Fyre Festival Boy Pleads Guilty, Might Be Headed to Prison

Illustration for article titled Fyre Festival Boy Pleads Guilty, Might Be Headed to Prison
Photo: Mary Altaffer (AP Photo)

Looks like the law caught up with Billy McFarland, founder of the notoriously disastrous “luxury” Frye Festival. On Wednesday, McFarland plead guilty to 80 charges of fraud—interesting because in October of last year, the large adult son plead not guilty. Hmmm.


As you probably recall, Fyre Fest was scheduled for April 2017 in the Bahamas, but was cancelled when it descended into total chaos, screwing thousands of rich people out of thousands of dollars (tickets ranged from $1,200 to $100,000). After pleading guilty, McFarland could end up serving up to 40 years in jail.

Lest we forget that McFarland not only swindled people who bought tickets for the festival, but also admitted to defrauding the investors of fest parent company Fyre Media, who gave over $26 million to the company, according to Fact Magazine. He told the US District judge:

“I grossly underestimated the resources that would be necessary to hold an event of this magnitude. 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. Those lies included false documents and information.”


McFarland definitely made a few mistakes along the way, including the purchase of a $160,000 yacht for Blink-182 while fest attendees were running out of water. He’s certainly not the smartest guy...

McFarland’s sentencing is scheduled for June 21. We will continue to update on this story as new information becomes available. Until then—godspeed, Fyre Festival boy.

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