Netflix to release Fyre Festival documentary, as told by the the organizers themselves

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Netflix to release Fyre Festival documentary, as told by the the organizers themselvesFyre Festival Billy Mcfarland

In case the Fyre Festival organizer Billy McFarland being sentenced to six years in prison didn’t satisfy the narrative ending needs, Netflix looks to fill in the blanks with a new documentary, FYRE, about the disastrous music festival. The streamlining service recently released the trailer to the documentary, which showcases the expectations versus reality facade promoted by McFarland and Ja Rule. According to Netflix, the documentary will be told by the organizers themselves.

FYRE will be released on Netflix on January 18. Additionally, Hulu will be running a docuseries about the event, set to air in 2019. Even Seth Rogen and The Lonely Island mentioned interest in making a movie with a similar story line to the cataclysmic failure.

The Netflix documentary was directed by Chris Smith, who made the documentary Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, about Jim Carrey’s transformation into performance artist and comedian Andy Kaufman.

H/T: Pitchfork

Photo credit: Mark Lennihan/AP

Fyre festival co-founder sentenced to six years in prison

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Fyre festival co-founder sentenced to six years in prisonFyre Festival Founder Sentenced Si Years Prison

Billy McFarland, the disgraced organizer of 2017’s now infamous Fyre music festival has been sentenced to six years in federal prison. Billed as as ultra-luxe festival experience featuring names like Disclosure and Major Lazer, the ill-fated endeavor was a legal and logistical nightmare of viral proportions. The fest left defrauded investors and outraged fest-goers both clamoring angrily for their money back, with hundreds stranded on an island with everything from tent fires to packs of wild dogs.

McFarland and rapper Ja Rule’s joint dumpster fire set off a string of lawsuits and unfathomably shady business practices that culminated with McFarland’s arrest on wire fraud charges in June of of 2017. The disgraced businessman settled with the SEC for a whopping 27.4 million as part of his plea deal, which included a reduced sentence. The legend of the most epic fest fail of all time has only grown since, spawning everything from a sold out NYC merch pop up to a Hulu docuseries. The legal saga may be over, but the infamous tale of Fyre fest is sure live on.

Photo Credit: Natan Dvir

Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland settles with SEC for $27.4 million

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Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland settles with SEC for $27.4 millionBilly Mcfarland Ticket Scam Wire Fraud Grammys Coachella

The Fyre Festival shenanigans have finally come to an end as the founder and potential one-percenter island paradise provider Billy McFarland has accepted a plea to the tune of $27.4 million for the doomed disaster.

While news of McFarland’s legal battles don’t outright confirm whether or not he’ll be serving jail time, McFarland’s plea does come on the heels of him already accepting a guilty plea on two counts of wire fraud earlier this year. Essentially, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ensured that McFarland may never serve as an officer or a director of a public company again. Part of the SEC’s latest press release reads as follows:

“McFarland induced investors to entrust him with tens of millions of dollars by fraudulently inflating key operational, financial metrics and successes of his companies, as well as his own personal success – including by giving investors a doctored brokerage account statement purporting to show personal stock holdings of over $2.5 million when, in reality, the account held shares worth under $1,500.”

McFarland and investors Margolin and Simon have all been charged with “violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws,” and the three have all accepted the plea deals they have been offered.

H/T: The Verge

Fyre Festival founder ordered to pay two attendees $5 million

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Fyre Festival founder ordered to pay two attendees $5 millionBilly McFarland Fyre Fest Billboard 1548

More than a year after the train wreck that was Fyre Festival, Seth Crossno and co-plaintiff Mark Thompson have won their lawsuit against the disastrous event’s founder, Billy McFarland. The blogger who chronicled the vastly underdelivered Bahamian event, Crossno, and Thompson are the first festival victims to win a suit against McFarland. Their attorney Stacy Miller told Vice News, “I think there’s going to be a lot of people looking to collect, but we’ll be first.” Miller has delivered, to the tune of $5 million.

Together, the two men paid $13,000 for travel, accommodations, and luxury VIP passes. As it goes, Crossno and Thompson ended up on a storm-ridden island with disheveled tents, sandwich lunches with less dignity than prison food, and none of the “glamorous” amenities that lured high-rolling festival goers in from all over the world. According to Miller, each plaintiff was awarded $1.5 million in compensatory damages for hotels, flight, mental anguish, pain, and suffering in addition to $1 million in punitive damages.

The win came after McFarland failed to show up to court for over a year, piling on his current jail sentencing stemming from two counts of wire fraud. These new charges were brought against Ja Rule‘s “tech buddy” since the Fyre Festival incident, alleging he was still scamming people while out on bail. Old habits don’t die quick enough, it seems.

As to whether or not McFarland will be able to pay the plaintiffs, Miller seems optimistic. Despite failing to pay attorneys and crisis management groups for their services, a recent motion filed by federal prosecutors in McFarland’s criminal case suggests he has cash tucked away and makes $40,000 per month from freelance work.

Vice News also reported Crossno recently applied for the expired Fyre trademark, working on a new podcast called “Dumpster Fyre,” where he will discuss his hellish experience in depth.

