FYRE, by Emmy award-winning director Chris Smith (Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond), takes an in-depth look at the 2017 “luxury” music festival that never was.
The documentary focuses on the festival’s co-founder Billy McFarland who in October was imprisoned for multiple counts of fraud including for the failed Bahamas festival. The event, which saw some attendees fork out $4,000 per ticket, was cancelled due to a number of basic inadequacies such as lack of running water.
A new trailer for the programme gives viewers a sneak peek into some of the interviews that Smith conducted with people, such as the exploited Bahamian workers, event producers, and even some attendees. Behind-the-scenes discussions between McFarland and his co-founder, Ja Rule, are also captured in the film.
Smith told EW that the documentary started as “an exploration into the story and then it just kept unfolding in a million different directions. At that point, there was no turning back.”
He added that he had secured interview slots with McFarland on two occasions but ultimately failed to get the conman on camera.
“We were set to film with him on two different occasions. We had a camera and a crew and we were ready to go and then it would just get postponed right at the last minute. And then it just never ended up materialising.” He added that McFarland asked to get paid for his appearance in the documentary, but this was something that Smith wasn’t comfortable with.
FYRE is released next Friday, January 18.