Billy McFarland, the mastermind behind the catastrophic music event Fyre Festival, has finally been arrested and charged with wire fraud. McFarland is accused of attempting to defraud investors by misrepresenting and falsifying financial information. By overstating his assets, he managed to get at least 1.2 million dollars in investments for the event. If convicted, McFarland can face up to 20 years in prison.
For those of you who don’t know, Fyre Festival was a music event hosted in the Bahamian island of Great Exuma. The event was marketed to high rollers and affluent millennials; promising luxurious accommodations and the chance to mingle with models and performers. Much to the partygoer’s surprise, the event was anything but luxuries. Patrons arrived at Great Exuma to find “extravagant” accommodations like disaster relief tents, delicious grilled cheeses in styrofoam plates, and the chance to socialize with other partygoers in shared tents due to the lack of space. The event did not even have the infrastructure for music artist to perform.
Here's the "culinary experience" we got for our artists pass at Fyre Festival. pic.twitter.com/Kk9q9uvkX0
— William N. Finley IV (@WNFIV) April 28, 2017
Due to the ensuing chaos, the festival, which was supposed to last two weekends, was canceled after day one. But the fun was not over yet; getting out of the island was a crucible in itself. Delayed flights, planes stuck on the tarmac and passengers locked inside the terminal without access to food or water. When I say locked, I don’t mean it in the metaphorical sense, I mean in the chains were used to lock the terminal doors type of sense.
The failed event resulted in numerous lawsuits against Mcfarland’s company Fyre Media and rapper Ja Rule, who partnered with McFarland to organize the event. While this whole fiasco ended up as a disaster for attendees and organizers alike, there is a silver lining. We got to see one of the biggest social experiments ever organized. What happens when you put hundreds of affluent millennials on an island with no accommodations and amenities? Well, see for yourself: