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.”
Fyre Festival‘s bankruptcy trustee, Gregory Messer, is working toward subpoenas for both Netflix and Hulu after both their respective documentaries were revealed to have mysterious exclusive footage. Reports had already been circling around that both streaming platforms had spent large sums in order to use this footage. According to bankruptcy law, if they payments had been made to the brand as the case had been unfolding, the funds would need to be used to pay off confirmed creditors on the plan. Tracking where the funds were wired to is proving a difficult task at the moment, as is confirming for sure whether or not the footage is a concrete asset of Fyre Festival LLC.
“Due to a lack of information, it is impossible for the Trustee to determine where the footage came from and whether such footage was an asset of the Debtor’s estate,” stated Messer when submitting his paperwork to the bankruptcy judge. Netflix and Hulu have yet to make an official statement on the legal matter.
The line between ambitious and foolish is a fine one, but trust Ja Rule—once credible 2000’s rapper turned “bamboozled” event producer —to walk it. That’s because today the embattled rhymer and fellow former Fyre Festival executive, Andy King, unveiled plans to produce, “the greatest festival that never was,” but for real this time—Fyre Festival 2.0. That’s right, while Billy McFarland, the nucleus behind the most monumental fail in the internet’s still-infant influencer age, languishes in federal prison for the grand-scale finagling he tried to pull off in 2017, his former business partners are hoping to build a real luxury festival experience from the ashes of the first Fyre.
The second, or, rather first real iteration of Fyre Festival, will take place this summer on the Caribbean Isle of Tortuga, once the boisterous pirate blow that was used to be a frequent stop for the likes of Captain Jack Sparrow and other infamous sailors. Fyre Festival 2.0’s talent roster for this year’s event features Steve Aoki, David Guetta, Hardwell, Paris Hilton (DJ set), and Paul Oakenfold drunkenly reading nursery rhymes over a microphone.
“We’re thrilled to actually be making Fyre Festival a reality. Without having to blow anyone, we were able to produce a festival this time around that actually brings a lot more than just American cheese on white bread. This festival is going to be bananas, ya heard.”
Look out for more details on tickets, VIP packages, and cabana bundles as they become available. See the full lineup for Fyre Festival 2.0 here.
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.
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.
While Billy is away however, Ja is apparently hard at work with his own new venture, ICONN. Similar to the Fyre app, ICONN aims to connect people with high profile talent like Cardi B and Snoop Dogg for private event bookings. When recently questioned in an airport, the rapper recently told TMZ,
“In the midst of chaos is opportunity. I’m working on a lot of new things.” [Fyre] is most iconic festival that never was. I have plans to create the iconic music festival, but you didn’t hear it from me.”
“Iconic” is an interesting choice of words here. Sounds like some second rate marketing campaign for Ja’s ICONN platform is already in the works.
“This seems like a good time to mention the movie we are making with @thelonelyisland about a music festival that goes HORRIBLY WRONG,” tweeted Seth Rogen shortly after the Fyre chaos unfolded across social media. Nearly two years later, The Lonely Island‘s Jorma Taccone confirmed in an interview with The Daily Beast that the film is still being made, and will officially center around the failed festival. The project will likely take on the satirical angle taken in Popstar: Never Stop Stopping.
“I don’t want to divulge all the details but we’re figuring it out right now. You’ve seen the docs, right? It’s crazy. This is something that Akiva and Seth cooked up, and we’re figuring it all out right now,” divulged Taccone, who’s seen the Netflix documentary three times according to The Daily Beast. Surely, their take on the Fyre disaster is sure to be a hit.
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.”
Remember how Fyre Festival took on a life of its own in 2017 thanks to the help of social media influencers and the vague, yet desirable promise to have a party of the ages on a secluded island? If not, both Netflix and Hulu have got this topic covered in their respective documentaries. Or, something even more immersive awaits in Detroit: an actual LARP (Live Action Role Play), where guests can recreate the disaster in-person.
The event will be held at what organizer Michelle Birawer and her friends call, “the party island of Hamtramck,” which is actually a landlocked area of the city—much like Fyre attendees believed they were going to party on Pablo Escobar’s old island, but really ended up in a resort parking lot in Exhuma. It was originally planned to be held in the Belle Isle on the Detroit river, but city officials quickly banned it after curious fans began calling in to inquire about the event.
Fyre’s Detroit LARP has a funny backstory; it began as a joke event on Facebook, and like the festival itself, ended up becoming its own viral creature. Birawer promises to provide a historically accurate experience for participants, down to the sad cheese sandwiches from the original fest, shabby tents, and even gifting a few lucky guests with “influencer cards.”
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.