In 2017, the Fyre Festival became an internet sensation for all the wrong reasons. What was promoted as a luxurious music event on a secluded Bahamian island turned into a failure, leaving attendees stranded and organizers in legal turmoil. Netflix’s ‘Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened’ and Hulu’s ‘Fyre Fraud’ both chronicle this event, but which one is worth watching?
Netflix’s ‘Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened’
Released on January 18, 2019, this documentary tells the chaos of the Fyre Festival. Directed by Chris Smith and produced by Danny Gabai and Mick Purzycki, ‘Fyre‘ paints a picture of the festival’s disintegration and its aftermath. It has been well-received by critics, holding a 93% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 75 out of 100 on Metacritic.
‘Fyre’ stands out for its critical examination of the role of wealth and social media in the debacle. It does not shy away from the realities faced by the Bahamians due to the festival’s failure. After its release, ‘Fyre’ earned four nominations at the 71st Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special.
According to Netflix, ‘Fyre’ was watched by 20 million households in its first month of release. However, it’s worth noting that the documentary is partly executive-produced by the company hired to market the Fyre Festival, which some viewers might find problematic.
Hulu’s ‘Fyre Fraud’
Premiering on January 14, 2019, just days before its Netflix counterpart, ‘Fyre Fraud‘ has a different angle. Directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason, this documentary focuses on the cultural and social media dynamics that contributed to the festival’s allure. It also features an interview with Billy McFarland, the mastermind behind the festival.
‘Fyre Fraud’ holds an 80% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 66 out of 100 on Metacritic. Critics praised its exploration of the ‘FOMO’ culture and the digital age’s ecosystem that enables such events to occur. While it does include comedy elements, the documentary has been lauded for its thoughtful examination of the festival’s failure.
Hulu came up with a surprise release strategy for the documentary with no prior promotion and managed to debut it before Netflix’s ‘Fyre.’ This move sparked curiosity and discussion among audiences. At the 71st Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, ‘Fyre Fraud’ received a nomination for Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming.
What Do Critics and Viewers Think?
Both documentaries have been well-received by critics and audiences alike. According to Reddit discussions, ‘Fyre’ has been praised for its narrative structure and in-depth look into the festival’s operational failures and human impact. On the other hand, ‘Fyre Fraud’ on Hulu has been recognized for its critique of millennial culture and the role of social media influencers.
Looking through the comments of Redditors, it seems viewer opinions are mixed. Some prefer the narrative and visual polish of the Netflix documentary, while others say they liked the Hulu version’s focus on the marketing angle and Billy McFarland’s direct involvement.
So, both documentaries provide their own insights into the Fyre Festival debacle, and watching both could offer you a more comprehensive understanding. However, your choice may ultimately depend on whether you’re more interested in the operational breakdown of the festival or the cultural and social dynamics that allowed it to happen.