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Fyre Fest II is ‘finally happening,’ says Billy McFarland a year after his prison release

FILE - Billy McFarland attends Magnises and Emir Bahadir's The White Party on March 2, 2014, in New York City. McFarland announced on April 9, 2023, that Fyre Festival II is currently in the works. Getty Images

It’s the sequel no one asked for: Fyre Festival II.

Billy McFarland, the fraudster creator of the infamous failed Fyre Festival, is once again viral — this time for claims that a second Fyre Festival is currently in the works.

“Fyre Festival II is finally happening,” McFarland wrote in a tweet on Sunday. “Tell me why you should be invited.”

https://twitter.com/pyrtbilly/status/1645215767552729088

McFarland, who was jailed after he pleaded guilty in 2018 to defrauding about 80 festival investors, did not provide additional information.

Despite McFarland’s callout, which has been viewed 2.3 million times, social media users aren’t clamouring to be added to a guest list. Most replied to McFarland’s tweets with memes and skepticism, referencing the original festival’s lack of food and water and poor conditions.

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“Tell me why you shouldn’t be in jail,” one user replied.

McFarland was released from prison in March 2022 after serving nearly four years of his six-year sentence.

“It’s in the best interest of those I owe for me to be working,” he wrote. “People aren’t getting paid back if i [sic] sit on the couch and watch tv.
“And because i [sic] served my time.”

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“I’ll show up with 100 crates full of bananas,” another Twitter user replied. “No one will go hungry this time around.”

McFarland jokingly replied that he was “looping in” Andy King, a former Fyre Festival producer. King became a meme when he appeared in the Netflix documentary Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened and said he had been willing to provide oral sex in exchange for water after customs seized Evian reserves en route to Fyre Festival in the Bahamas.

King even tweeted about Fyre Festival II himself, writing, “FYRE Festival 2.0. Who’s in?? Let’s go.”

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It is not yet clear if King is involved in the Fyre Festival resurgence.

Chris Bakke, founder of the tech firm Laskie, tweeted a screenshot of a direct message allegedly from McFarland.

“Want to come to Fyre Fest II?” McFarland wrote to Bakke. “I mean sh—posters are the new supermodels. Want to join?”

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McFarland replied to Bakke’s tweet, writing, “Going to crush the island version first, but @elonmusk Fyre 3 definitely needs to be in space.”

The first time around, the only thing Fyre Festival crushed was people’s spirits.

Originally marketed as a two-weekend-long, luxury music festival on the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas, Fyre Festival and McFarland were outed as frauds when festivalgoers were met with less than suitable conditions in 2017.

Click to play video: 'Fyre Festival descends into chaos, frustration, leaving rich festival-goers angry'
Fyre Festival descends into chaos, frustration, leaving rich festival-goers angry

The 5,000 ticketholders were told all of the festival’s headlining musicians had already pulled out of the lineup. The gourmet food they’d been promised turned into below-subpar cheese sandwiches and the luxury accommodation was revealed to be FEMA disaster tents.

The festival was co-founded and marketed by rapper Ja Rule, who had influencers like Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski and Hailey Bieber promote the event. (Ja Rule later said he was also scammed by McFarland and was subsequently dismissed from a US$100-million class-action lawsuit.)

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As part of his 2018 prison sentence, McFarland was ordered to pay back the US$26 million he’d defrauded from investors.

In March, McFarland tweeted about his plan to return the money.

“Here’s how I’m going to pay it back: I spend half my time filming TV shows. The other half, I focus on what I’m really, really good at,” he wrote. “I’m the best at coming up with wild creative, getting talent together, and delivering the moment.”

He attached his phone number and encouraged people to text him.

https://twitter.com/pyrtbilly/status/1640047268567941124

Since his prison release, McFarland has started a new Bahamas-based business, PYRT, pronounced “pirate.” In a November 2022 appearance on the Full Send podcast, McFarland said the company is “going to be a small, permanent hotel in the Bahamas for artists and entrepreneurs to come and partake in these crazy adventures.” One such crazy adventure is apparently a treasure hunt in which participants search for one of 99 bottles containing a secret message.

In the same podcast appearance, McFarland also pitched a PYRT festival.

“So, I have to do a PYRT fest, right? It can’t be tomorrow, it can’t be in four months, but there’s going to be PYRT fest,” he said.

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