Billy McFarland is now an author, wants to bring Fyre Festival back

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Billy McFarland is now an author, wants to bring Fyre Festival backCulture FyreFestival3

Billy McFarland is apparently spending his time behind bars writing a book about the Fyre Festival experience from his perspective, reports NY Mag. It’s also reported by Josh Raab, a freelance editor who briefly worked with McFarland on the memoir, that the working title—believe it or not—is Prometheus: The God of Fyre. The purpose of the book is to rebut the Netflix and Hulu documentaries which “misrepresented the real events,” according to a letter written by McFarland’s girlfriend Anastasia Eremenko to Raab.

McFarland is spending his six-year sentence hand-writing 800 pages of material, spanning the full outlining of his pseudo-career, from his first investment all the way through the now-infamous Fyre Festival disaster.

Furthermore, it has been noted that the former CEO ad architect of the Fyre fiasco hopes this book will pave the road to a comeback story similar to Jordan Belfort’s who inspired The Wolf of Wall Street. He wrote to Raab, “The Festival will not be a one and done event — it’s happening again.”

H/t: Fader

Official Fyre Festival merch to be auctioned by federal government, funds to benefit McFarland scam victims

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Official Fyre Festival merch to be auctioned by federal government, funds to benefit McFarland scam victimsFyre Festival Founder Sentenced Si Years Prison

The Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office will soon begin to auction off Fyre Festival merchandise, in an effort to repay the fraud victims who’ve yet to receive compensation. The premise of the auction’s potential for commercial success lies in the infamy of Fyre Festival—widespread knowledge of the music festival fraud scandal will likely cause the official merchandise recouped by the federal government to become highly coveted collector’s items.

“We have an assortment of the ‘real thing’ Fyre Festival-branded tee-shirts, sweatpants, sweatshirts, hats, wristbands, and medallions,” a spokesman from the United States Marshals Service’s (USMS) Manhattan office told Vulture. “We know that there is tremendous interest in these items in the metro area in particular.”

The USMS will facilitate the auction online, and will distribute the funds generated through merchandise sales to verified ticket purchasers and investors. The profits, however, will not cover Billy McFarland‘s debt in its totality. McFarland famously cheated investors out of approximately $24 million, and a ticket vendor out of about $2 million.

McFarland’s financial victims will receive a percentage of the clothing sales, “based on their respective losses,” prosecutors said. “Our objective always is to get the funds back to the victims as fast as we can in cases where there are victims,” USMS Marshals added.

The USMS will announce a formal date for the online auction at a later time.

H/T: Vulture

The Chainsmokers wanted to headline Fyre Festival

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The Chainsmokers wanted to headline Fyre FestivalThe Chainsmokers Credit Rukes

The “most iconic festival that never was,” in Ja Rule’s own words, Fyre Festival promised attendees a luxuriant escape from their daily routines. The exclusive event famously devolved, to stray quite far from Billy McFarland‘s vision of a chic, boutique festival rife with VIP guests. The catastrophic conditions that ticket holders faced illustrated a stark difference between the white sand of the private island beach that was to be Fyre Festival’s setting, and the grim, resource-lacking atmosphere that attendees instead occupied. Fyre Festival’s marketing campaigns foregrounded the lithe figures of some of the modeling industry’s most iconic, like Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski. Cerulean waters and shots of other tropical scenery collectively comprised an alluring natural backdrop that beckoned music lovers to travel to the Bahamian island of Grand Exuma, for the festival’s inaugural installment.

Although the expectations for the festival now famously contrast the disastrous reality that ensued, even The Chainsmokers couldn’t deny the influential character of Fyre Festival’s marketing. The DJ duo admitted that they lusted over a headlining slot at the event, following McFarland’s promotion of the multi-weekend affair. “I definitely sent a message to our manager, our agent when this started rolling, before things went south, and was like ‘what’s the deal? Are we going to get an offer for this festival?’” Alex Pall said during a recent interview with radio host, Smallzy. “Bella Hadid is there, and it looks like she’s going to be your best friend if you just buy a ticket,” Pall added.

Drew Taggart chimed in, to acknowledge the persuasive nature of Fyre Festival’s promotional campaign, while comically underscoring the festival’s chief shortcoming: the failure to produce the event as advertised. “They killed it on the marketing… all they had to do was put on a festival!” Drew Taggart said. While The Chainsmokers weren’t tapped to play Fyre Festival, hindsight is 20/20, and clearly portrays the lack of an offer as a particularly fortuitous turn for the “Closer” hit-makers. The Chainsmokers are slated to appear at KAABOO Festival in the Cayman Islands, which is, as Taggart puts it, “what Fyre Festival was trying to do.” Seems like it all worked out.

Photo credit: Rukes

Fyre Festival’s Andy King pleaded to have his Evian water story cut from film

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Fyre Festival’s Andy King pleaded to have his Evian water story cut from filmAndy King

Andy King undoubtedly made one of the most impactful impressions on viewers of those featured in the Netflix-produced Fyre Festival documentary, released January 2019. For readers who don’t recognize the name, they may recognize the face due to the now-ubiquitous memes, fashioned in his image, encircling the internet:

During the documentary, King recounts an experience trying to secure a large shipment of Evian water to the island of Exuma for the festival. According to King, festival organizer Billy McFarland had asked him to perform oral sex on a customs official, as the pending import was the only water source for soon-arriving attendees. In a recent interview with TMZ, the event producer admitted that he initially “begged” to have his interview removed from the film:

I went to [the producers] and said ‘Listen, I just talked with my lawyers and some of my creative team and they said, ‘Andy, you’ve got to pull that thing. That cannot go in this documentary.’ And when I sat with the director, he said ‘Andy, you don’t understand, without that scene, there isn’t a documentary…’ And that is an integral part, as you know, of the documentary itself.

