Fyre Festival organizer and co-founder, Billy McFarland was arrested on Friday in connection to fraud charges. The young entrepreneur is accused of creating a scheme to defraud investors, by using his company, Fyre Media, to misrepresent financial information. He was released on bail the next day after appearing before a U.S. magistrate judge. MacFarland’s bail was set $300,000.
Investigators found out that MacFarland’s music festival was a cover to trick investors into giving him money. He allegedly used false documents to induce investors out of over a million dollars for his company. MacFarland also lied and claimed that he had made millions in revenue from 2016-2017. However, his earnings were less than $60,000 from approximately 60 artist bookings. He even told investors his company raked in $44 million a month. Leaked emails confirm that certain things weren’t right from the beginning.
Back in April, Fyre Festival made headlines after attendees were left stranded in the Bahamas. MacFarland blamed everything on inclement weather and promised refunds and complimentary tickets to next year’s event. According to those who bought tickets, Fyre Festival ticket packages were sold between $4,000-$100,000 per person.
The Fyre Festival was supposed to be a luxurious music festival in the Bahamas. Gourmet food, luxury accommodations, private jets, and yachts were all promised in an attempt to paint it as the music festival to beat all music festivals. However, it was a scam and lie.
Rapper Ja Rule, the other co-founder of the festival, was not arrested along with MacFarland. The two came up with the idea during a trip to the Exuma Keys. Though, it’s clear that all of the falsified documents and fraud attempts were made by MacFarland and his company, no one has stated what Ja Rule’s role or contributions to the wannabe music festival was.
– Martel Sharpe