Ja Rule, who claims he hasn't watched either of the Fyre festival documentaries, is ready to rise like a phoenix from the, er, flames:
"(Fyre is) the most iconiq festival that never was," he says. "So I have plans to create the iconic music festival."
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Burning Man has long struggled with the tension between its commitment to "radical decommodification" and grifters and their ultra-high-net-worth marks who organize "turnkey camps" where you can pay giant sums to pretend to be a Burning Man "participant" while being looked after by paid "sherpas" (including, rumor has it, sex workers), in luxury settings designed to repel non-paying attendees (sometimes guarded by private security guards).
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Looks like Hulu is going to beat Netflix to market with their Fyre Festival documentary.
Two documentaries on a festival that didn't happen. I was not one-documentary interested, but Mark is making popcorn.
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Fyre Fraud, a documentary chronicling the lead-up and aftermath of 2017’s disastrous Fyre Festival, is airing on Hulu.
Hulu dropped the documentary, produced and distributed by The Cinemart, Hulu, Billboard and Mic, Monday morning, with no advance notice. Netflix’s competing documentary, Fyre, comes out Jan. 18.
The 96-minute Hulu doc features an exclusive, extensive post-festival interview with 25-year-old entrepreneur and Fyre Festival mastermind Billy McFarland, who is serving a six-year prison term after pleading guilty to wire fraud charges. By turns repentant and defensive, he seldom takes direct responsibility for allegedly defrauding investors out of more than $26 million, nor does he admit wrongdoing.
The Fyre Festival documentary premieres on Netflix on January 18 and I can't wait. If you remember the Fyre Festival, you definitely weren't there... because, y'know, it didn't happen. And I'm glad, because if it did, we wouldn't have this fantastically ridiculous story. From NetFlix:
Created by Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule, Fyre Festival was promoted as a luxury music festival on a private island in the Bahamas featuring bikini-clad supermodels, A-List musical performances and posh amenities. Guests arrived to discover the reality was far from the promises.
Chris Smith, the director behind the Emmy Award Nominated documentary Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, gives a first-hand look into disastrous crash of Fyre as told by the organizers themselves.
Read more Boing Boing posts about the Fyre Festival.
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If there was ever collective schadenfreude to be had, it was when we learned that a bunch of young, privileged rich kids got swindled by the promoters of the 2017 Fyre Festival and were left to fend for themselves on a remote island. On January 18, Netflix is releasing a documentary about the dumpster Fyre.
Here's its teaser trailer:
Previously: Fyre Festival fraudster sentenced to six years in federal prison
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Billy McFarland, the 26 year old con-artist who organized a disastrous Bahamas music festival in 2017 was sentenced to six years in federal prison on multiple counts of fraud. Ticket buyers who paid $12,000 had been promised a "first class" experience on a private island with yacht rides, gourmet meals, supermodels, and luxury villas but instead received school bus shuttles, cheese slices on bread, feral dogs, disaster relief tents and no musical performances.
From the New York Times:
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Prosecutors said that the music festival, which was to have taken place in 2017, was the product of an elaborate scheme. The festival’s website identified its location as Fyre Cay, a fictional place that was described as a private island that had once belonged to the drug lord Pablo Escobar.
Actually, Mr. McFarland secured some land on Great Exuma just weeks before the festival and hired workers who scrambled to prepare for the event. But as ticket holders arrived, Mr. McFarland’s plans unraveled and the festival was canceled. His celebrity business partner in Fyre Media, the rapper Ja Rule, posted on social media that he was “heartbroken” about the chaos.
From late 2017 until early 2018, Mr. McFarland ran a company called NYC VIP Access that sold bogus tickets to events like the Met Gala, Coachella, Burning Man and the Super Bowl. In one case, prosecutors said, two customers flew from Florida to New York for the Grammy Awards, only to be turned away at the door.
In a sentencing memorandum, prosecutors called Mr.