It seems the director had just cause for denying King’s plea, as King continued that the scene has ultimately boosted his career in more ways than one:

I probably wouldn’t be where I am today if it had been taken out…how have I’ve become this social media hero over a situation like that, I’m in total shock.

King proceeds that he’s since received various opportunities to do TV, film cameos, and “three offers in the past two weeks to do music festivals.” And rightfully so. If anyone deserves a little karmic justice from the entire Fyre ordeal, it’s King.

Andy King of Fyre Festival elicits multiple TV offers following Netflix’s ‘Fyre’ documentary

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Andy King of Fyre Festival elicits multiple TV offers following Netflix’s ‘Fyre’ documentaryAndy King

Andy King’s ears have been burning with delight. Event-producer-turned-meme-sensation, King has ascended to internet phenomenon status following his cameo on Fyre, Netflix‘s wildly popular documentary on the boutique festival that never was.

Viewers of the Netflix original will recall King as the interviewee who recounted a now-infamous phone call with Fyre Festival founder, Billy McFarland, who in short asked King to trade sexual favors to ensure the delivery of the event’s store of Evian water, after Bahamian customs detained Fyre Festival’s supply, demanding that staff pay a total of $175,000 in fees in exchange for the water.

Much like a phoenix, King is poised to soon rise from the ashes of the failed Fyre Festival. Vanity Fair reported that King has received a number of attractive offers following his famed documentary role. Three water companies, and three TV networks  have reportedly approached King.

“I can’t talk about it too much, but they’re essentially like, ‘Listen, we’re working on a new ad campaign,’” King said of the water companies’ promotional advances. “I had three TV show offers this week, from notable networks… Let’s just say it’s going to be a show about hosting crazy events, what it takes to make them happen. There will be cliffhangers, and you’ll get to follow me around and see how I pull them off.”

King is adamant that he isn’t interested in using his newfound fame to push a line of products stamped with his surname. Safe to say, King isn’t parched when it comes to promotional prospects.

“You’re not going to see me launch a handbag line or makeup,” King said. “I think I’m being given a platform that a lot of people, at age 58 especially, don’t get the opportunity to have. And I’m kind of excited about it.”

H/T: Vanity Fair

Fyre Festival models facing subpoenas over promotional payments

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Fyre Festival models facing subpoenas over promotional paymentsModels Fyre Festival

Fyre Festival had positioned itself in 2017 to be the world’s top luxury festival experience, capitalizing on promotion from globally revered models and eye-catching locations to draw millions of dollars in ticket sales. However, Fyre’s grisly end yielded a new reputation as something of an anti-festival, ending in open-and-shut catastrophe and, ultimately, cancellation. Recently released documentaries from Netflix and Hulu catapulted the failed festival back into public discussion and solidified its status as something of an organizer’s guide on how not to throw a festival.

Now, the modeling agencies representing Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, and Hailey Bieber (formerly Hailey Baldwin)—the stars of the notorious Fyre Festival promotional video—have been purportedly subpoenaed to reveal details surrounding the payments they received from Fyre Media and convicted festival organizer, Billy McFarland.

Among the subpoenaed models is also Kendall Jenner, whom fire paid $250,000 to make a single Instagram post about the festival. Jenner, having hinted that members of G.O.O.D. Music would be performing at the festival, has since removed all related posts on the topic; the main point of contention here being that Jenner never indicated that she was being paid to promote the festival.

With, Gregory Messer, the trustee handling Fyre’s bankruptcy proceedings looking for more insights on the festival’s failure and McFarland’s shoddy planning, more subpoenas and legal orders are likely in store. In addition to the models, Messer plans to subpoena multiple talent agencies, including Paradigm and Jerry Media.

This story is still developing. 

H/T: Billboard

Netflix releases official trailer for forthcoming FYRE Festival documentary

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Netflix releases official trailer for forthcoming FYRE Festival documentaryFyre Festival Billy Mcfarland

The lamentable story of Fyre Festival will live on, thanks to a new Netflix documentary that weaves a narrative of the entire abysmal string of events leading up to the disaster of a music festival.

For anyone looking for a tutorial on how not to organize a music festival, Ja Rule and Billy McFarland are the ideal instructors. The failed and now infamous “festival” ended in thousands of people stranded on an island in The Bahamas. As a result, McFarland will be facing up to six years in prison and owes more than $25 million in damages.

According to Netflix, the documentary will be told by the organizers themselves. The two-minute trailer showcases the mass panic of the workers as they attempted to prepare for the incoming fans, knowing that the conditions were not suitable to host them. It also displays behind the scenes moments with both McFarland as he conned investors to come on board, even though the execution of the festival was becoming increasingly unlikely.

The documentary will be titled FYRE: The Greatest Party that Never Happened and is set to be released on Netflix January 18.

Photo credit: Mark Lennihan/AP

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