‘It was an absolute Fyre Festival.’ Before Miami contestants were enlisted to save the world, another group signed up in Montreal. But where were the cameras? When we first asked for help for our documentary, we were asked how we could pay for it: a small, low-budget TV crew would do it for a few hundred dollars. The producers of our film weren’t interested.
So, how did we finance our film, the Fyre Festival that we never made? How did we find people in the most unlikely places? These are the untold stories from Fyre Festival, a documentary that was never made and is now available to watch for free – even on your Facebook page.
The documentary follows the story of a group of young entrepreneurs who tried to make a music festival that would sell out at capacity. The idea was to capitalize on the attention music had gotten since Donald Trump’s inauguration, and on the fact that its event is sold out nearly every year on the weekend before the president’s in an attempt to capitalize on the goodwill. But it wasn’t a music festival; it was an art festival and an opportunity to make a lot of money with a big idea. And the artists didn’t even try to sell tickets.
“They were going to pay the artists to sit there on the grass and sing for the fans. What’s the point of asking someone to spend their time there?” says Kanyingi Nelubwawo, the Fyre CEO who is telling the story from his own point of view. The idea is now at the centre of an ongoing lawsuit brought by the Fyre Festival team, an attorney who is representing its creator, Billy McFarland, against some of the investors who funded the event.
The Fyre Festival team have since pulled out of the lawsuit, and, instead, are suing McFarland, who allegedly sold the property to them without proper legal approval. That lawsuit is still going in court, and it has raised questions about how a young entrepreneur was able to acquire a large amount of money in the first place, and then how he proceeded to build a major festival on it.
“It’s not a real documentary, it’s a corporate propaganda video.”
All this happened because of the Fyre Festival’s biggest problem: it was simply a money-making scam.