If you are familiar with the failed Fyre Festival, then you know that nothing good came from the fiasco. Fyre Festival was set to debut in spring of 2017 and was going to be the first of its kind, a Luxury Music Festival. The festival’s founder, Billy McFarland, attempted to throw a music festival in the The Bahamas. Together with New York-based rapper Ja Rule, McFarland organized the now-defunct Fyre Fest. There were no “rock bands, private villas, or celebrity chefs” as attendees had been promised, among other things. To top it all off, many were left stranded in the Bahamas, forced to find their way back home. It goes without saying that the festival failed to live up to the hype.
The backlash online was brutal, but that was just the beginning. Having conned investors out of millions of dollars, things quickly went from bad to worse for the entrepreneurial McFarland. Upon being taken to court, McFarland pleaded guilty and was forced to surrender more than $26 million. McFarland faces up to a decade in prison, yet it seems he may not have learned his lesson.
While out on bond, McFarland allegedly committed more acts of fraud, says federal prosecutors. McFarland is due for sentencing within the week, and is accused of “scamming ticket buyers… and targeting a new set of fraudulent pitches to people who’d already been burned…”. The disgraced entrepreneur is also being accused of “concealing his ownership of the ticket company, NYC VIP Access, using… an employee’s name to hide his affiliation and directing that employee to sign contracts.”. Through NYC VIP Access, McFarland claims to have had exclusive tickets to events such as Coachella, The Superbowl, and even the Met Gala.
The 26-year-old is being charged with two serious offenses, one count of wire fraud and another for money laundering. If convicted, he faces a minimum of 20 years per charge. After having surrendered to the FBI on Tuesday, June 12, McFarland remains in custody. McFarland is expected to stay in custody until June 26. This is when the district judge decides whether or not to revoke his bail.
The circumstances don’t look promising for Billy McFarland, and I am positive that this too, will be immortalized.