Fyre Festival: Hulu vs Netflix


Jack Rothenberg, News Editor

Once upon a time there was an app called Fyre run by American entrepreneur Billy McFarland and hip hop rapper Ja Rule, which ultimately turned into one of the biggest music festival disasters ever.

The app allowed people to hire famous musicians to come perform for them at events. In order to promote their new app, McFarland and Rule decided to put on a festival highlighting artists who could be hired to perform. They shot a promotional video with famous supermodels such as Hailey Bieber, Emily Ratajkowski and Bella Hadid. Soon after the video was released they sold out of tickets.

Because of problems paying for essentials of the festival, most of the Fyre team came to the conclusion that the festival just wasn’t going to happen, except for McFarland, who never gave in even when it came to the first day of the festival and every performer pulled out.

Around half of the site was set up, the food was awful, and no one had a good time. In the end everyone left after the second day with a terrible experience and broken promises. Documentaries were made by both Hulu and Netflix describing the events of the festival.

The Netflix documentary, they take a look at the behind-the-scenes planning of the festival and the drama of Fyre media which was in charge of social media and promotion, with interviews from the event producer, Andy King, to festival attendees like Seth Crossno. The documentary details the rise of the festival, which was when they sold out of tickets and everyone was buying into the idea of the festival, as well as the fall, when McFarland and Rule’s decision-making became questionable.

The Hulu documentary gives the viewers more background information on McFarland and how he got started as an American entrepreneur. It started when he built the company Magnesis, which featured a new metal credit card. It also has in-person interviews with McFarland himself, his girlfriend, and reporters who weren’t interviewed in Netflix’s documentary. The more information given in the Hulu documentary gives the viewer a better idea of what led McFarland to commit fraud.

In addition to interviewing McFarland and his girlfriend, Hulu interviews different Fyre employees from those interviewed in the Netflix documentary. For example, in the Hulu documentary, instead of interviewing King they interviewed Jia Tolentino from The New Yorker who responded with more interesting answers about how the Fyre team dealt with challenges putting on the festival.