Movie Review: Fyre
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From Coachella to Lollapalooza, music festivals have been drawing in large crowds for not only the latest music, but also the vibrance and energy surrounding the event. With so many festivals, organizers must compete to create the most extravagant, sought-after experience that money can buy. While some have succeeded, others have failed miserably.
The Netflix documentary “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” explores the downfall of one of the most highly-anticipated music festivals of 2017. The festival mainly focused on promotion through social media and utilized social media to create anticipation and an illusion of legitimacy. Promising star-studded venues, bands such as Blink-182, private island villas and luxurious international cuisine, celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Emily Ratajkowski took to social media to promote the event.
The documentary is presented by focusing on the story of those who experienced the festival, forming a personal and detailed recollection of both the rise and downfall that immediately engaged my interest.
The story revolves around Billy McFarland, the young founder of Fyre Media Inc., who undertook an ambitious project in 2016 that he neither had the funds or skills to organize. By catering to the desire for luxury and status, social media users were in a frenzy of excitement months leading up to the event. Bu McFarland’s utter inexperience not only cost him his reputation, but also defrauded investors of $27.4 million in marketing and selling quite expensive tickets.
One of the most interesting points presented in the “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” was the insight towards humans. The documentary covers the first night of the festival, in which attendees who hadn’t eaten in hours after arriving on the island began looting from one another in a primitive and almost barbaric fashion, stealing everything from luggage to food. Watching these acts unfold, such a plot was eerily reminiscent of the book “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, which explores the idea of the innate savageness of humans.
“Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” is an ideal documentary to watch to not only learn about the ridiculous planning and execution of the music festival, but also to learn more about issues such as fraud impacting the modern world. While the events taking place on a beautiful island may seem so disconnected to us, Fyre Musical Festival proves social media truly does bring the world closer – for better and for worse.
Kailin Zhang, junior, is the Associate Editor for the Messenger. She is the co-president of FBLA and runs track. She enjoys shopping and traveling.