Fyre Festival Disaster Lands Founder 6 Years in Prison
Music festivals: They’re not for everyone. Loud, crowded, rowdy — whether your favorite band is playing or not, you want your money’s worth, no? Well, for the guests who attended 2017’s Fyre Festival, a “luxury musical festival” located in the Bahamas, their four-figure ticket price gave them shoddily assembled tents, bread and cheese sandwiches (not toasted) and overcrowded waiting rooms.
Now, the 27-year-old founder of the event, Billy McFarland, is paying the piper. After being found guilty on all charges, he was sentenced to six years in prison for defrauding investors of $27.4 million as well as creating a completely separate “luxury” concert ticket scam while he was out on bail.
“I can’t believe how wrong I was,” he said in court Thursday. “I can’t believe how stupid I was. I betrayed the trust of my investors, customers, family and the court. My mistakes were severe and they hurt a lot of people.”
McFarland claimed his conduct was caused by undiagnosed mental illnesses and that he had simply found himself “in over his head.” However, his remarks were all but brushed off by US District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, who concluded that his claims simply did not line up with the facts. For example, he’d made expensive upgrades to his Manhattan apartment and purchased a Maserati while the fraud was still going on.
Fyre Festival was specifically intended to target “status seeking” millennials. Promotion for the event included appearances from celebrities and influencers such as Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Haley Baldwin and more. There were also promises of luxury private jets, gourmet foods and luxury cabanas. False advertising at its finest.
Fyre Festival is just one example of a disastrously planned festival that occurred in the last few years. Tanacon, an anti-Vidcon attempt organized in part by YouTuber Tana Mongeau, yielded similar results of overcrowding and dehydrated, disappointed fans in June 2018. It might be hard to evade these glittery scams, but here are some signs to look out for so you can avoid a ticket might not be all it’s promised to be.
Featured image by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees