These photos reveal why the 26-year-old organizer of disastrous Fyre Festival concert could spend up to 10 years in prison

Alessandra Ambrosio was featured in the festival's promo video.

caption
Alessandra Ambrosio was featured in the festival’s promo video.
source
YourTube/Fyre Festival

  • Fyre Festival organizer Billy McFarland pleaded guilty to wire-fraud charges in March.
  • The 26-year-old was arrested in June 2017 after being accused of misleading investors who poured more than $1 million into Fyre Media.
  • McFarland admitted he defrauded 80 investors and a ticket broker out of more than $26 million.
  • Here’s what the VIP festival was expected to be versus what it actually ended up being.

The founder of the nightmarish Fyre Festival that left hundreds of attendees stranded in the Bahamas pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud in March.

26-year-old Billy McFarland admitted to defrauding a ticket broker and 80 investors in Fyre Media, a company that he founded and that was responsible for putting on the Fyre Festival. Prosecutors have alleged that McFarland used falsified documents to trick investors in a $26 million scheme.

McFarland may face eight to 10 years in prison plus a fine of up to $300,000, according to Bloomberg.

Fyre Festival promised to offer attendees a VIP experience when they set off to Great Exuma in the Bahamas. But the reality was very different: delayed flights, half-built huts to sleep in, and cold cheese sandwiches to eat. And that doesn’t even include the disastrous trip home.

The luxury festival – tickets for which started at $1,200 – was advertised as two weekends in paradise, but it turned into a nightmare.

Take a look at festivalgoers’ expectations compared with the reality they encountered, which is currently being developed into a TV series for Hulu.

And here’s the full Fyre Festival promo video:


The three-day party was supposed to be on a private beach on the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas.

source
YouTube/Fyre Festival

It was supposed to be over two weekends: April 28-30 and May 5-7.

source
YouTube/Fyre Festival

It was described as an “immersive music festival.”

source
YouTube/FyreFestival

A host of supermodels had promoted it on social media, including Hailey Baldwin, Emily Ratajkowski, and Bella Hadid.

source
YouTube/Fyre Festival

Guests expected to party on the white sand beaches.

source
YouTube/Fyre Festival

But when they turned up, it didn’t look anything like the advertisements.


They were told they would fly in from Miami on a custom, VIP-configured Boeing 737 …

caption
A private jet is shown in the festival’s commercial.
source
YouTube/Fyre Festival

… to have the full VIP experience.

source
YouTube/Fyre Festival

Instead, guests ended up waiting for hours at the airport …

source
Twitter/@WNFIV

… and collecting their luggage from the back of a shipping container in the dead of night.

source
Twitter/@WNFIV

The ticket cost was meant to include gourmet food.

source
YouTube/Fyre Festival

Guests were expecting Starr Catering Group to be there, but the group told Business Insider it terminated its services with Fyre on April 2. Instead, there were makeshift food tents.

source
Twitter/@WNFIV

They were given cheese sandwiches and salads.


Fans were expecting to see Blink-182 perform.

source
YouTube/Fyre Festival

But the band dropped out before the festival started on Thursday.


Festivalgoers were promised luxury, eco-friendly domes and villas to stay in that were included in the ticket prices. But one guest described it as a “disaster tent city.”


Some of the tents hadn’t been put up.


Instead of partying on the beach with friends …

source
YouTube/Fyre Festival

… guests were trying to fly back to Miami.

source
Twitter/@WNFIV

But for some, that wasn’t possible, and they ended up stranded in the airport.

source
Twitter/@WNFIV

One guest said she was kept in a room without food or water, waiting for a flight to take off. She said a person fainted because the conditions were so bad.

Not exactly the VIP experience they had envisioned.


Festival organizer Billy McFarland could now spend eight to 10 years in prison.


In March, McFarland admitted to defrauding 80 investors and a ticket broker out of more than $26 million.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud. Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, but McFarland would likely face eight to 10 years in prison plus a fine of up to $300,000 under the plea deal, according to Bloomberg.


The festival has become such a phenomenon that a documentary is being made about it.


The new Hulu documentary will go behind the scenes to find out exactly what happened. It is slated to air in 2019.

Source: Hollywood Reporter


Images of the festival made the rounds on social media and were widely reported across global news organizations. This left many wondering whether it had damaged the reputation of the Bahamas altogether.

caption
Great Exuma in the Bahamas.
source
YouTube/FyreFestival

Locals told Mic that tourism has not been impacted by the event. However, some local resort owners who provided food or services for the festival are still awaiting payment.

source
YouTube/Fyre Festival

Source: Complex