Netflix got its trailer out first, but Hulu beat it to the punch with their own documentary examining the events leading up to and after the tragic Fyre Festival in 2017. Both streaming companies released their own documentaries last week, Fyre Fraud on Hulu and simply Fyre on Netflix.
If you went out this weekend, chances are someone brought up the two docs.
Did you see the Fyre doc?
Yeah, the Netflix one. I haven’t seen the Hulu one yet.
Ah yeah, I really need to watch the Netflix one. The Hulu one is really good.
If you haven’t seen either yet, or only seen one, and you’re wondering if it’s worth it to watch the other or both — it is. Both documentaries cover generally the same timeline and content: from the early days of Billy McFarland’s Magnesis and the Fyre app, for which the festival was supposed to be a promotional outlet, but we know how that turned out; to the weeks and days leading up to the event; to the moment that influencers and attendees arrived and the fallout that followed.
The differences between the docs come from where the footage originated.
Netflix partnered with Vice Media and Fuck Jerry, both of whom were involved in the production of the festival to some extent. Fuck Jerry was hired to do marketing for Fyre and had a dedicated film crew following around production staff, which is how they were able to compile such unique, exclusive behind-the-scenes footage.
Hulu’s big draw was an exclusive interview with Billy McFarland (which McFarland was actually paid for, a big journalistic ethical no-no). It also used more anecdotal footage from sitcoms and social media, as well as memes and interviews with various journalists.
So which should you watch?
I’m personally a fan of more story-driven content, and Netflix excels in that regard. If you’re looking for more of a fact-driven, actual documentary-style footage, Hulu may be more your cup of tea. Regardless, you’ll get some information in one that you won’t get in the other, and vice versa.
No matter what, the final message to take home is that Fyre Festival was meant to be a promotional vehicle for a consumer/booking app, which ended up taking on a life of its own, and crashed & burned to an incredibly epic degree. It’s astonishing that the festival was allowed to even have a first day. And you probably don’t know the extent of it all until you watch one of these docs.