Fyre Festival has gone down in history as one of the largest failed festivals to date. Promises were made of a Great Exuma in the Bahamas offering a luxurious experience with a mega-lineup of artists and top-notch amenities. However, when guests arrived it was anything but that. Tents were half-built, there was inadequate food and drink, and performances were canceled. Thousands of guests were stranded as they waited for flights to be arranged back to Miami.
It has just been announced that the organizer of Fyre Festival, Billy McFarland, will have to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) more than $27M to settle fraud charges against them. According to the SEC, he convinced over 100 investors to sink $27.4 million into three companies with incorrect information, lying his way through the event planning. McFarland falsely portrayed himself as a skilled entrepreneur to gain the trust of these investors and lied about the firms’ finances.
McFarland was arrested last month for multiple counts of criminal wire and bank fraud. All of those counts were related to his role in the Fyre Festival festival. At this point, we can only hope that McFarland being ordered to pay this settlement will discourage others from trying to throw a festival by lying and cheating in the future.