“Powerful models built this festival, and then one picture of cheese on toast ripped down the festival.” So quoth one interviewee in the new full-length trailer for Netflix’s upcoming documentary about the infamous Fyre Festival, perfectly summing up the failed festival’s entire rapid rise to power and horrific downfall.
As seen in the new preview, Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened captures exactly how the weekend-long music festival, promoted for months by supermodels like Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, and Kendall Jenner, and set to take place in April 2017 on a private Bahamian island that promotional materials claimed was previously owned by Pablo Escobar (it wasn’t), turned into a “barbaric” nightmare with zero supermodels, piles of rain-soaked mattresses instead of the promised luxury accommodations, and that aforementioned boxed dinner of bread and cheese that looked nothing like the Stephen Starr-catered meals advertised. Interspersed between #FyreFraud memes and ominous headlines about the catastrophe are interviews with the festival’s organizers and attendees, nearly all of which paint a picture of Fyre co-founders Ja Rule and Billy McFarland as master manipulators.
“He could convince anyone of pretty much anything,” one person notes, rather ominously, of McFarland, who has since been sentenced to six years of prison for fraud. Others describe how McFarland had islanders working “round the clock” without sleep to construct the festival’s framework. “He just would not take no for an answer, and he just kept pulling money in somehow,” one said, while another revealed, “He was lying to investors and making it seem like we were making a ton of money, and we weren’t. I mean—that’s fraud.”
As we know by know, though, despite those sleepless hours of work, festival attendees arrived on the island to find insufficient lodging, no high-profile performers, and, it bears repeating, meals of condiment-less cheese sandwiches. More than a year later, McFarland was convicted of fraud, and now, we have not one but two Fyre Festival films to look forward to: Besides Netflix’s upcoming documentary, Billboard and Mic are reportedly also working on a docuseries for Hulu, because you can never watch a harebrained influencer-centric scheme go down in flames too many times.
Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened debuts on Netflix on January 18.