You know how the old saying goes: fool a man once, shame on you. But fool a man twice, well, then you just might be Billy McFarland.
In an incredible (but ultimately unsurprising) turn of events, Billy McFarland, the convicted fraudster behind the biggest music festival scam of all time, Fyre Festival, is now selling tickets for Fyre Festival 2. Yes, you read that correctly. After the tremendous failure of his first event and spending four years in prison for defrauding investors and duping attendees, McFarland still hasn’t given up on his Fyre Festival dream.
When it comes to narcissistic personality types like McFarland, the fact that he’s trying again feels par for the course. Plus, he’d been on an unhinged tweeting spree about how he was going to do just that for months now — it was just a matter of whether he was actually serious (he was). But what’s actually surprising is McFarland’s latest update and claim, which is that the first tier of tickets, The First 100 (Tickets 1-100), going for $499, already sold out. To which we ask: who, and why?!
In case you’re in need of a refresher, the original Fyre Fest was a complete shitshow, a touted luxury multi-day festival on a private island that ended up chartering its (frankly privileged) attendees to a remote parking lot on the Bahamian island of Great Exuma, filled with run-down tents, general chaos, mismanagement, and very sad-looking cheese sandwiches. Big-shot acts like Blink-182 pulled out, and local workers were never paid. Eventually, after attendees were flown back to Miami and the festival “postponed,” McFarland and co-organizer Ja Rule were sued out the wazoo with class action lawsuits — and we were left with at least two documentary reminders of why this should never happen again.
Except now it is. And if the first go-round there was slight concern about the quality of product being sold, now, there doesn’t even seem to be a product. In the only “official” video posted to the Fyre Festival 2 website, McFarland is speaking in iPhone selfie orientation about the upcoming event, plans for which came out of his seven-month stint during solitary confinement (a red flag, if any). “I wrote out this 50-page plan of how I would take this overall interest in Fyre, and how it would take my ability to bring people from around the world together to make the impossible happen. But how I would find the best partners in the world to allow me to be me while executing Fyre’s vision to the highest level,” he says, somewhat confusingly.
In the perplexing one-minute video, there’s mention of a Fyre Festival documentary (After The Fyre, which was officially announced back in November 2022, but still doesn’t have a release date), as well as a Fyre Festival Broadway musical, but no real details about the actual Fyre Festival event. There’s promise of pop-up events, and a projected launch date of late 2024, but that’s it. No line-up teasers, no details about location (outside of the vague “the Caribbean”), and no actual mention of real-life, specific sponsors or investors who will make it all happen.
But, of course, that’s ultimately what Fyre Festival 2 is — another scam, but one that’s being pulled right in the open, and to willing participants. A multi-phase “event” that isn’t actually a real event, but a concept for people with expendable income to throw money at because it’s funny to be involved in another thing called Fyre Festival. The question is: how expensive will this joke run? All the way up to Fyre Festival 2’s last ticket tier of $7,999? If you ask us, maybe save your cash and skip this one.