Fyre Festival II: Disastrous luxury event gets reboot as $499 tickets sell out

August 22, 2023

Fyre Festival - the disastrous luxury party that left hundreds stranded in the Bahamas - is getting a second run, with tickets now on sale for $499 (around £391).

The organiser of the event - Billy McFarland - went to prison in the US for fraud following the botched music event which was supposed to take place on the Caribbean island of Exuma over two weekends in April and May 2017.

The failed 2017 event was billed as "an immersive music festival on a remote and private island" with "the best in food, art, music and adventure" and it claimed to be "on the boundaries of the impossible".

It was co-organised by rapper Ja Rule, who apologised at the time, but insisted it was not his fault, and promoted by influencers including Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid.

What happened at the first Fyre Festival?

Partygoers paid up to $12,000 (£9,200) a head and were promised opulent accommodation and deluxe food.

However, when they arrived, guests were greeted with chaos - a rain-sodden campsite, emergency tents, piles of soggy mattresses and sad looking cheese and salad sandwiches in a takeaway container for dinner.

Guests branded it "a post-apocalyptic nightmare" and compared the event to the Hunger Games.

The whole sorry debacle was documented in the 2019 film FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened.

The event had more than $26m (£20m) in losses after it was cancelled due to inadequate accommodation, food and water.

However, McFarland, who was released from jail last year, says he's rebooting Fyre Festival.

In a video shared on social media, the 31-year-old - who appears to be dressed in a white spa dressing gown - said he devised the plan for a redo during a stint in solitary confinement.

While details on the actual organisation of the event were scarce, he said that after considering holding the festival in the Middle East or South America, he'd decided to bring it "back to the Caribbean".

He told his 22.6k Instagram followers: "We are targeting Fyre Festival 2 for the end of next year.

"It has been the absolute wildest journey to get here and it really all started during the seven-month stint in solitary confinement.

"I wrote out this 50-page plan of how it would take this overall interest and demand in Fyre, and how it would take my ability to bring people from around the world together to make the impossible happen, how I would find the best partners in the world to allow me to be me while executing Fyre's vision to the highest level."

He added: "In the meantime, we'll be doing pop-ups and events across the world. Guys, this is your chance to get in. This is everything I've been working towards. Let's f***ing go."

The first 100 pre-sale tickets priced at $499 sold out in the first day of sale according to the website. Future tickets, which are yet to be released, will cost between $799 (about £626) and $7,999 (approximately £6,267) according to the pricelist.

In a written statement on his Instagram page following the sale of the first batch of tickets, McFarland said he would be working with "the best logistical and infrastructure partners," adding, "We look forward to surprising the world alongside our partners as we build Fyre and Fyre Festival II into the island adventure of a lifetime".

A disclaimer on the website says: "FII date is subject to change. Pre-events and pop-ups to be announced, but FYRE will host a minimum of 4 events prior to FFII."

McFarland was sentenced to six years in jail in October 2018 by a federal court in Manhattan. Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald called him a "serial fraudster", AP reported at the time.

In March 2022, he was released early - with more than two years of his sentence left - being transferred to a halfway house from a low-security federal prison in Michigan, NBC News reported.

McFarland has already announced plans to make a Broadway musical about Fyre Festival.

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