I remember when all of the drama around the Fyre Festival was happening, and I remember thinking how unrealistic the whole event sounded. I didn’t follow the story too closely, and I didn’t know all of the facts but I wasn’t at all surprised by the things this documentary revealed.
Fyre was a startup that aimed at pairing artists and creative acts with vendors and event planners. As a marketing initiative, the creators of the platform decided to throw this festival that was sold as a luxury event. Unfortunately things didn’t go as planned and everything quickly spiraled out of control.
The documentary follows the lead up to the event, and the final disastrous launch. I guess what did surprise me was how much video content was available from the people involved with the event. I don’t know how Netflix got the rights to things, or why the people involved let them have the rights but it helped to craft a very compelling story. Perhaps the people involved sold the rights to Netflix to pay for some of their legal bills.
I’m not surprised at how things spiraled out of control because I feel like it was pretty representative of how the Tech industry works. The big difference was that there were more immediate high stakes to fill but the approach to the festival was very similar to how startups work. There’s an idea, people get excited about said idea, they start pitching it to investors before having anything to show for progress, and then they try to figure out how to deliver once they have the money. Usually there is a longer timeframe between getting funding and delivering a product but with the festival it was crunch time the entire time.
The documentary was pretty basic in its approach to storytelling, and like I said, the most surprising, and compelling aspect of it was how much of the content was from the main people involved. While it is a little hard to drum up sympathy for people who have the ability to shell out thousands of dollars for a weekend festival, they were still cheated, and what the promoters of the festival did is fraud in my mind. The documentary made a good case for this and shined a light on some of the dangers of this current startup investment culture.