The Fyre Festival, a planned music festival in the Bahamas that was scheduled to take place back in the spring of 2017, collapsed amid the organizers’ inability to put it together as well as instances of outright fraud. This resulted in a six-year federal prison sentence for one of the organizers as well as various forms of infamy for others involved, including rapper Ja Rule.
Several movie projects have been planned to tell the story about what went wrong with the infamous Fyre Festival, including a Hulu docuseries and a feature film from Seth Rogen and Lonely Island. But the first Fyre Festival film out of the gate, it appears, will be Fyre, a Netflix documentary set to debut on the service in January.
Fyre is directed by documentarian Chris Smith and will provide “a first-hand look into the disastrous crash of Fyre as told by the organizers themselves,” according to a Variety account, which also shared the first teaser trailer for the film.
The Fyre Festival, meant to promote a music booking app called Fyre, was billed as a “luxury” music festival scheduled to take place over two weekends in March and April of 2017 on an island in the Bahamas, with headliners including Blink-182, Migos, and Disclosure. It was clear prior to the event that things were not shaping up properly, but the organizers pushed ahead anyway. Famously, when the idea was floated of postponing the festival, one organizer said during a pre-festival meeting, “let’s just do it and be legends, man,” a slogan which would later end up on T-shirts.
But once the festival began, it was clear that the luxurious accommodations promised had not materialized, leaving attendees to sleep in tents and eat boxed lunches, and none of the acts ended up showing. Then, once the festival was postponed, attendees were unable to leave, as flights had been grounded.
Get your exclusive first look at FYRE — a revealing new doc about the insanity and rapid unraveling of Fyre Festival: the greatest party that never happened. Premieres January 18. #NetflixNewsWeek pic.twitter.com/B4iaR3UJwM
— See What's Next (@seewhatsnext) December 10, 2018
The debacle led to numerous lawsuits as well as multiple criminal investigations; organizer Billy McFarland later pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and was ordered to make restitution of $26 million in addition to his six-year prison sentence. McFarland and his partners later also settled SEC charges.
Chris Smith’s past films as a documentarian include 1999’s American Movie and 2017’s Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond, a making-of documentary of the Jim Carrey-starring Andy Kaufman biopic from 1999, Man on the Moon.
Fyre will debut on Netflix January 18.