Watching the Netflix documentary on the doomed Fyre Festival is the very definition of Schadenfreude.
But Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened also throws up some interesting questions along the way.
Will any of the many, many people who worked for the jailed fraudster Billy McFarland get paid?
To hear how so many of the workers who worked tirelessly to try and save the project that was obviously doomed from the start have either been left high and dry salary wise or left with debts from McFarlane’s criminal activity was devastating.
One glimmer of good news was that a GoFundMe has raised more than $US140,000 for a Bahamian restaurant owner who spent her life savings catering to all the workers and festival goers at her restaurant on Exuma Point. Maryann Rolle was drawn to tears as she recounted how she never received a cent from the convicted organiser. “I pushed myself to the limit catering no less than a 1,000 meals per day … my life was changed forever and my credit was ruined by Fyre Fest. My only resource today is to appeal for help,” she said.
Why did anyone even attend the festival which looked doomed weeks out?
That’s a head scratcher, and one that can only be guessed at. The answer may lie in people’s endless capacity to simply ignore reality if the fantasy is strong enough.
Does this mean the death of social media as a platform to sell events?
The whole enterprise was built by paying social influencers to promote the festival. The whole enterprise was brought crashing down by one single post on Twitter. The lesson here. Social only works if you stay on the straight and narrow. Lie and you will be found out.
Should the social media influencers who profited by plugging this catastrophe be held accountable?
That’s one for the lawyers. Some put out a couple of sad face emoji’s but that seems to be as far as it goes. But it doesn’t seem to have dented their popularity.
Why hasn’t McFarlane’s business partner rapper Ja Rule been punished?
He has apologised. “I’m devastated that something that was meant to be amazing, turned out to be such a disaster and hurt so many people,” he said. “Sorry to anyone who has been negatively affected by the festival.”
But that doesn’t carry much weight with a legion of angry ticket holders and ex workers. The hours of video footage of him partying with McFarlane and describing the festival goers as “average American losers” doesn’t look good. He is also battling multiple law suits. Time will tell.