By Dave B.
By now, most people under the age of 40 are at least somewhat familiar with the disaster that was Fyre Festival. In Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (Netflix), director Chris Smith delves deep into the what caused Fyre to go from being one of the most anticipated and exclusive new music festivals in recent memory, into a calamity of truly epic proportions. Smith interviews insiders who were there on the ground and witnessed the dream of Fyre extinguished before their very eyes.
Fyre isn’t the most poignant or gripping documentary that I’ve ever seen, but it’s interesting as hell. Watching an innovative concept crumble under the weight of hubris and terrible planning is more fun than it should be. Plus there are some interesting factoids such as Fyre originally being designed as a fairly creative app that may have actually had some small amount of success in other circumstances. And the 97 minute documentary has good pacing and interesting enough characters that viewers will be eager to see what disaster will next befall the Fyre crew.
But fundamentally, Fyre is about flawed humanity. It always amazes me how people get drawn in by a psychopath and once the jig is up, they try to absolve themselves of all responsibility for giving into their greed, vanity, and gullibility. Billy McFarland, CEO of Fyre, conned everyone that he encountered, not because of any exceptional ability on his part, but simply because he said what people wanted to hear and that gave them the excuse to throw their critical thinking ability and morality out the window. From his close associates that he stole from to the thousands of overly-entitled festival attendees, not a one of them deserves the least bit of sympathy for falling for such an obvious scam. The only people in the entire film that I truly felt for were the Bahamian workers who got screwed out of their much deserved and much needed wages. Everyone else bought a clear lie because it suited their interest to do so at the time.
I’m highly recommending Fyre. It’s not a great documentary and it’s about a somewhat frivolous topic, but it has high entertainment value and subtly imparts some important lessons. If watching this film teaches even a handful of people to see the necessity to put in the hard work, think critically, and treat people with decency and respect, then maybe there will be a silver lining to the entire Fyre Fiasco.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.