For anyone unfamiliar with the very public disaster that was Fyre Festival, it was supposed to be an exclusive music festival in the Bahamas that promised luxury accommodations and catering.
What festival-goers actually found when they arrived were repurposed FEMA tents and prepackaged meals, and a construction site instead of a concert venue.
Organized by rapper Ja Rule and Billy McFarland (who has since pled guilty to two counts of wire fraud), the event was heavily pushed by social media influencers such as Kendall Jenner and Emily Ratajkowski.
When the fraud came to light and people saw the conditions that concert-goers were facing, the internet's reaction was largely one of schadenfreude.
"I'm seeing some sites that say we could get away with 75 toilets." PLEASE let the Fyre Festival stories never stop https://t.co/J1Xd1K4YKU— Steven Perlberg (@Steven Perlberg) 1496684387.0
a week later and i'm still cackling at any and all Fyre Fest coverage. it's like the cake Marge made just so Homer could ruin it.— john (@john) 1494036426.0
Given how sensational the story of Fyre Festival was, it was only a matter of time before someone made a documentary about it; or in this case, two documentaries. Netflix's Fyre releases today, and was announced months ago. Hulu's Fyre Fraud released on Monday with no fanfare and no announcement.
There are some pretty big differences between the two documentaries. Fyre Fraud takes the approach of trying to explain how it all happened from a bigger picture standpoint, leading the viewer down a specific path. Fyre lets the story tell itself, and allows viewers to come to conclusions about the absurdity of it all by themselves.
Neither documentary is without flaws, including those of the ethical variety. Fyre is produced by Jerry Media and Matte Projects, both of which promoted Fyre Festival. Fyre Fraud co-director Jenner Furst asserts that this made Fyre take a more lenient stance on Jerry Media when choosing how to cover their involvement.
Fyre Fraud includes an interview with fraudster Billy McFarland, who has since been convicted of and imprisoned for fraud relating to Fyre Festival, for which McFarland was paid. Fyre director Chris Smith said that he thought this felt "particularly wrong" when discussing why he turned down an offer to interview McFarland.
The controversy will likely pay off for both Netflix and Hulu, however.
Social media posts related to the two films, and the general contention between them, has been bringing a significant amount of extra attention.
Hulu surprise dropping its Fyre Fest documentary today, mere days before Netflix was set to drop its own, is the le… https://t.co/3VW1Wp26pY— Caroline Darya Framke (@Caroline Darya Framke) 1547482880.0
I was OBSESSED with the #FyreFest disaster the night it went down on here. I was watching so many timelines of peop… https://t.co/28ltmZzKHK— 👸🏾L E A👸🏾 (@👸🏾L E A👸🏾) 1547489892.0
Watched this yesterday and it's so good in a slow motion train wreck kind of way. Also, found it fascinating as an… https://t.co/e4lhaKDBwG— Killjoy-Feminist (@Killjoy-Feminist) 1547576197.0
Excited to whip up my favorite meal and watch that new Fyre Fest doc tonite :) https://t.co/atYXEbZlx2— Extra Credit (@Extra Credit) 1547497488.0
There was even a call for a meta-documentary about the two.
Someone please do a documentary about the warring Fyre Festival documentaries.— Christina Warren (@Christina Warren) 1547519562.0
Some pointed out the often forgotten victims in this whole debacle: the Bahamian workers who were never paid for their work.
That #FYREFEST documentary on Hulu was great. I remember it happening and how WEAK I was scrolling on twitter, but… https://t.co/IPqJJ461BR— Rhon-Cameron (@Rhon-Cameron) 1547701126.0
Each film offers a different perspective on the events leading up to Fyre Festival, so the general consensus seems to be to watch both if you want to whole picture.