Federal agents have arrested Billy McFarland after the infamous Fyre Festival proved to be disastrous.
About two months ago, cofounders Billy McFarland and Jeffrey Atkins (Ja Rule) organized a music festival that was promoted to be transformative and life changing to all who attended. Not only would ticket holders get top notch living arrangements, food, and music, they would also be able to enjoy all those things on a secluded island in the Bahamas. Unfortunately, after the festival’s promises didn’t align with its glamorous promo videos and ticket prices (which ranged between $5,000 and $250,000), many people were forced to leave early.
To provide background info, the festival took place at the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas and was promised to be a fun and luxurious, music-fraught getaway. Upon their arrival at the festival’s designation, many ticket holders discovered otherwise. Many of the living quarters weren’t finished, instead of luxurious living arrangements there were disaster relief tents, and the island was allegedly fraught with feral dogs.
Concertgoers were additionally promised catered dinner by Steven Starr, the owner of STARR Restaurants, but received meals far from the marketed caliber of food. McFarland and Ja Rule both face multiple lawsuits after what they intended to be successful was characterized as a “scam” by many. While Ja Rule currently only faces lawsuits, McFarland faces both federal charges and lawsuits.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon Kim recently stated that along with misrepresenting the festival’s true value “McFarland allegedly presented fake documents to induce investors to put over a million dollars into his company and the fiasco called the Fyre Festival.” One of the documents allegedly claimed that Fyre Media earned millions in revenue in 2016 and 2017, when the company’s actual revenue was nearly $60,000.
McFarland is also believed to have falsified other financial statements in order to persuade investors to invest roughly $1.2 million into the festival. According to the Associated Press, he’s scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate judge Saturday.