In a YouTube video posted on Aug. 20, Billy McFarland announced that Fyre Festival II was in the works and would take place somewhere in the Caribbean in late 2024.
McFarland, who was released only a year ago after spending nearly four years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud charges associated with the first Fyre Festival, launched ticket sales on his website even though the event does not yet have a lineup. According to the site, the first 100 tickets have already been sold at $499 each, and the remaining tickets go from $799 to $7,999.
The first FYRE Festival II drop has sold out.
Since 2016 FYRE has been the most talked about festival in the world. We now saw this convert to one of the highest priced GA pre-sales in the industry.
FYRE is about people from the around the world coming together to pull off…
— Billy McFarland (@pyrtbilly) August 22, 2023
“It has been the absolute wildest journey to get here,” he said in the video, “and it really all started during the seven-month stint in solitary confinement.”
McFarland was sentenced to a six-year prison term after pleading guilty to two counts of wire fraud following the first Fyre Festival in 2017. He owed around $26 million to investors who claimed he defrauded them.
McFarland’s lawyers told the New York Times that they thought he was placed in solitary confinement in 2020 for his interview in the debut episode of the podcast Dumpster Fyre, which promised a behind-the-scenes look at how the Fyre Festival came to be. In March 2022, McFarland was released from prison early and remained under house arrest until September.
The first Fyre Festival, which was hosted in the Bahamas, was advertised as a competitor to other music festivals like Coachella and Burning Man. McFarland co-hosted with rapper Ja Rule — who was cleared of any legal wrongdoing — and leveraged models like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski to help promote the event on their social media accounts.
Ticket prices ranged from $500 to $1,500, and VIP packages were at least $100,000. Even though details of the event weren’t solidified by the time the first weekend rolled around, the event was sold out, and 5,000 people were expected to attend.
The festival, infamously, was a disaster and subsequently spawned Hulu and Netflix documentaries as well as numerous podcasts, and solidified McFarland’s place in the cultural lexicon as a scammer.
This is not the first time McFarland has mentioned hosting a second Fyre Festival. In April, he teased the idea on Twitter and joked that the third one would be in space with Elon Musk’s help.
🔥 Fyre Festival II is finally happening.
Tell me why you should be invited.
— Billy McFarland (@pyrtbilly) April 10, 2023
“We are in talks with partners to pay back all of my restitution and execute Fyre Fest II according to the original vision on this incredible and beautiful island,” he said in the TikTok. “We have to do it right, guys. We have to make happen what was always a dream.”
McFarland gave his first interview out of prison in November 2022, telling Good Morning America that he “messed up.”
“I was wrong,” he said. “I was so driven by this desperate desire to prove people right. I had these early investors, backers, employees, and I think I was just so insecure that I thought the only way to prove myself to them was to succeed, and that led me down this terrible path of bad decisions.”
Social media reactions so far seemed split between dismay over history repeating itself and poking fun at how half-baked the PR seems to be already.
so Fyre Festival II is being planned by the guy who went to prison for the first Fyre Festival and honestly none of this is surprising bc we live in the dumbest timeline
— Vandy, C.A.👱🏼♀️ (@CAVandy) August 21, 2023
Billy McFarland is selling tickets for Fyre Festival II and the only location information is “Caribbean Sea” pic.twitter.com/tZbLUFiVTc
— Gabrielle Bluestone (@g_bluestone) August 20, 2023
I really want the confidence and audacity a lot people have. Billy McFarland got out of prison for fraud and is now selling tickets for Fyre Festival II. They don’t even specify where in the Caribbean it will be 😩
— O (@obeanz71) August 22, 2023
announcing fyre fest II with no lineup, dates, or location is wild..
— ARC Music Festival (@arcmusicfest) August 21, 2023
As part of McFarland’s sentence in 2018, he is permanently barred from serving as either an officer or a director of a public company by the SEC. McFarland did not respond to In The Know’s request for comment.
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