By Gage Jackson
Billy McFarland, the disgraced entrepreneur and mastermind behind the disastrous 2017 Fyre Festival, has announced that a sequel event is “finally happening.”
The announcement has taken social media by storm, with many people expressing skepticism and disbelief that McFarland could pull off a successful event after the fiasco of the original Fyre Festival that landed him six years behind bars.
🔥 Fyre Festival II is finally happening.
Tell me why you should be invited.
— Billy McFarland (@pyrtbilly) April 10, 2023
“Tell me why you shouldn’t be in jail,” one Twitter user asked, to which McFarland replied, “It’s in the best interest of those I owe for me to be working… and because I served my time.” Another user jokingly said she’s “been dying for generic brand cheese slices on stale bread,” a reference to the “gourmet” meals that were provided to festival-goers the first time around.
Fyre Festival was a highly anticipated music festival that was set to take place on a private island in the Bahamas in 2017.
The event was promoted by a slew of celebrities and social media influencers like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber, and Emily Ratajkowski as a luxury event featuring exquisite food, extravagant accommodations, and top-tier performances from groups like Blink-182, Migos, and Rae Sremmurd.
McFarland and his team, which included rapper Ja Rule, had promised a high-end, exclusive experience, but the reality was a far cry from what was advertised.
The festival was plagued with numerous problems from the very beginning, starting with the location itself. The private island in the Bahamas lacked infrastructure and wasn’t properly equipped with basic necessities such as water and electricity. When festival-goers arrived, they quickly found themselves in a chaotic and hazardous situation.
The “luxury villas” that were advertised turned out to be half-built disaster relief tents leftover from Hurricane Matthew. The gourmet food that was promised turned out to be basic cheese sandwiches and salads, and the luxurious amenities, like jet skis and yachts, were nowhere to be found.
“The tents are so poorly made that they’d blow over in a second if there was any wind or rain,” one festival attendee told Billboard.
“This was a scam for sure,” another person told KTVT.
As the festival descended into chaos, flights were canceled, leaving attendees stranded on the island with little food, water, and medical supplies. Some festival-goers also reported being robbed, and others couldn’t charge their phones to contact anyone from the outside world.
The fiasco prompted an eye-opening Netflix documentary titled “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened.” It provided an in-depth look at the events leading up to the festival, including how McFarland and his team were able to use social media to manipulate and scam people out of millions of dollars.
In the aftermath, McFarland faced numerous lawsuits and was later arrested and charged with multiple counts of wire fraud. He pleaded guilty in 2018 and was sentenced to six years in prison.
After being released early last year, McFarland was quick to hint at a new venture.
“I went way too fast before,” he told ABC’s Michael Strahan. “So I need to do everything now in a manageable way that I could actually make work.”
Given the controversy surrounding the original event, it remains to be seen whether Fyre Festival II will actually come to fruition, but McFarland’s announcement has certainly caught the attention of the public yet again, and it will be interesting to see how the story unfolds this time around.
This story was originally published on April 12, 2023, by Scripps News, an E.W. Scripps Company.