Fyre Festival Founder Billy McFarland Is a Free Man—And Planning a Comeback

Infamous Fyre Festival founder and convicted felon Billy McFarland is out of prison after serving less than four years.

McFarland was released early on March 30th and then transferred to community confinement until August 2022, Deadline reports. And now that the disgraced festival organizer is free, he's planning a comeback and may even start a new company.

"I’d like to do something tech-based," McFarland told the New York Times. "The good thing with tech is that people are so forward-thinking, and they’re more apt at taking risk. If I worked in finance, I think it would be harder to get back. Tech is more open. And the way I failed is totally wrong, but in a certain sense, failure is OK in entrepreneurship."

"At the end of the day, I think I could probably create the most value by building some sort of tech product," he continued. "Whether that’s within a company or by starting my own company, I’m open to both. I’ll probably decide in the next couple of weeks which path to go do."

During his time in prison, McFarland said, he met "some really amazing people." He goes on to add that he's sorry for the decisions he made, which had an acute impact on so many lives. 

Scroll to ContinueRecommended ArticlesNEWSFyre Festival Founder Billy McFarland Is a Free Man—And Planning a Comeback

"I deserved my sentence. I let a lot of people down," said McFarland, who was released from prison after serving less than four years.

By Lennon CihakSep 15, 2022Lifestyle10 Breathtaking Outfits That Stole the Show at Burning Man 2022

Radical self-expression is paramount on the playa, and this year's Burners dressed to the nines.

By Carlie BelbinSep 15, 2022GEAR + TECHWatch This Guy Turn a Vintage Phone Into a MIDI Controller and Play Daft Punk's "Around The World"

The phone can be used as a MIDI controller and vocal synthesizer to breathe new life into old technology.

By Lennon CihakSep 15, 2022

"I deserved my sentence," McFarland said. "I let a lot of people down."

McFarland has a small amount of money in the bank and owes around $26 million in debts as part of his plea deal. He's also barred for life from serving as a director of a public company, per the Times.

McFarland entered a guilty plea for fraud back in 2018 for his role in the catastrophe that was Fyre Festival. The event promised a Coachella-like experience on the idyllic Great Exuma island in the Bahamas. McFarland and his ilk marketed performances from Disclosure, Kaytranada, Blink-182 and Tyga, among others, as well as appearances by A-list celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Emily Ratajkowski.

Some of the tickets cost upwards of $12,000. But when guests arrived on the island, they were greeted with "luxury villas" that were merely repurposed FEMA tents on a faux campground. In hindsight, the disaster relief tents were ironically fitting.

After McFarland was arrested and detained in Brooklyn back in 2018, he was hit with a number of class-action lawsuits from ticket-holders. Their payout was ultimately slashed to roughly $281.

Tagsterms:Fyre FestivalBilly McFarlandBy Lennon Cihak

Lennon is a music journalist who has contributed to EDM.com for over five years. A seasoned music business reporter, his writings bridge the gap between education and technology through a musical lens. He is also the host of the music business podcast When Life Hands You Lennons and founder of his own electronic music website, EDM In A Soda.

Follow LennonCihak

Sign up for our

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.