We all heard the story – last April, the promise of an extravagant festival for the elite would be hosted on an island in the Bahamas.
Over the course of a weekend, festival-goers would receive gourmet meals, a luxurious place to stay, and see acts like Blink-182 and Migos. All this and more was promoted (by models such as Kendal Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski) for a ticket that ranged in price from $1,200 to $100,000.
Only when customers showed up, the festival ceased to exist. The luxurious experience was replaced by tents, sandwiches, a non-existent crew and far from great living circumstances. There were no acts to perform. Customers posted on social media with the hashtag #fyrefraud.
The man behind all of this is promoter Billy Mcfarland, 26, who finally plead guilty to fraud after two previous denials. In Manhattan federal court, prosecutors suggested he serve between eight and 10 years in prison.
“I deeply regret my actions, and I apologize to my investors, team, family and supporters who I let down…” said McFarland.
McFarland admitted to giving false information to a ticket vendor regarding Fyre Media’s financial condition, in order to entice the vendor to pay $2m for a block of advance tickets. He has been free on a $300,000 bail as of his arrest in June.
A lawsuit filed in Los Angeles called the festival, “nothing more than a get-rich-quick scam” and stated that the festival’s inadequate shelter, medical care, food and water left festival-goers stranded on the island in a panic.