Fyre, Fyre, Fyre

Fyre Festival Documentary (Hulu Version)

By Gabriella Ybarra

In a bold and unexpected move, Hulu dropped its own Fyre Festival documentary, “Fyre Fraud,” in what appeared to be an attempt to one-up Netflix’s documentary “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened.” 

Hulu’s move, which was released three days before Netflix’s, has the one thing Netflix doesn’t — an exclusive interview with the man behind it all, Billy McFarland. 

Similar to Netflix’s version, “Fyre Fraud” still covers the story of the luxurious celebrity-hyped Bahamian music festival turned disaster that ended with mass chaos, FEMA tents and soggy cheese sandwiches in Styrofoam boxes.

“Fyre Fraud” includes interviews with McFarland before he began his six-year prison sentence for various fraud charges, as well as some commentary from his girlfriend, Anastasia Eremenko. 

Although McFarland’s explanations for the fiasco are questionable, Hulu’s documentary delves more into personal territory and gives more of an insight into who McFarland is and how he became the con artist he is known to be. 

Similar to Netflix’s version, there is behind-the-scenes footage that follows McFarland and business partner Ja Rule to the Bahamas; however, “Fyre Fraud’s” footage seems less in-depth compared with its competitor. 

Design-wise, the documentary is viewed through a social media lens. Instagram and Twitter pages quickly swipe across the screen, allowing viewers to relive exactly how the festival unfolded in their social media timelines. 

More importantly, it focuses heavily on the power social media influencers have on marketing in today’s society. 

Ultimately the McFarland interview is the piece that sets “Fyre Fraud” apart from its competitor. However, this did not roll over well with some after it was revealed that Hulu paid McFarland a large, undisclosed sum for the interview. 

Both Hulu and Netflix documentaries are well worth your time but Hulu’s “Fyre Fraud” is a more light, fast-paced comical take on a true crime story that is sure to be talked about for years to come. 

Fyre Festival Documentary (Netflix Version)

ByVeronica Vasquez

They expected to party with rock stars and models on the beach. What they got instead was the worst experience of their life.

Fyre Festival was supposed to be the biggest, most exclusive music event of 2017. Netflix recently released the documentary “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened,” which explores what many people now say was a scam. 

Billy McFarland was the man behind the operation, along with his partner Ja Rule. What was supposed to be a huge event for their upcoming app Fyre, where users could book famous musicians and other artists, turned into a huge disaster.

In this documentary the audience gets the inside view of the people who worked for this company and what happened behind the scenes. Most of the employees who worked on the project had no clue that most of the money was not being spent properly.

Residents of the Bahamian island of Great Exuma were excited for the festival, expecting it to provide jobs and keep money flowing into the island for several years. Instead, most of the Bahamians who worked on the project did not get paid at all. Bahamian workers were owed $250,000. 

People who attended the festival were interviewed as well, telling how they survived the night while being scammed out of thousands of dollars. 

Festival goers spent from $500 to $1,500 for the tickets to attend the festival, with some packages reaching up to $250,000, which was supposed to include airfare, housing and a private ride on a yacht. There was a bracelet that was created with the goal of making it a cashless experience, onto which some people loaded anywhere from $3,000 to $800,000 that they would never see again.

Ja Rule’s famous words to his employees are: “We didn’t kill anybody. Nobody got hurt.” 

Employees were never technically fired.

“We’re not firing anybody,” McFarland said. “We’re just letting you know, there will be no payroll in the short term. There’s no more official employment.” This caused employees not to be able to get unemployment, further adding to the devastation. 

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