Arts & Entertainment

The Truth Behind Fyre Festival

By Kelly Cazzetto
Staff Writer

Details regarding the ultimate festival flop in 2017, Fyre Festival, were recently brought to light in the Netflix documentary, “Fyre Festival: The Greatest Party That Never Happened.”

To preface, the festival was founded by Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule. The two imagined a luxury music festival set in the Bahamas. However, it remained unclear as to how they were going to put this together until weeks before the festival was due to take place.

The festival was first popularized by supermodels, such as Bella Hadid, who were paid to promote the event. Using the models as a part of their advertising painted a much different picture than what the festival would then turn out to be.

The documentary showcases the last-minute scramble that occurred while preparing for the event. Despite the realization that they simply did not have enough tents in the days before, McFarland still refused to put a stop to the event.

Thousands of event goers arrived in Exuma (not the Bahamas) on April 28 and had to retrieve their luggage from a shipping container in the dead of night without any lighting. Upon arriving at the festival site, the “gourmet food” promised as a part of their ticket expenses turned out to be a measly cheese sandwich served cold, a picture of which went viral early into the disaster.

Fyre Festival – Photo courtesy of

Guests discovered that the tents were not suited for the conditions of the island because the mattresses were soaked through from the rain earlier that day. The guests were enraged and headed back to the airport, hoping to return home. The conditions at the airport ended up worse than the event itself.

Patrons were trapped inside the airport without food, water or any word on the next flight out. An event that was intended to be a luxury festival quickly became a chaotic nightmare.

Netflix’s documentary further enlightened viewers of other ways in which the festival was not ethical. During the aftermath, it became known that workers from the island went unpaid, which sparked viewer’s initiative to create a fundraiser to remedy the problem.

McFarland was rightfully sentenced to six years in jail following the controversy. Ja Rule also talked about the difference between the event advertised and false advertising when it was in fact fraud. The rapper has since made talk of a Fyre Festival 2.0, which he insists will be better than the first. As for those that take his word on that, they deserve the best of luck.