Six years after Fyre Festival became synonymous with epic disaster, its founder has announced the failed music and camping retreat’s relaunch — and its first drop of tickets have already sold out.
After a stint in jail for fraud, Billy McFarland — the founder and organiser of the infamous Fyre Festival in 2017 — is back with his latest venture: the same botched fest.
The first drop of 100 pre-sale tickets for Fyre Festival II went on sale Monday for $US499 ($A770) a pop and sold out within a day, according to the festival’s website.
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Minimal details have been released about the event that is “targeted for the end of 2024 in the Caribbean”, according to the site.
Australian music festival goes into liquidation
Gold Coast music festival goes into liquidation
A line-up has not been released, nor have any details about accommodation.
The Commonwealth of The Bahamas “will not endorse or approve any event” on the islands “associated with (McFarland)”, it said last year.
More tickets are “coming soon”, according to the festival’s website, dropping in tiers that range from $US799 ($A1233) to $US7999 ($A12,349) each.
Billy McFarland took to Instagram to boast that the first drop of Fyre Festival II tickets had sold out – and spruik upcoming merch. Credit: Instagram
The calamitous 2017 festival became a cultural phenomenon.
What was initially touted as the ultimate luxury music festival on the Bahamian island of Exuma, promoted by A-list celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber, turned into a disaster.
Fyre Festival’s promised glamping accommodations ended up being FEMA disaster relief tents, its decadent dining turned out to be meagre cheese sandwiches, and its star-studded line-up — from Blink-182 to Migos — all cancelled.
Donning a fluffy, white robe, McFarland said in an Instagram video on Monday the idea to relaunch came to him “during a seven-month stint in solitary confinement”.
“I wrote out this 50-page plan of how I would take this overall interest and demand in Fyre and how I would take my ability to bring people from around the world together to make the impossible happen,” he said.
“We spoke to people as far away as the Middle East and South America.
“Ultimately, we decided that Fyre Festival II was coming back to The Caribbean.”
His company will be doing “pop-ups and events around the world” ahead of the fest, McFarland said.
Billy McDonald shared a statement on his social media, saying the first drop of tickets to Fyre Festival II had sold out. Credit: Instagram
He shared a written statement on Instagram on Tuesday — insisting that this time, things will be different.
“This time we have incredible support,” McFarland said.
“I’ll be doing what I love while working with the best logistical and infrastructure partners.
“In addition, all ticket sale revenue will be held in escrow until the final date is announced.”
The original Fyre Festival, held in 2017, promised a glamorous experience that it did not deliver. Credit: Netflix
McFarland 2017 festival-turned-fiasco cost investors — including rapper Ja Rule — tens of millions of dollars.
At least eight lawsuits followed, and McFarland was sentenced to six years in jail in October 2018 for fraud and ordered to pay $US26 million in restitution.
He was released from jail early and moved to a halfway house in May 2022.
The saga was chronicled in two hit documentaries on Hulu and Netflix.
Social media users responded to McFarland’s Instagram posts about Fyre Festival II with wariness.
“Bro give it up, get a normal job,” one Instagram user commented.
Another demanded, “pay the locals of that island that you scammed first!!”
“If you really buy into this again … you deserve to be scammed and no one will feel bad this time,” another follower wrote.
“So pumped for the premiere of season two on Netflix!” another added.
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