Fyre Festival: the event that went up in figurative flames

Fyre+Festival+FEMA+tents%0APhoto+credit%3A+www.twitter.com%2Fclotureclub+
Back to Article
Back to Article

Fyre Festival: the event that went up in figurative flames

Fyre Festival FEMA tents
Photo credit: www.twitter.com/clotureclub

Fyre Festival FEMA tents Photo credit: www.twitter.com/clotureclub

Fyre Festival FEMA tents Photo credit: www.twitter.com/clotureclub

Fyre Festival FEMA tents Photo credit: www.twitter.com/clotureclub

Hana Woodward, Social Media Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






In a timespan of only six months Billy McFarland attempted to create Fyre Festival, a luxury music festival on an island previously owned by Pablo Escobar, that turned out to be the disaster of 2017. What was supposed to be a dream vacation in the Bahamas turned into hundreds of people stuck on an island with no plan set to get them home. As problems continued to arise, the employees of Fyre kept trying to find solutions. One problem that couldn’t have been fixed was the vicious rainstorm the opening day of the event. Two documentaries aired on competing streaming sites in January that reminded everyone about the fraud.

McFarland wanted Fyre Festival to be an an epic experience people talked about for years. Instead, it turned out to be a viral nightmare that people will be talking about for years to come.

The documentaries both showed what really happened with the Fyre Festival but from different perspectives. Hulu’s “Fyre Fraud” had footage of an interview with McFarland and focused more on an in-depth background of the scams he created. Netflix’s “Fyre” showed more of McFarland’s employees and the planning aspects. Hulu surprised their users with their documentary four days before Netflix’s was planned to air. The main topic that was agreed upon in both documentaries was that McFarland is a compulsive liar and a scammer.

In the “Fyre Fraud” version, McFarland talked about how he founded the festival. Halfway through, the energy shifted when McFarland said he couldn’t comment on the interviewers’ questions. The documentary ended with fact-checking all the lies McFarland told throughout the interview.

In “Fyre,” Samuel Krost said $38 million was spent trying to create this event. To ensure the festival plans continued McFarland started to create wire frauds so investors wouldn’t pull out. Even a few days leading up to the festival when it wasn’t close to being finished, McFarland was in too deep and owed people too much money to pull the plug.  McFarland defrauded the investors to invest $27.4 million, when the company actually wasn’t making any money. A couple weeks before he had ticket holders put money on cashless wristbands to use while at Fyre Festival. That plan raised $2 million.

When the attendees arrived for the festival, they were rerouted to a restaurant on the other side of the island to buy more time for the employees setting up. In the “Fyre Fraud” documentary we learn that instead of the immersive music festival that ticket holders were promised, they were greeted with wet FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) tents and chaos. Hundreds of indistinguishable black luggage bags were thrown out of giant shipping containers in the dark.

On Oct. 11 of 2018, Billy McFarland was sentenced to six years in prison for money laundering, wire fraud, identity theft, witness intimidation and obstruction of justice according to “Fyre.” He also agreed to a lifetime ban on serving as a corporate officer or director.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Hana Woodward, Social Media Editor

Hana is on her first year as a staff writer for the Mesa Press. She's a Journalism major from Arizona. She has lived in California for six years with no...

Navigate Left
  • Fyre Festival: the event that went up in figurative flames

    Crime

    I Smell Gunpowder: Shooting at Asian Bistro (First Hand Account)

  • Fyre Festival: the event that went up in figurative flames

    Sports

    Mesa Baseball wins one, loses one

  • Fyre Festival: the event that went up in figurative flames

    Crime

    Paintball Poser

  • Fyre Festival: the event that went up in figurative flames

    News

    Financial Literacy talks budgeting during the holidays

  • Fyre Festival: the event that went up in figurative flames

    Culture

    #MeToo Brings Justice to Survivors

  • Fyre Festival: the event that went up in figurative flames

    News

    Mesa College Targeted by Signature Gatherers

  • Fyre Festival: the event that went up in figurative flames

    climate

    California continues to burn while nearing end of the year

  • Fyre Festival: the event that went up in figurative flames

    Culture

    Mesa offers assistance for students in need

  • Fyre Festival: the event that went up in figurative flames

    News

    Wildfires leave Northern California Communities in Ruins

  • Fyre Festival: the event that went up in figurative flames

    News

    St. Louis up in Arms

Navigate Right
Fyre Festival: the event that went up in figurative flames