Billy McFarland says he wants Fyre Festival II to be his 'redemption'

Billy McFarland says he wants Fyre Festival II to be his 'redemption'

August 27, 2023

Billy McFarland says he wants Fyre Festival II to be his ‘redemption’ – as he brings back original organizer who went viral for oral sex offer to customs official

  • Pre-sale tickets for Fyre Festival 2 in December went on sale on Monday, and despite no lineup, all 100 of the $499 tickets had sold out within a day 
  • Organizer Billy McFarland was convicted of fraud in 2018 over the original disastrous festival, and released from prison in March 2022
  • McFarland said on Friday the new festival, to be held somewhere in the Caribbean, was ‘redemption’: Andy King confirmed he returns to assist

Disgraced Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland hopes a second version of his disastrous event will provide ‘redemption,’ as infamous party promoter Andy King confirms he’ll be joining the team.

McFarland was sentenced to six year in prison in 2018 for defrauding investors and ticket buyers, and spent almost four years behind bars.

King became a ‘celebrity’ thanks to a Netflix documentary about the fiasco, that saw him offer to perform oral sex on customs officials in the Bahamas if they would release from a warehouse the bottled water they so desperately needed for the attendees.

McFarland began selling tickets for Fyre Festival 2 on Monday, and despite the location only being given as ‘Caribbean’, and there being no artists confirmed to perform, all 100 initial tickets sold out, at $499 each.

McFarland on Friday said he hoped people would trust him enough to attend the rematch.

‘I really hope it’s all about redemption, the second chance,’ he told NewsNation.

Billy McFarland said on Friday he hoped the new Fyre Festival, set for December somewhere in the Caribbean, was ‘redemption’

McFarland said his four years in prison on fraud charges after the disastrous April 2017 event gave him time to think and learn from his mistakes

‘And I think like the way I view myself now is I’m flying a little airplane through a hurricane and people have a front row seat, and they’re not sure if I’m going to crash or I’m going to land. But either way, it’s going to be entertaining, and you’re going to meet really interesting people.

‘So if I could deliver on that, I think I add entertainment and value to people’s lives.’

McFarland, 31, said that his imprisonment had given him time to think about his mistakes.

‘So I spent 10 months total in solitary confinement in prison, and a lot of time to think about the harm caused to family, friends, people who really want to attend Fyre Festival 1,’ he said.

‘And I put together a plan to really rebuild trust. And I think the one thing I’m really grateful for is the fact that I’m 31. And I have 50 years ahead of me to not only work but to be there in the little moments for life. And to really just give back to those that let down before.’

He said that, this time around, he had assembled a professional team – and was not personally involved in the money side.

‘So the big difference this time is that we are working with a very large festival and logistics partner so I’m not touching the money,’ he said.

‘I’m not going to be the one booking the talent. I will talk my talk and social media and move tickets and let the pros make the secret experience.’

Andy King has confirmed that he is rejoining McFarland to promote the festival

Luxury accommodations turned out to be tents that looked like disaster relief shelters and barely kept out the bad weather that plagued guests

Guests of the festival were left without places to stay or put their luggage and when the festival was canceled on day one, they were stranded

The gourmet meal packages offered to guests of the festival, many of whom paid upwards of $1,000 for the retreat, were served barely passable school cafeteria food

McFarland was at the center of two different documentaries produced by Netflix and Hulu in 2019

King, who worked with McFarland on the original April 2017 festival, confirmed on Tuesday that he is part of the team.

‘I look forward to working with Billy and our partners to share Fyre with the world,’ he told The Los Angeles Times.

He also presented the new festival as redemption.

‘I’m so grateful to have support to help us execute the ultimate redemption,’ he said.

King, a formerly-respected New York-based event planner, collaborated with McFarland and rapper Ja Rule on the original festival.

When four trucks of Evian water were stuck in Bahamian customs, McFarland asked King, who he called ‘our wonderful gay leader’, to ‘take one big thing for the team’ and offer the customs official oral sex to ‘save the festival.’

King said in the documentary that he accepted the task, went home, washed his mouth with mouthwash and drove over to the official, and offered the sexual favor.

The official declined the advance and allowed the water bottles to go through by extending the payment period.

He was sentenced to six years in federal prison as a result of the botched Fyre Festival 

In 2019, King said he did not regret his actions.

‘At the end of the day, I demonstrated something which was: You know what? Sometimes you’ve gotta do whatever you’ve gotta do to get the job done.

‘Did I actually end up doing it? No. Would I have done it? Maybe,’ he told The LA Times.

‘And in today’s culture, it’s hard to find people that are gonna go that extra mile to get something done properly. I think that really resonated with so many people. Like, ‘Oh, my gosh, you need someone like Andy King on your team, because he’s gonna do whatever it takes to make your event successful.’

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