Fyre Festival Organizer Billy McFarland Facing 20 Years in Prison

Burn, baby burn

Organizer of the ill-fated Fyre Festival, Billy McFarland, could be spending the better part of his adult life in jail.

William “Billy” McFarland, the creator and head organizer of the failed music festival, promised a star-studded spectacle on a secluded island in the Bahamas, but turned out in reality closer to the Hunger Games. Festival goers spent anywhere from hundreds to several thousands of dollars on tickets, only to show up to a deserted island with no food, running water or shelter — let alone any artists or celebrities.

Aside from being sued by many of those attendees, McFarland now faces separate charges on the count of wire fraud, that carries a maximum 20-year sentence. The complaint comes as McFarland allegedly inflated his financial worth in order to secure a $1.2-million (USD) investment into his company Fyre Media. He also lied to investors about the company’s worth, claiming to have made millions in revenue over 2016 and 2017, when the company’s worth was under $60,000.

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon Kim, said the following in a statement:

“As alleged, William McFarland promised a ‘life changing’ music festival, but in actuality delivered a disaster. McFarland allegedly presented false documents to induce investors to put over a million dollars into his company and the fiasco called the Fyre Festival. Thanks to the investigative efforts of the FBI, McFarland will now have to answer for his crimes.”

Billy McFarland was arrested from his Manhattan apartment Friday afternoon to be presented to a U.S. Magistrate. He was released on $300,000 bail and has been given a travel restriction to Southern and Eastern districts of New York. McFarland also has to adhere to drug testing.