Fyre Festival organizer sentenced to 6 years on fraud charges

William McFarland, Billy McFarland
Billy McFarland, the promoter of the failed Fyre Festival in the Bahamas, leaves federal court after pleading guilty to wire fraud charges on March 6, 2018, in New York. Copyright Mark Lennihan AP file
Copyright Mark Lennihan AP file
By Doha Madani and Matthew Johnson with NBC News U.S. News
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

McFarland pleaded guilty in July to wire fraud charges related to his failed April 2017 music festival in the Bahamas.


The organizer of a failed Caribbean music festival was sentenced Thursday to six years in prison after being convicted of fraud.

Billy McFarland, 26 was taken into custody following the sentencing for his role in the Fyre Festival, a music concert that was supposed to place in the Bahamas in April 2017. People paid thousands of dollars for tickets and accommodations to what was supposed to be a luxury musical festival in the Caribbean, but upon arrival were met with FEMA tents and cheese sandwiches and no concert.

Celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid endorsed the event on their social media pages. Fyre Festival cost investors, which includes rapper Ja Rule, $26 million.

Pop Culture

McFarland pleaded guilty in July to wire fraud charges relating to the festival and later pleaded guilty to various fraud charges stemming a separate ticket selling scam. McFarland was able to make $150,000 in phony ticket sales to fashion, music, and sporting events according to Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman.

"These customers later learned that the tickets didn't exist, and that this was just another fraud in McFarland's disturbing pattern of deception," Berman said ina statement in July. "McFarland's fraudulent schemes cost real people real money, and now he faces real time in federal prison for his crimes."

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Fool me once... Fyre Festival is back, baby

Latest news bulletin | April 23rd – Evening

Latest news bulletin | April 23rd – Midday