Fyre Fest II? Billy McFarland Claims First Batch Of Tickets Sold Out With No Lineup Or Date In Place


The first batch of tickets to Fyre Festival II allegedly sold out in less than a day, beleaguered music festival co-founder Billy McFarland said Tuesday morning, six years after the ill-fated festival in the Bahamas went off the rails, and after McFarland was jailed on fraud charges.

Key Facts

Tickets to Fyre Festival II went on sale on Monday, McFarland announced in a video on YouTube, saying he laid out plans for the festival’s return during his seven-month stint in solitary confinement, despite not releasing a lineup for the event.

The festival will allegedly once again take place in the Caribbean with a target date of late 2024, though McFarland did not list a specific location.

McFarland, who was sentenced to six years in prison in 2018 after defrauding investors of more than $27 million through a sham marketing scheme, and faced scorn from ticket holders in 2017 after the festival fell far short on promises for a luxury weekend.

Key Background

McFarland and rapper Ja Rule, the festival’s co-founder, promoted the lavish festival for months, relying on models and influencers including Kendall Jenner and Emily Ratajkowski, to post promotional videos and messages about an “immersive” and “transformative” festival, despite turmoil behind the scenes regarding the festival’s location and its lineup. Despite promising a beachside paradise, Fyre Festival in reality was held in a parking lot on Great Exuma, a location that McFarland rebranded as “Fyre Cay,” while ticket holders who paid upwards of $12,000 for VIP passes were placed in tents and provided slices of bread with cheese and a side salad as meals, which they posted about on social media. McFarland and Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, were named in a $100 million class-action lawsuit in May 2017 filed by festival attendees, and one month later charged with wire fraud, bank fraud and false statements to a federal law enforcement agent in federal court in New York City. McFarland pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced in October 2018, though he was released from federal prison in May 2022.

Surprising Fact

McFarland also said this week that he signed a deal with a production company he didn’t name to produce a Fyre Festival musical on Broadway.

Further Reading

FYRE Festival Fiasco: A Truly Unforgettable Customer Experience (Forbes)

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