Remember the absolute failure that was the overhyped, under-delivered Fyre Festival? Just under a year from that fateful weekend, the business bro responsible is being held accountable.
Per a report from the New York Times, festival organizer Billy McFarland pleaded guilty to fraud on Tuesday in New York. As he told Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, McFarland admits he, “lied to investors about various aspects of Fyre Media and [his] personal finances” and that he regretted doing so.
So, how exactly did McFarland misrepresent himself and his company Fyre Media? Per the Times, he fabricated financial documents to entice investors, claiming his company had millions to spend on talent for the festival, and claiming he himself had the wherewithal to offer financial support as well. Turns out, neither was true, and now McFarland’s likely to pay for it. His sentencing is set for late June.
As you’ll recall, ahead of last April’s disastrous Fyre Festival, organizers billed the event as a luxe music fest in the Bahamas that would include top-notch food and accommodations, and headliners like Blink-182.
With promo help from Insta-famous models, Fyre Media convinced hoards of young people to pay hundreds – or sometimes thousands – of dollars for tickets.
But when guests arrived in the Bahamas, they were met with unassembled tents, loose mattresses, and cheese sandwiches in styrofoam boxes. And when attendees decided to give up and head home, they experienced serious travel delays.
Fyre Festival’s organizers eventually cancelled the event all-together, and in May, the FBI came knocking. As of December, one attendee told The Guardian that he and fellow guests had yet to see refunds.