In the past week, not one but two documentaries surfaced chronicling the rise and fall of one of the greatest scams of all time—2017's ill-fated Fyre Festival. In which thousands of trust fund babies, public figures, and well-to-do music aficionados were promised a luxury music festival but instead received cheese sandwiches and FEMA tents for their trouble.
Co-founded by the unlikely pair of compulsive con artist Billy McFarland and his immaterial BFF Ja Rule, each documentary—Fyre Fraud released on Hulu and FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened produced by Netflix—goes to great lengths to deconstruct not only the scope of this multi-million dollar scam, but the involvement of its key players.
McFarland is clearly the brains of the operation, Grant Margolin serves as his trusty sidekick, and Ja Rule fills a nebulous role that includes being both the face of the brand and welding some level of decision making power.
But after watching both documentaries, it’s abundantly clear that from its conception to its resounding failure, all three were actively and willfully involved in scamming thousands of people with the little Fyre Festival that wasn’t.
In fact in one scene from Frye, in which the team meets to assess the damage in the aftermath of the festival, Ja tells Fyre Media employees, “That’s not fraud, that’s not fraud. False advertising, maybe.”
But instead of following Margolin’s lead and laying low, Ja is telling anyone who will listen (since his music no longer has that luxury) that he’s not a scam artist, even though his co-founder McFarland is and he co-founded the multi-million dollar scam himself.
After Fyre’s debut Friday night, he took to Twitter to clear his
I mean, we don’t but you sure as hell were clearly heavily involved in—
What was it you called it? False advertising?
This is partially factual. McFarland was compensated an undisclosed sum to provide an exclusive 8 hours of interview footage to Fyre Fraud, while Jerry Media, who was hired by McFarland to spearhead Fyre’s social media campaign, helped produce Fyre. But McFarland alone being at fault? Nah, bruh. Try again.
And if they ever surface, prepare accordingly for a 3rd documentary on the matter.
Or not, since that might be a scam too.