Two hotly anticipated TV programs documenting the wild Fyre Festival saga air this week.
- Two hotly anticipated TV shows documenting the wild Fyre Festival saga begin streaming this week. Hulu's version debuted on Monday, while Netflix's followed just a few days later.
- Billy McFarland, the organizer of the festival, was sentenced to six years in prison in October and ordered to forfeit $26 million.
- McFarland pleaded guilty in March 2018 to wire-fraud charges in relation to Fyre Festival, which became infamous after hundreds of attendees were left stranded in the Bahamas last year.
- In June 2018, McFarland was arrested again on charges of selling fake tickets through a different company, called NYC VIP Access, starting in late 2017. He pleaded guilty to those charges in July.
- Here's a look back at what happened at Fyre Festival.
After much anticipation, two documentaries that give a behind-the-scenes look into 2017's hellish Fyre Festival will finally air on our screens.
Hulu's version launched on Monday, and Netflix's followed just a few days later.
Billy McFarland, the 27-year-old founder of the company behind the festival, was sentenced to six years in prison in October and faces a $26 million forfeiture order. He is featured in an exclusive interview in the Hulu documentary.
Fyre Festival, which promised a VIP experience on the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas, turned into a nightmare situation as attendees were stranded with half-built huts to sleep in and cold cheese sandwiches to eat.
Here's what happened:
The three-day party was supposed to be on a private beach on the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas.
It was supposed to be over two weekends in 2017: April 28-30 and May 5-7.
It was described as an "immersive music festival."
Guests expected to party on white-sand beaches.
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 ...
... to have the full VIP experience.
Instead, guests ended up waiting for hours at the airport ...
... and collecting their luggage from the back of a shipping container in the dead of night.
The ticket cost was meant to include gourmet food.
Guests were expecting Starr Catering Group to be there, but the group told Business Insider it had terminated its services with Fyre in early April 2017. Instead, there were makeshift food tents.
They were given cheese sandwiches and salads.
—Trevor DeHaas (@trev4president) April 28, 2017
But the band dropped out before the festival started.
—blink-182 (@blink182) April 27, 2017
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."
—FyreFestivalFraud (@FyreFraud) April 27, 2017
Some of the tents hadn't been put up.
—FyreFestivalFraud (@FyreFraud) April 27, 2017
Instead of partying on the beach with friends ...
... guests were trying to fly back to Miami.
But for some, that wasn't possible, and they ended up stranded in the airport.
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.
Locals told Mic that tourism had not been affected by the event. However, some resort owners who provided food or services for the festival said they were still awaiting payment.
In March 2018, McFarland pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud.
He was arrested again on June 12 in a separate fraud case. He was charged with earning $100,000 from selling fake tickets to events including Coachella and the Met Gala through a company called NYC VIP Access.
Prosecutors said McFarland began running the business late in 2017, several months after he was arrested on charges that he had defrauded investors out of $26 million.
On June 19, a judge revoked his bail, deeming him a flight risk.
Source: Page Six
In July, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that McFarland, two companies he founded (Fyre Media and Magnises), a former senior executive, and a former contractor had agreed to settle charges against them.
Grant Margolin, McFarland's chief marketing officer, agreed to a seven-year director-and-officer ban and would pay a $35,000 penalty, the SEC said.
It also said Daniel Simon, an independent contractor for McFarland's companies, agreed to a three-year ban and would pay over $15,000 in disgorgement and penalty.
On October 11, McFarland was sentenced to six years in prison.
"The remorse I feel is crushing," he said during his sentencing, Vice News reported. "I lived every day with the weight of knowing that I literally destroyed the lives of my friends and family."
On Monday, Hulu released its documentary, "Fyre Fraud."
Watch the full trailer here:
The Netflix version of the event will be available to stream on Friday.
Here's the full Fyre Festival promo video: