But was the cheese sandwich any good?
Thought you knew all there was to know about Fyre Festival, the calamitous, influencer-led fuck-up that left hundreds stranded on an island in the Bahamas in 2017? You ain’t seen nothing yet. This weekend saw the release of Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened on Netflix, a tell-all documentary digging into the development and subsequent implosion of Fyre Festival. And it’s one hell of a ride.
From botched deliveries to full-on fraud, the story of Fyre Festival goes a whole lot deeper than just some bloggers getting stitched up. Unsurprisingly, the film has elicited some fevered social media reactions.
The only level-headed guy on the island
This calm, knitwear-loving fella seems to be the only sane person in the whole doc, at times. Drafted in to help turn the festival from promo video to actual real event (or try, anyway), his quips have captured the hearts and minds of more than a few viewers.
Almost definitely the wildest part of the whole documentary comes when one of the festival’s team is drafted in to “take one for the team”. Wondering what that means? Well, festival founder Billy McFarland had ordered a festival’s worth of water to be delivered to the Bahamian island he was looking to host Fyre Festival on. Only, he hadn’t factored in customs charges. And it got held up at customs.
His solution? Send a partner to offer a sexual favour to the customs officials, in exchange for the release of the water. AND HE ALMOST DID IT. This is, apparently, real life. No, seriously. This happened.
Fly me to the moon
One particularly amazing moment comes when someone is drafted in to help fly around the island to get shots for the Fyre Festival’s promotional video. How did he learn to fly said private plane? Why, Microsoft Flight Simulator, of course. What else?
Despite the carefully orchestrated social media marketing campaign, and the costly models that filled Fyre’s promo video, the festival wasn’t impervious to the power of negative social media. A now-infamous viral photo of a cheese sandwich was all it took to bring down the fest itself, and turn Fyre into a laughing stock. But, weirdly, the documentary didn’t address the sandwich itself in any real detail. One for a sequel, perhaps.
Billy no mates
Of course, the goofish head of the whole operation came under a whole lot of criticism.
Under the influence
The reams of influencers, bloggers, Instagram celebs and YouTube stars who flocked to Fyre Festival were also the butt of many of the jokes. Some wanted to see the stunt repeatedly, albeit in a slightly more extreme form:
While others were slightly more serious, pointing the finger at the high-profile, highly-paid models who accepted money from the festival, when the locals who helped build the thing were left penniless after McFarland fled:
And then there’s this guy, laughing it all off
Sometimes that’s all you can do, to be fair.