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The Guy Who Organized The Fyre Festival Is Facing 40 Years In Prison After Pleading Guilty To Fraud

WSJ - The 26-year-old entrepreneur who created Fyre Festival admitted in court Tuesday that he defrauded investors in his high-end music festival in the Bahamas, a much-hyped event that ended in a public collapse.

William “Billy” McFarland pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to two counts of wire fraud. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Fyre Festival had been scheduled to take place last spring, with tickets costing up to $250,000 a person for one weekend. Thousands were expected to attend, and the event was marketed to millennials on social media as “the cultural experience of the decade.” Instead, concertgoers arrived to a logistical meltdown, resulting in the festival’s abrupt cancellation.

In raising money for Fyre Festival, Mr. McFarland caused at least 80 investors and a ticket vendor to lose a total of more than $26 million, the government said.

Mr. McFarland accepted full responsibility, apologizing to his investors and family. After his guilty plea, Mr. McFarland hugged his parents in the courtroom audience, as his mother wiped away tears.



Does this look like the face of a guy who could face up to 40 years in prison for defrauding 80 investors out of 10’s of millions of dollars?

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Them’s the breaks, I suppose.  All he wanted to do was set up a music festival that changed the world, inspired a generation, and left it’s mark on popular culture for years on end….and that’s exactly what he did. Fyre Festival was an unmitigated disaster that they went through with because they just wanted “to be legends, man”. And that’s exactly what they became, but maybe not for the reasons originally intended. This is what was promised:

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And this is what they got:

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And of course, the greatest meal of all time of all time of alllllll time:

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Honestly, I feel this guy is almost too important to pop culture to be locked away for a long time. It’s not like he killed someone, quite the opposite, he got a bunch of entitled, self-important millennials to pay thousands of dollars to sleep on FEMA mattresses and not be able to take the perfect selfie. That sort of irony has to be worth something in the court of law. Maybe Frank Abagnale him and make him work festival security for the next 10 years, making him be the dickhead who confiscates pot and water bottles of vodka from 19 year olds. Make him be the person he never wanted to be. And like, 5 years in jail too. That seems fair.