Yesterday, notorious entrepreneur Billy McFarland tweeted saying, “Fyre Festival II is finally happening. Tell me why you should be invited.”
This news is coming as a shock to everyone, considering how big of a flop Fyre Festival was in 2017. The festival gained a lot of notoriety as being a total scam; the festival was advertised as a luxury music festival on an island in the Bahamas that was formerly owned by Pablo Escobar. The festival had a lot of excitement leading up to it including promotions from A-list celebrities and promises of popular artists.
Ultimately, Fyre Fest was an incredible flop, having problems with just about everything from security to food accommodations. Attendees who paid a pretty penny for their tickets arrived at a beach full of refugee tents set up, minimal security, and less-than-nutritious cheese sandwiches ready for them. This scandal made so much noise that both streaming services Hulu and Netflix produced documentaries about the failure festival.
McFarland managed to pitch the event plan well enough to get millions of dollars from investors, “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.” After the whole event imploded, McFarland pled guilty to two counts of wire fraud and was ultimately sentenced to 6 years in prison. His sentencing occurred in 2018, but he was released early in March of 2022 and ordered to return the $26 million taken from investors.
McFarland admits that he “really should have canceled everything and stopped lying” about the original festival in 2017. In November he announced on TikTok his new venture PYRT. PYRT, pronounced “pirate,” is not a festival, event, or a metaverse. The endeavor is said to be a remote island party that brings people from all walks of life, influencers, celebrities, and members of the public alike, together via virtual reality technology. He claimed that the event will be in the Bahamas or a similar venue; however, the Deputy Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Chester Cooper, disagrees. Cooper released a statement in November after McFarland’s announcement that “The Government of The Bahamas will not endorse or approve any event in The Bahamas associated with him.”
There is no clearer news on exactly what this event will look like or where it will take place, but McFarland seems serious about doing things correctly this time around. His lawyer claimed in May that his new ventures are solely for the purpose of “paying back his victims.” With the first failure behind him, we’ll be waiting to see what evolves of his plans for a Fyre Festival II.