Fyre Festival Founder Billy McFarland Pleads Guilty, Faces 10 Years in Prison

Fyre Festival Founder Billy McFarland Pleads Guilty, Faces 10 Years in Prison

The 26-year-old founder of the ill-fated Bahamas festival pled guilty to two counts of wire fraud. 

By Jenny Berg

Just in case you missed the brouhaha surrounding 2017's ill-fated Fyre Festival, let us sum it up thusly: It was, in essence, one big dumpter fyre. To review, the Bahamas music festival, planned for last April, was touted in advance as a luxurious event filled with music, food, culture, and more. In the end, it was a complete disaster that had no security, little more in the way of food, and one canceled performance after the next. It even left ticket holders stranded on an island for a weekend, after the event was put on lock down. (And you thought that sunburn you got at Coachella was bad...) 

Ultimately, organizers called the whole thing a wash, stating on Instagram that flights to the fest's private Caribbean island would be canceled, and ticket holders — who had paid up to $12,000  head — would get a refund.

But, it wasn't long before ticket holders banded together for a class-action lawsuit. And it wasn't much longer before the FBI, too, began investigating just what went on at the infamous event. 

Now, the festival's co-founder Billy McFarland faces eight to10 years in prison. In a Manhattan federal court on March 6, the 26 year old admitted that he had falsified documents and defrauded 80 investors to help secure funds for the festival.

McFarland pled guilty to two counts of wire fraud, which could each carry a sentence of 20 years in prison. But, thanks to a plea deal, the disgraced event organizer will face a shorter sentence; he'll also have to pay a fine of up to $300,000. 

McFarland's sentencing is scheduled for June 21. 

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