FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened Documentary Review – The Billy McFarland Concern Scam

What FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened is all about without spoiling the show

For the sake of keeping it simple, I’ll refer to this documentary simply as FYRE. Repeatedly mentioning it as the greatest party that never happened will get tiring. We all know it didn’t happen. Let’s not waste words. Deal?

Not long ago, in an age of influencers, scam artists, and Ja Rule, a man named Billy McFarland set out to create the greatest music festival of all-time. The problem was McFarland was a better hype man than closer. FYRE covers the failed attempt to bring music fans down to the Bahamas for a festival of music, babes, and luxury. It’s the ultimate story of selling a false dream on social media.

Did you know anything about FYRE before watching this documentary?

The FYRE Festival was something you couldn’t miss on social media. Many of us first knew about it from the infamous cheese sandwich photo taken at the festival shared online. The sad sandwich let us all know something funny was going on. I knew a lot of the details about this story before watching this particular Netflix documentary. I can’t remember where I saw a shortened version of the tale, but most of the facts were covered there. I watched this looking for a different take on a familiar story.

Will FYRE make people feel uncomfortable?

This is a tame documentary where the only crime was selling people something that didn’t exist. Nobody dies. Nobody is even attempted to be killed. It’s a bunch of idiots in over their head. You won’t feel any sense of uncomfortability unless you recently bought tickets to a concert you’re not so sure is real or not.

What was good about FYRE?

This is a fun documentary which is important when nobody gets harmed physically. It doesn’t make too light of the situation. After all, plenty of people were scammed. It goes beyond just the concert goers hoping to see Blink-182. It seems only a small number of people at the very top really knew how much of a disaster this was going to become.

FYRE covers all of the important points of this tale. From the perspectives of many people within the organization working closely with McFarland, we see how fraudulent the concert was from the start. There is little doubt he had no clue what he was doing and even less remorse about how poorly it turned out.

There is no mystery other than the “why?” It’s a very satisfying documentary if you hate cliffhangers.

What could FYRE have done better?

It did seem like the documentary spent more time than necessary discussing everything leading up to the event and not much at all about the experience of the people who showed up. Even though this was a party that never did happen, I’d be curious to know if anyone had an interesting perspective about how they got to the venue on the beach and the chaos that ensued. We know people fought over tents. Just how vicious did things get? Was this another Woodstock ‘99 or something a little kinder?

FYRE could have benefitted from taking a different angle. There were fun or funny moments. We could have used a little more. It’s such a nutty story of fraud in the modern world. Rather than shooting the arrow straight for much of the story, this could have been more entertaining with some talking heads added in. Surely, there are comedians out there with something to say about this disaster of a concert.

Is FYRE worth watching?

If you already know the story, you can skip it. The documentary is well-done but offers very little new information. There was nothing too shocking with the exception of one viral moment involving a member of McFarland’s team being asked to do something with his mouth. It wasn’t to chew gum.

A little more detail from more than the bystanders would have made this a far better documentary. While it lacks mystery, we still don’t know what the ultimate goal was. Is McFarland just a guy who believes in himself too much? It’s very possible. Nothing about him seemed nasty. He just wanted to party but didn’t know how.

Overall Score: 5 out of 10

FYRE isn’t a bad documentary whatsoever. It’s just not memorable enough in the way the story is told for me to recommend it over other documentaries out there.

Interested in watching FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened or learning more about the case? Below you will find affiliate links to the series as well as other information about this case. By using this links, I may receive a small commission of any purchase you may make.

Watch FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened on Netflix

FYRE Festival T-Shirt

FYRE “Take One for the Team” Beer Coolie

If you have a series or film you want to know my opinion on, please leave a comment below. I may have already written about it. I can save you some time from watching a dud.

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