Fyre Festival Founder Celebrates Jail Release


| LAST UPDATE 09/14/2022

By Peral Simons
Billy McFarland Fyre Festival
Chance Yeh via Getty Images

After going to jail for throwing a fraudulent festival, there was no better way for Billy McFarland to correct his ways than to throw an outrageous party - for real this time. The mastermind behind the 2017 failed Fyre Festival earned himself four years in jail and debts worth $26million owed to his victims. Now his time is up, and he's a free man; he's making up for lost time, celebrating in an expensive Manhattan cocktail lounge. What has the fraudster been up to since being found guilty back in 2018? Here's what we know...

After pleading guilty to wire fraud and confessing to scamming multiple people into investing their money into the fraudulent Fyre Festival, McFarland was sentenced to six years in Jail. He served his time at FCI Elkton, a low-security jail institution in Ohio, and was released two years earlier than planned, in March 2022. From there, he was required to spend six months on house arrest, strapped with an ankle bracelet, and restricted in his excursions. Now, with his monitor removed, Billy is ready to hit the town.

Billy McFarland Jail Release
Mark Lennihan/AP via Shutterstock
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As for his time in jail? An interview with the New York Times that took place mere moments after his official release revealed he was up to his old mischievous ways even while serving time. He admitted to the publication that he had landed himself into solitary confinement on numerous occasions for his various wrongdoings. From smuggling in a USB drive with notes for his memoir to conducting forbidden phone calls, the prisoner spent a staggering six months of his time in confinement.

Now the party is over, what's next for McFarland? In the infamous interview, Billy revealed his wish to return to tech entrepreneurship, acknowledging that most of the profits will need to go towards the festival victims he is indebted to. "If I worked in finance, I think it would be harder to get back," he explained. "Tech is more open. And the way I failed is totally wrong, but in a certain sense, failure is OK in entrepreneurship." Check out the Netflix documentary, Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, for the full Fyre Festival story.

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