Earlier this week (October 20) the founder and promoter of Fyre Festival, Billy McFarland, launched a podcast recorded entirely from prison, where he’s serving six years for fraud connected to the notorious luxury event. Now, he’s been placed in solitary confinement, apparently due to his role in the podcast.
Titled Dumpster Fyre, the podcast was meant to clear the air about what happened behind the scenes leading up to the festival’s complete collapse in 2017, when guests arrived to find out they’d paid $12,000 to stay in half-built tents, fight over mattresses, and eat some pretty grim cheese sandwiches. In a clip shared to Instagram by McFarland’s team, he appears to confess his guilt, saying: “I lied to people. I lied to investors, I lied to sponsors.” (Conveniently, all proceeds from the podcast will go towards paying back the $26 million he owes in restitution.)
However, it seems that Dumpster Fyre also landed him in solitary confinement almost immediately after the launch, where he may remain for 90 days or more, pending an investigation by the federal Bureau of Prisons.
“We believe the investigation stems from his participation in the podcast and the photographs that were taken and utilized in the trailer, which were all properly taken,” McFarland’s lawyer, Jason Russo, tells the New York Times. “We don’t believe he’s violated any rule or regulation, and there can’t possibly be anything else. He’s been a model prisoner there.”
Russo adds that all inmates are allowed access to the phones that McFarland used to record the podcast in 15-minute segments, and that calls are recorded and screened by the prison. “They absolutely should have already known” about the podcast, Russo explains.
Described as a “serial fraudster” for his involvement in multiple scams – including after he was released on bail for his involvement in Fyre Fest – Billy McFarland is currently scheduled to be released from prison on August 30, 2023.