Fyre Festival ‘1.5’: Billy McFarland claims he has funding for second festival

The first Fyre Festival was co-founded by Billy McFarland and Ja Rule (Netflix)
The first Fyre Festival was co-founded by Billy McFarland and Ja Rule (Netflix)

Fyre Festival, the notorious luxury music festival that defrauded thousands of people, is getting a second instalment as well as a Broadway show, according to founder Billy McFarland.

The 31-year-old convicted criminal claims he has enough funding to pay off his debts, launch the second edition of the festival and produce a musical about the infamous event.

The entrepreneur, who was sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to forfeit $26 million (£20.9 million), announced the news in a new TikTok video.

“Instead of like traditional Broadway actors, it’s going to be current music artists, combined with the Broadway format of the play – making fun of me, but also I think sharing some of the good sides as well,” McFarland told journalist Adam Glyn.

McFarland didn’t go into details about the new festival, called Fyre Festival 1.5, but talked about the response from artists he contacted about the event.

“Half of them are like, ‘F*** off, how dare you call us’. And there’s half [who have been] been texting, emailing, saying, ‘Hey, like what can we do to come?’” he said.

Speaking of his debts, McFarland said: “[Previous investors are] getting paid back and getting paid back, like right now.”

But what exactly happened with the first festival and what has he revealed about Fyre Festival II so far?

Here’s everything we know.

What happened at the first Fyre Festival?

Fyre Festival was a luxury music festival that was co-founded by entrepreneur Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule back in 2017.

The pair rented Pablo Escobar’s former private island in the Bahamas and hired high-profile celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski to advertise what they sold as an unmissable music experience.

However, when festival-goers started arriving on the island of Great Exuma, in Jamaica, they were shocked to see that the event was nothing like the luxury package they had paid for. There were security, food, and accommodation problems, which meant that guests who were expecting luxury villas and gourmet meals in return for thousands of dollars had to settle for tents and cheese sandwiches.

The event was cancelled before it had even begun, and the organisers behind it were taken to court by a number of people who accused McFarland and his team of defrauding ticket buyers.

The 30-year-old was given a six-year sentence for his involvement, but was released early in May 2022 after serving four years.

To this day, a number of vendors and local Bahamian suppliers who worked for the event have not been paid. And, in 2020, the United States Marshals Service auctioned off Fyre Festival merchandise to pay off some of the victims.

What do we know about Fyre Festival 1.5?

So far, McFarland hasn’t shared too many details about what people can expect from the second edition of the failed festival.

We do now know it will be called Fyre Festival 1.5, and that it will be accompanied by a Broadway musical, according to McFarland.

In response to a Twitter user asking why he shouldn’t be in jail, he explained his motivation behind organising the event, saying: “It’s in the best interest of those I owe for me to be working. people aren’t getting paid back if I sit on the couch and watch tv.

“And because I served my time.”