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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Peony Hirwani

Billy McFarland claims he has secured funding for ‘Fyre Festival 1.5’


Billy McFarland claims he has secured funding to pay off his debts, launch the second edition of the Fyre Festival, and produce a Broadway musical about the first edition of the doomed event.

In 2017, the 31-year-old convicted felon was at the centre of a scandal in which ticket holders were lured to a “luxury music festival” held on Pablo Escobar’s former private island in the Bahamas, with Migos and Blink-182 booked to perform.

However, the event was a disaster after festivalgoers faced issues with food, security and accommodation.

The entire scandal around the festival was the subject of two documentaries, including one by Netflix that aired in 2019.

In 2018, McFarland pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and sentenced to six years in prison, but was released early in March 2022 and ordered to pay back £23m to festival investors.

In a new TikTok video, McFarland announced that he has secured enough funding to clear his debts and launch the new Fyre Festival 1.5 and Broadway show.

“Instead of like traditional Broadway actors, it’s going to be current music artists, combined with the Broadway format of the play – making fun of me, but also I think sharing some of the good sides as well,” McFarland told journalist Adam Glyn.

Speaking of his debts, McFarland said: “[Previous investors are] getting paid back and getting paid back, like right now.”

McFarland didn’t reveal many details about Fyre Festival 1.5. He, however, mentioned the reaction to getting artists “has been so extreme”.

“Half of them are like, ‘F*** off, how dare you call us’. And there’s half [who have been] been texting, emailing, saying, ‘Hey, like what can we do to come?’” he said.

Last year, in his first interview since being released from prison, McFarland admitted that he was “wrong” to go ahead with the Fyre Festival.

“I was wrong,” McFarland said during an appearance on Good Morning America. “I messed up. I was so driven by this desperate desire to prove people right. I had these early investors, backers, employees, and I think I was just so insecure that I thought the only way to prove myself to them was to succeed and that led me down this terrible path of bad decisions.”

“I need to apologise and that is the first and last thing that needs to be done. I let people down,” he said.

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