- Fyre Festival entrepreneur Billy McFarland announced a sequel to his mega-disaster on Monday
- While some followers were curious about how the invite was scored, others derided the previously jailed businessman’s attempt to make a comeback.
- McFarland was released from prison just over a year ago, after being convicted and jailed on charges related to a 2017 fraud that turned into a fling for him.
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.”
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.
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.
“Certified alcohol aficionado. Organizer. Explorer. Lifelong writer. Falls down a lot. Proud social mediaholic. Freelance student.”
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