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Orianna Rosa Royle

“Fyre Festival II is finally happening,” says the disgraced founder

Billy McFarland and Fyre Festival survivor, Andy King. (Credit: Patrick McMullan—Getty Images)

You could be excused for asking if Billy McFarland is serious.

Just a year after being released from prison after serving four years for defrauding investors in his infamous failure of a music and culture extravaganza—the Fyre Festival—its disgraced founder says he's bringing the event back.

“Fyre Festival II is finally happening,” McFarland announced on Twitter Monday. “Tell me why you should be invited.” 

No further details have been published, but the prospect of a Fyre Festival 2.0 has not garnered much enthusiasm. 

It's no surprise why.

Why people aren’t jumping to attend Fyre Festival 2.0 

A lackluster reception to Fyre Festival 2.0. was foreseeable given the massive failure of McFarland’s previous—and borderline dangerous—attempt. 

Its 2017 predecessor, Fyre Festival, was pitched as a “luxury musical festival” on Pablo Escobar's former private island in the Bahamas and was backed by celebrities including Emily Ratajkowski, Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid. 

Tickets ranged from $500 to $12,000 and the event promised luxury villas, chef-made meals, and a stellar line-up including Pusha T, Blink-182, Major Lazer, Disclosure, and some 30 other artists. 

In reality, the festival was actually set in a parking lot with none of the celebrities mentioned in sight, meanwhile, guests were welcomed with tents, pre-packaged sandwiches, unsanitary conditions and no running water. 

To make matters worse, there weren’t enough beds to go around; luggage had been “lost”;  there was no phone signal; and festival goers had been encouraged not to bring money with them. 

Stranded, guests were forced to fend for themselves and the societal breakdown that ensued at Fyre Festival has been meticulously documented, most notably by Netflix.

In the end, McFarland, who defrauded investors out of millions while pitching the event, was imprisoned for two counts of wire fraud and ordered to repay $26 million to investors.

After serving four years out of his six-year sentence, McFarland was released early in March 2022.

Fool me once...

With over 2 million views but just under 2,000 likes, McFarland's post about Fyre Festival II received a muted reception as social media users spent more energy joking about the first event’s failure than jumping at the chance to attend a redo.

“I’ll show up with 100 crates full of bananas,” wrote one user. “No one will go hungry this time around.”

The music subscription platform Limewire joked, “I know a safer way to enjoy music”.

Fyre Festival survivor Andy King, who has recently been partnering with McFarland on parody content online, retweeted the announcement while adding, "let's go".

Others didn't see the funny side of McFarland’s announcement.

“If this is really happening you should give a % to the people on the island who lost so much money,” wrote a self-described music veteran who questioned whether the entrepreneur has become a “decent person”.

Meanwhile, “tell me why you shouldn’t be in jail” is one of the most liked comments.

McFarland, who has become a kind of poster boy for scamming, responded that working is in the best interest of those whom he defrauded out of money and has been ordered to pay back. 

“People aren’t getting paid back if I sit on the couch and watch TV,” he added.


After his release, McFarland's attorney Jason Russo said the scammer’s next venture would be for the purpose of “generating the restitution for paying back his victims.”

McFarland backed this up by outlining how he intends to make the millions of dollars he owes investors, on Twitter last month.

“I'm the best at coming up with wild creative, getting talent together, and delivering the moment,” he boasted.

While a second Fyre Festival wasn’t mentioned, this may have been a hint that he was planning on giving the “once in a lifetime” event another shot—or he could have been alluding to another similar plan, the PYRT festival.

McFarland announced he was launching a new festival through his latest startup, PYRT (pronounced, pirate) late last year.

Speaking on the podcast Full Send, he said: “PYRT is all about taking people to places that they think are impossible.”

He said the project will partner with a “small, remote destination” to host a “handful of artists, content creators, entrepreneurs” but will open to the public virtually. 

“People will go just to see what happens,” he added. “People who hate me will be the first ones who want to come”

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