Just about every Instagram user in the United States had been seeing ads for months on the social media network. Celebrities and models from around the world were being paid to endorse the festival’s first year, which was supposed to take place over the course of two weekends in April and May 2017.
Once people arrived at the festival grounds, though, they saw the truth; Fyre Festival was nothing more than an elaborate hoax orchestrated by Billy McFarland and Ja Rule, the men behind the festival. Attendees, journalists, industry workers and artists arrived to the remote island in the Exumas, Bahamas to find that the thousands of dollars they had shelled out to attend the brilliantly marketed festival had disappeared. People were left stranded for days with just tents and pre-packaged food despite having paid for what they thought was access to remote, luxury villas within a highly anticipated music festival. It sounded too good to be true, and it was.
The Aftermath Of The Fyre
Within days of the festival (failure?) lawsuits and complaints started pouring in. It was, perhaps, the worst PR week in the history of the music industry. Attendees and investors began filing complaints against McFarland for things like fraud. A series of eight lawsuits seeking up to $100 million in damages led McFarland to being charged and sentenced to six years in prison in March of this year. In addition to the time he must serve, he had to forfeit $26 million to the investors that he tried to defraud.
Now that the embers of Fyre Festival have cooled down a bit, Netflix has decided to release a documentary. The film will premiere on the streaming service in January of 2019. The documentary was directed by Chris Smith and offers an inside look at the disaster. While we all watched the events unfold from the outside, Smith was getting the inside look. The documentary was acquired by Netflix this year after being handled by 30 West. FYRE will premiere on Netflix on January 19, 2019.
Fyre Festival will also be the subject of another piece of media entering the streaming sphere in 2019. Hulu is expected to release a docu-series about the disaster of a festival on its streaming site next year. The series, put together by Billboard with production led by Cinemart, will chronicle the festival from start to finish. The docu-series is said to contain never before seen interviews, footage and information.
Finally, it’s time for some in-depth information about what happened on the remote Exumas island in the Spring of 2017.
Julia Sachs is a staff writer at Grit Daily. She covers tech, entrepreneurship and entertainment news and is based in Park City, Utah.