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Fyre Festival organiser pleads guilty to fraud

Billy McFarland faces a decade in prison

Billy McFarland, the organiser of the disastrous Fyre Festival which stranded tons of rich kids on an island with bad cheese sandwiches, now faces wire-fraud charges for lying to investors and crafting false documents.

The 26-year-old has spoke in the Manhattan court of his regret, and apologised to “his team, family and supporters”. The result of the failed festival has led prosecutors to suggest an 8-10 year prison sentence.

The Bahamas-based festival sold tickets costing up to $12,780 for a luxury four-person package. Attendees where promised a mixture of culture, music, and art. The line-up included Migos, Skepta, Kaytranada and Blink-182. Paid promoters included a host of celebrities, including Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid, who faced huge amounts of backlash after encouraging their fans to spend thousands on the two day shitstorm.

McFarland explained that he planned to create a legitimate festival as a development on a web-based application that he started in 2016. The application was designed to help private individuals looking to book artists for concerts.

“I grossly underestimated the resources that would be necessary to hold an event of this magnitude,” he explained, as reported by the Guardian.

Images from the site last summer posted to social media showed scattered tents, pitiful meals and run-down toilets. Basically, Lord of the Flies-esque but with young American finance grads. The lawsuit filed in LA described it as “nothing more than a get-rich-quick scam”. 

McFarland also admitted to providing false information to the ticket vendor about the business’ finances, as well as forging documents to nab investors. For now, he has been granted bail and faces sentencing in June 2018.