One of several projects to emerge in the wake of the disastrous would-be luxury festival, Fyre, Netflix’s documentary looks to be the first to make its way to viewers’ eyeballs, as teased by the new trailer. The festival made headlines in 2017, in part because its organizer, Billy McFarland and co-creator Ja Rule positioned it as the next great music festival, something that could compete with the likes of Coachella or Bonnaroo, with the added benefit of being a luxury vacation for attendees, complete with extravagant accommodations and meals prepared by celebrity chefs. In reality, Fyre proved to be the exact opposite of what it was promoted as.
The fascination with the story of Fyre Festival’s collapse is part schadenfruede and part disbelief that a project reportedly capable of attracting performers like Migos and Blink-182 would turn into such an epic calamity. To make matters worse for McFarland, Ja Rule, and the other organizers, the festival’s utter dysfunction was captured in real time by hapless attendees documenting their shock and displeasure via social media. The end result wasn’t just a fascinating real-life story of unbelievable incompetence, it also saw McFarland sentence to six years in prison in October.
As is usually the case with a story as weirdly humorous as this one, Fyre is the first of many planned projects set to recount how the much-hyped festival became a misstep of epic proportions. As it turns out, Netflix is the first to have a finished product, in the form of the upcoming documentary by filmmaker Chris Smith (Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond), which compares the fantasy of a luxury music festival with the less-than-spectacular reality, thanks in large part to the attendees’ efforts to document their experiences at Fyre. The film is also produced by Danny Gabai at Vice Studios along with Chris Smith, Library Films and Mick Purzycki at Jerry Media. Check out the brief trailer below:
Get your exclusive first look at FYRE — a revealing new doc about the insanity and rapid unraveling of Fyre Festival: the greatest party that never happened. Premieres January 18. #NetflixNewsWeek pic.twitter.com/B4iaR3UJwM— See What's Next (@seewhatsnext) December 10, 2018
"An exclusive behind the scenes look at the infamous unraveling of the Fyre music festival. Created by Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule, Fyre was promoted as a luxury music festival on a private island in the Bahamas featuring bikini-clad supermodels, A-List musical performances and posh amenities. Guests arrived to discover the reality was far from the promises."
Fyre will have a solid head start on Hulu’s planned docuseries that examines the same event, though, being a series, will hopefully delve deeper into some of the first-hand accounts and perhaps even the festival’s aftermath. On a slightly more comedic note, Seth Rogen and Lonely Island announced plans for a feature film that will be inspired by the events of the Fyre Festival.
So far, it looks as though the failed festival is something of a goldmine for filmmakers and comedians. It’s hard to gauge what that interest in the news story is at the moment — or will be when Fyre releases, much less when Hulu and Rogen/Lonely Island’s project are released — but given how the actual news event managed to dominate headlines, it’s a good bet there’s enough of an audience to make all three projects a success.
Fyre will stream on Netflix beginning on January 18, 2019.