Billy McFarland, creator of the infamous Fire Fest, sparked a possible second round of the apocalyptic catastrophic event that landed him behind bars.
In 2017, McFarland was in the midst of a scandal as ticket holders, who thought they were heading to a ‘fancy music festival’ held on Pablo Escobar’s former private island, were lured into a disastrous event mired in issues of everything from food. for housing.
Ultimately, the festival-goers—who had paid up to $13,000 for luxury packages—were left stranded, with unfinished shelter, no transportation, and no food except for cheeseburgers served out of polystyrene boxes, photos of which quickly went viral.
One year later, McFarland pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and was sentenced to six years in prison, plus he was ordered to repay his investors nearly $26 million. He was released in March 2022.
On Sunday, McFarland tweeted: “Fyre Festival II is finally happening.”
Failed Fyre Festival creator Billy McFarland announced Sunday that a sequel to his disastrous musical event is ‘finally happening’.
Followers of the convicted businessman were quick to delve into the comments section, some curious about how he scored an invite, while others wondered why he wasn’t in jail.
The response to the shock announcement was swift. One fan replied, “I’m going to show up with 100 boxes full of bananas. No one will go hungry this time.
“I’m just waiting for the sequel to the documentary,” another wrote. In 2019, two Fyre Festival documentaries were released detailing the event’s disastrous fall.
“If you need any help planning, there’s a great documentary on this!” wrote Satvik Sethi, CEO of Join Circle!
When a user asked why McFarland was still in jail, the previously imprisoned businessman wrote: “It’s in the best interest of those to whom he owes the business.”
People don’t get paid if I sit on the couch and watch TV. And because I served my time.
McFarland asked his followers to tell him “why I should invite you” to the follow-up festival.
Last year, in his first interview since his release from prison, McFarland admitted he was “wrong” to go ahead with the doomed event.
“I was wrong,” McFarland said during an appearance on Good Morning America.
‘I screwed up.’ This desperate desire to prove people right drove me. I had these early investors, backers, and employees, and I think I was so insecure that I thought the only way to prove myself to them was to succeed and that led me down this terrible path of bad decisions.
I need to apologize and that’s the first and last thing to do. I let people down… I really had to drop everything and stop lying. He said.
McFarland claims that his time in prison—where he was placed in solitary confinement on multiple occasions as punishment for breaking the rules by giving multiple interviews while behind bars—has also given him a new perspective on how to do business.
“I used to take pride in getting things done, not in the way things were done,” he said. I think going forward the most important thing for me is building relationships throughout the process. Whether there is success or failure in business terms is more about how you do it rather than being proud of this “by all means” idea which is wrong.
McFarland has been known to use a bunch of beautiful supermodels on his Instagram to promote the festival
Celebrity faces at Fyre Festival included Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski, Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber — several of whom have been called out for their roles in the scam.
The gourmet meal packages offered to festival guests, many of whom paid upwards of $1,000 for a dip, were made with barely enough school cafeteria food.
Luxurious accommodations turned into tents that looked like disaster relief shelters and were barely out of touch with the bad weather that plagued the guests.
The festival guests were left without places to stay or to put their luggage, and when the festival was canceled on the first day, they were left stranded
The models who promoted the festival for months before it failed to launch each said they didn’t understand exactly how much fraud McFarland had been subjected to.
McFarland worked closely with rapper Ja Rule on the failed festival. Ja Rule was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing
Since his release from prison in 2022, McFarland has been public about planning his return to show business.
The first Fyre Festival debacle saw McFarland team up with rapper Ja Rule to attract millions in investment, with the promise of putting on the Bahamas’ first-ever luxury music festival event with supermodels, DJs, luxury lodgings, and sumptuous meals.
McFarland paid models like Kendall Jenner to promote the event on Instagram and slammed promotional videos and enticing photos to lure people into buying tickets at thousands of dollars each.
But the event was disastrous, as people arrived on Great Exuma Island to find a scene more akin to a disaster relief camp than a fancy festival.
Court documents described the scene as “utter chaos and anarchy”. The “luxury accommodations” were FEMA disaster relief tents, the “gourmet food” were barely served cheese sandwiches in Styrofoam containers, and the “top acts” were nowhere to be seen.
The festival sold about 8,000 tickets for two weeks, with attendees spending between $1,000 and $12,000 on tickets. It was canceled on its opening day, leaving people stranded on the island without many essential amnesties.
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