Attorneys for Billy McFarland, organizer of the fantastically failed "Fyre Festival," are blaming a host of untreated mental health issues, alcoholism and attention deficit disorders for the amazing flop, and asking a judge to be lenient. Read the rest
Social rating site Klout saw where society was heading with influencer marketing, but like many bad ideas that were a little ahead of their time, Klout will not live on to see the devastation they helped usher in. Read the rest
The crackdown on "influencers" engaging in undisclosed paid endorsement roiled Instagram last year, but now the crackdown on sexual misconduct on influencers is affecting readership at Mic, Upworthy, GOOD, and Slate, who quietly paid influencers like George Takei to promote their articles on their personal accounts. Read the rest
The Burger King Cheddar and Bacon Grill Dog is the Fyre Festival of specialty hot dogs.
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This can't be good for Fyre Media co-founders Billy McFarland and Ja Rule: leaked emails and documents show that organizers were not only grossly incompetent, they didn't seem to particularly care that the Fyre Festival was doomed.
In an urgent April 3 email with the subject line, "RED FLAG- BATHROOMS/ SHOWER SHIPPING," a mid-level Fyre Festival worker alerted senior staff, including 25-year-old co-founder Billy McFarland and Fyre Media president Conall Arora, of a growing crisis: the unexpectedly high costs (estimated to be at least $400,000) of shipping enough toilets and showers to the Bahamas to accommodate an anticipated 2,500 people on the island.
This followed the news that its caterer, Starr Catering Group, had just pulled out of the festival. Those two events prompted one assistant on the email thread to joke, "No one is eating so therefore no ones pooping."
Here's another snapshot from the train wreck:
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But there was one problem with Weinstein's plan: Those luxury villas — which Fyre Media marketed on its website and sold for thousands of dollars to attendees — don't seem to have existed.
Two days later, on April 22, Weinstein sent an email to staff strongly suggesting a campaign begin to reach out to the influencers planning to attend — and prepare them for seriously reduced accommodations.
"It is my opinion based on conversations with influencers, that the majority of them are not going to receive what they were promised," Weinstein said in a note urging Fyre staff to be more transparent.
There's lots of juicy, behind-the-scenes details in this New York Times expose about the Fyre Festival - a promised lavish music event in the Bahamas that was cancelled after people who paid thousand of dollars arrived by plane and discovered crappy tents on a gravely beach with little food or security and no performers. Fyre Festival co-founder Billy McFarland, 25, is accused of not paying workers and contractors. McFarland and his partner, Ja Rule, are blaming others for the calamity. Aggrieved parties are serving lawsuits by the dozen. And federal authorities are "looking into possible mail, wire and securities fraud," according to the Times.
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Well into March, the event’s website — which briefly vanished because its designer had not been paid — claimed it would take place on Fyre Cay, a private island that once belonged to the drug lord Pablo Escobar. Ticket packages included the $400,000 “Artist’s Palace,” with four beds, eight V.I.P. tickets and dinner with one festival performer.
But there was no such island or palace. Fyre employees recalled higher-ups inventing extravagant accommodations just to see if people would buy them — and some did, they said.
Mr. McFarland had been scouting sites, taking private planes to the Bahamas with his Fyre entourage and models in tow. But long after tickets had been sold, he was still nailing down a location.
By early April, the festival team finally set up at Roker Point, a largely unbuilt housing development on Great Exuma that borders a Sandals resort.
O.Z.O.R.A. Festival is billed as a psychedelic tribal gathering in Dádpuszta, Hungary. Their website splash page is a gorgeous infinite gif that you can set to trance or chill music. Read the rest
On Wednesday 25-year-old Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland -- who is being sued for $100M over his catastrophic schadenfreudefest -- gathered his long-unpaid employees on a conference call this week to tell them that "After conferring with our counsel and all financial people, unfortunately we are not able to proceed with payroll. We’re not firing anyone, we’re just letting you know that there will be no payroll in the short term." Read the rest