, and made you feel bad for everyone else that put effort into this festival. It showed the devastation of what some people came out with, from losing a job to not getting paid for their hard work.

Fyre Festival 2017
Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019) - source: Netflix

The structure of this documentary is simple and focuses heavily on the facts and the evidence. You can go into this documentary not knowing anything about Fyre Festival, but it presents everything clearly to the audience. I knew about the festival, but no where near the amount of publicity or background behind it. They also spend a good amount of time in each section, and they make sure that everyone says what they need to say. 

What is completely shocking though is what happened after the events of Fyre Festival, especially with McFarland. What he tried to get away with during the festival was already shocking and disgusting, but the fact that his attitude never changed and he seemed to have no remorse, is even more shocking. He is someone that is money hungry, fame hungry and just simply a disgusting human being. He may not be a familiar name or face to you before this documentary, but he will become incredibly hated in the upcoming months.

In terms of the documentary itself, it is clear that it is well shot. They use a lot of the promotional material from Fyre Festival, which was gorgeous in itself. They also had a very clean editing style in this documentary, only making the structure and narrative easier to follow. What may have enhanced this documentary more is perhaps adding more opinions from the general audience, and focusing on social media and the attendees. They seem to get about five to ten minutes of screen time, and they were the people that paid for the service that they did not get. I also liked seeing hints of people trying to take down the festival, and it would have been a nice touch to see the amount of backlash that the festival got.

Fyre Festival 2017
Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019) - source: Netflix

There are two Fyre Festival documentaries that have come out at the same time. Hulu released one, but due to being a US only service, I am still on the hunt to find a way to watch it. Regardless of that, what Netflix released was a great investigative piece that goes in deep on the disaster that was the entire event. If there was any chance that this festival could have died out and had people forgetting about the disaster, it certainly won't now. I would definitely suggest checking this one out, particularly if documentaries are your thing.

4/5

Have you seen Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened yet? If you have, what did you make of it? Do you fancy checking this film out? Comment down below and let's have a conversation.

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