Fyre Festival Organizer Sentenced to Six Years in Prison, Ordered to Pay $26 Million
You may remember 2017’s disastrous Fyre Festival, when a luxury destination fest turned into a nightmare as fans encountered airport lock-ins, makeshift tents to sleep in and cold cheese sandwiches for sustenance. On Oct. 11, 26-year-old Fyre Festival organizer Billy MacFarland was sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to forfeit $26 million.
The getaway on a private beach in the Bahamas was supposed to be held over two weekends in April and May, with acts like Blink-182, Major Lazer, Migos, Lil Yachty and more booked to perform. Blink-182 ended up pulling out due to concerns the fest would not be able to provide them a proper setup to “give you the quality of performances we always give our fans.”
Blink were dead right, but the insanity that followed expanded far beyond lackluster production values. Fans were promised a full VIP experience with tickets ranging from $450 to $100,000. Despite the lure of private jets, fans got locked in an airport and eventually collected their luggage off a shipping container in the dead of night.
Instead of “the best in food,” patrons ate cheese sandwiches and sad salads:
Instead of luxury, eco-friendly domes and villas, festival goers encountered a horrific tent city:
Fyre Fest became a real-time meme as people continued sharing photos and video from the scam, and Billy MacFarland has now been held legally responsible. MacFarland pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud for his role in defrauding Fyre Festival investors and ticket vendors.
Rapper Ja Rule was also an organizer of Fyre, but denies any liability, even as he’s been targeted in a $100 million lawsuit. Stay tuned as that story continues to play out.
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