The scammer who organized the failed Fyre festival is trying again

Billy McFarland has started selling tickets for the second edition of one of the worst music festivals in history.

The Fyre Festival is a lavish music event that took place in the Bahamas in the spring of 2017 and became very famous as it was closed early due to severe and multiple disruptions, leading many to call it one of the worst music festivals ever. in history. Two documentaries were also made about this disaster, as well as the story of an American entrepreneur who organized it and was subsequently convicted of fraud. McFarland is now out of jail and has begun selling tickets to Fyre Festival II.

According to the event’s website, a second festival is bound to take place on an island in the Bahamas in December 2024, although the date is tentative. It remains to be seen which artists will be performing and whether McFarland’s organizing skills have improved in any way since 2017, but the organization says 100 people have already bought their first tickets, which cost just under $550. Ticket prices will increase as they sell out and theoretically include admission to the festival and a range of related events, including screenings of documentaries.

The first Fyre festival, which was supposed to take place over two weeks from April to May 2017, turned out to be so chaotic, unsuccessful and absurd that it inspired two documentaries released in 2019: Fyre – The biggest party in the worldon Netflix and fire scam, released for the US platform Hulu. The story went like this: In 2017, McFarland brought together a team of people and financiers, including rapper Ja Rule, to organize an exclusive music festival for the very wealthy on an island in the Bahamas. He shot a very professional promotional video featuring some of the most in-demand models in the world, from Emily Ratajkowski to Bella Hadid and Hailey Baldwin, and sold different types of offers, from a few thousand dollars to several thousand. tens of thousands for more luxurious living.

Netflix and Hulu documentaries show how McFarland and other organizers had no idea how to actually organize such a festival: their absolute lack of preparation, combined with the bad faith of selling thousands of tickets without any guarantees, led to a giant disaster.

As a result, the organizers failed to create almost nothing of what was promised: the luxurious residences were actually tents for evacuees from hurricanes (besides, dilapidated by a downpour on the eve of the festival), the food was rather similar. to a campsite that promised stardom, and most of the featured musicians, from Major Lazer to Blink 182, stood up when they realized the festival had failed.

The participants arrived and did not find anything they paid for and were forced to spend the night in flooded tents in the middle of some construction site: when they tried to return home the next day, there were no planes to transport them and they had to spend dozens of hours at a small local airport. They were mostly influencers with thousands of followers, which is why the Fyre festival disaster was widely documented and made headlines.

McFarland and Ja Rule were sued for $100 million in a class action lawsuit filed by various festival goers stranded on the island. McFarland was later arrested by federal agents and charged with wire fraud in connection with the festival, but not only that: he was sentenced to six years in prison, and later served only four.

“It’s been the craziest trip that has brought me here,” McFarland said in a video announcing the second festival. He said he began work on the fifty-page project “to turn the interest and demand for Fire” into a new series of events while in jail in Lisbon, Ohio.

“We talked to people from as far away as the Middle East and South America and ultimately decided that Fyre Festival II would return to the Caribbean,” McFarland said. In the past, McFarland has announced plans to make a Broadway musical about the festival. In March of this year, he also said he would pay back the $26 million he owes investors for the first festival, spending half of his time “filming TV shows” and the other half “bringing wild creative ideas to life.” and achieve great things.”

On social media, the announcement of a second Fyre festival was met with outrage and amusement. Many are wondering if thousands of people will believe McFarland again this time, despite the fact that he went to jail for fraud, and the Fire Festival has become synonymous with fraud for many. For example, the girl who bought the ticket said Washington Post be reassuring because “I really don’t think Billy would want to go back to prison and this time he had a lot of time to think about it and get ready.”

– Read also: What do chess, poker, fishing and Irish dancing have in common?

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