by Loren Hayes
“Biggest event in the decade,” or that’s what people were led to believe. From models in the Bahamas, to many promises they couldn’t fulfill, the Fyre Music Festival was a scam and made people spend thousands of dollars for nothing. Billy Mcfarland, 26-year-old Entrepreneur, and the mind behind the festival, recently got arrested for a fraud charge in New York. Billy was a young businessman and a persuasive talker; so persuasive that he was willing to twist the truth when funding the Fyre Festival.
People couldn’t differentiate what was true and what wasn’t when buying tickets for this event. The festival was supposedly taking place on Pablo Escobar’s remote island, Normans Key. The Fyre company put down $1 Million to rent the majority of the island, Billy ran into problems with Pablo Escobar’s lawyer. Normans Key is rich in history, and the company was informed to not advertise using Pablo Escobar’s name. When marketing for the event, the Fyre company’s first video promotion and tweet broke the contract, forcing them to change locations for the event. The company moved to a construction sight and didn’t inform the public, but simply tried to cover it up. These were only a few of the problems involving planning for the event.
Billy’s main focus was on the influencers he used to advertise the Fyre Festival instead of the actual event. He paid influencers such as Kylie Jenner $250,000 dollars to promote weeks before the event, and also promised 200 people a free luxury bungalow to stay at the festival. These were never even constructed. He was running out of time, and when he would run out of money, he would advertise more promises he couldn’t fulfill. As the opening inched closer, Mcfarland would fly to New York in hopes to get investors for the festival by telling them lies about what artists they booked. The company was trying to work out money problems days before the opening, and eventually, Billy ran out of time.
Now Billy Mcfarland is in jail. This story was one of the more extreme cases of fraud. For more information you can watch the Fyre Festival documentary on Netflix where it tells the full story and gives details on the conspiracies that took place during the planning of this huge event that turned out to be a disaster.