It’s hard to believe that the disaster known as Fyre Festival happened almost a year ago. We were actually one of the few people that noticed something was fishy before it completely blew up. Unfortunately, the “luxury music festival” was anything but luxurious.
To sum it up, Fyre Festival, organized by Billy McFarland, was a hot mess.
After everything went down, people were left with one question- Was it a scam all along, or was McFarland just over his head?
We might never really know, but we finally have some answers. McFarland finally admitted to defrauding a ticket broker and multiple investors that put money into his company, Fyre Media. McFarland tricked investors into investing $26 million with falsified documents, including bank statements and a pitch deck.
McFarland accepted a plea deal, but his woes are only just beginning. Sentencing isn’t until late June, but he’s facing some serious jail time. Some experts are estimating he could face 10 years or more, although he could do up to 40 years. In addition to potential time behind bars, he has to pay $26 million back to defrauded investors.
It’s unclear where Billy McFarland will get that money from though. There are multiple other lawsuits pending, and Fyre Media was formed to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy months ago.
“My intention and effort were directed to organizing a legitimate festival,” McFarland reportedly stated. “In an attempt to raise what I thought were needed funds, I lied to investors about various aspects of Fyre Media and my personal finances.”
Fyre Festival was supposed to bring good press and tourist money to Exuma, but unfortunately, it did the opposite. In the wake of the festival, Exuma was left with unpaid import taxes, an abandoned campsite full of junk, and the unfortunate link between its name and this disastrous event. Thankfully, justice is on it’s way to being served and Exuma continues to thrive.