H/T: Billboard, Vice

Hulu secures Fyre Festival docuseries

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Hulu has secured a new series just days after announcing its intent to release a joint subscription service with Spotify at $12.99 a month, a currently untitled, multi-part documentary focused on Billy McFarland’s infamously mishandled Fyre Festival.

Expected to air in 2019, the docuseries is in developmental stages, overseen by Billboard, Mic, and leading producer, The Cinemart. The Cinemart is memorable for its work on Jay-Z’s TV miniseries, Time: The Kalief Browder Story, and continues to collaborate with the rapper on Paramount Network’s six-part documentary series, Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story.

The series will feature interviews from inside sources, including local Bahamians, the duped attendees who were stranded upon their arrival at the defunct festival, vendors, and investigators. The documentary will additionally offer viewers hours of “never-before-seen footage,” leaked documents, emails, and recordings.

H/T: Hollywood Reporter

Fyre Festival head Billy McFarland pleads guilty to fraud, faces 40 years in prison

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Billy McFarland

Billy McFarland‘s career appears to have officially gone up in flames, the Fyre Festival organizer pleading guilty to two counts of wire fraud on Tuesday, March 6.

McFarland had originally plead not guilty to charges of wire fraud and the admission of false statements to a bank in early October. The Fyre Festival spearhead was arrested back in June of 2017.

“As he admitted today, William McFarland tendered fake documents to induce investors and ticket vendors to put more than $26-million into his company and the disastrous Fyre Festival,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman in a statement following the entry of McFarland’s guilty pleas.

McFarland will now await his sentencing, which is slated to take place in July. Each of McFarland’s fraud charges bear a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, thus subjecting McFarland to a total possible sentencing of 40 years in prison.

H/T: Billboard

Fyre Festival founder pleads not guilty to fraud charges

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Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland has pleaded not guilty to charges of wire fraud and making false statements to a bank.

McFarland was arrested in June on two counts of wire fraud and two counts of making false statements to a bank after he reportedly defrauded investors in Fyre Media. McFarland allegedly presented fake documents to convince investors to contribute more than $3 million to his company and the Bahamian festival.

In addition to the criminal charges, a number of civil lawsuits have been filed against McFarland and the festival’s other co-founder, Ja Rule, who has not been criminally charged.

Attendees of the late April festival paid thousands of dollars for the luxury event and were promised the “unparalleled best in music, cuisine, design and hospitality on a private island in the Exumas.” When they arrived, however, they were met with the total chaos of a completely underprepared event.

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H/T: FACT Magazine

New details of Fyre Fest founder’s financial mismanagement arise

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Just when it seemed that Billy McFarland’s failed Fyre Festival was finally extinguished — McFarland was charged with fraud — and required to place the LLC under involuntary bankruptcy, the organization of yet another McFarland enterprise has come into question.

Seemingly the next McFarland-run company set to smolder is Magnises, a “members-only concierge service.” Founded prior to Fyre Festival LLC, Magnises marketed discounted concerts and event tickets to its members, with the tickets offered purchased from third-party platforms like StubHub, and then sold to members at what is being called a “significant” loss. McFarland is said to have frequently advertised and sold tickets to events that he did not have tickets to, leading McFarland to either cancel the ticket orders made via Magnises, or to supply tickets acquired through a third-party distributor. McFarland frequently bought the tickets on the same day of the scheduled performance.

McFarland orchestrated the ticket purchase and resale system at Magnises via the use of a Fyre Media corporate credit card, charging more than $1 million in tickets in a four-month period. At least nine other employees had possession of a Fyre Media corporate card, including Ja Rule ad Grant Margolin, Fyre’s marketing director, but the only unrelated charges are those that appear on McFarland’s card. The overlap in credit use is problematic as each company, Magnises and Fyre Media, had different aims; Magnises emerged as a ticket distributing service, whereas Fyre Media was intended to be an app for people to book artists for private events. Charges to a Fyre Media credit card for Magnises activity represent those from an entirely different company.

The new financial developments will hinder McFarland’s case, as the company head will have to now answer to officials regarding the ticket scheme that served as the foundation for Magnises.

H/T: Complex

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Fyre Festival founder arrested for wire fraud

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Billy McFarland has become one of the most infamous names on 2017 entertainment headlines after botching Fyre Festival to almost comically epic proportions. It became evident very quickly how incompetent he’d been at budgeting and organizing festivals when guests who’d spent upwards of $12,000 arrived to find cafeteria food, barren disaster relief tents, and general chaos at the grounds.

Well-off and upset millennials immediately began piecing together class action lawsuits after the madness, however these lawsuits have now become the least of McFarland’s miseries as a brand new scandal has erupted.

The tech financier fell under arrest by federal agents on Friday, June 30 under one charge of wire fraud. According to prosecutors, he’d lied on important documents and inflated his company’s net worth in order to seduce investors. Communications between McFarland and two investor’s who’d poured around $1.2 million into Fyre Media LLC, the festival’s subsidiary company show repeated cases of incorrect information; one in particular showed McFarland claiming his company had earned millions the year before, when in reality it had only netted about $57,000.

McFarland’s arrest came after investigations by the FBI. He’s currently looking at 20 years in prison if found guilty. While Ja Rule has also been implicated in a number of complaints and cases files, he has yet to be arrested.

H/T: New York Times

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