Despite an epic viral failure, Billy McFarland is bringing Fyre Festival back

Get burned all over again

Get ready to break out the disaster-relief tents and cheese sandwiches in styrofoam containers: Fyre Fest is back, baby.

The notorious grifter Billy McFarland announced on Twitter that the doomed music festival is returning for a do-over, Hypebeast reported on Monday. “Fyre Festival II is finally happening,” he wrote. “Tell me why you should be invited.”

For those unfamiliar with the saga, Fyre Fest was meant to be a luxury event on Pablo Escobar’s former private island in the Bahamas. McFarland had teamed up with Ja Rule to create a line-up of musicians including Migos, Lil Yachty, Blink-182, and Pusha T, among others. The festival was promoted all over social media by celebs like Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Emily Ratajkowski. Sounds pretty cool, right?

Sure, except that when attendees finally arrived for the much-hyped Fyre Fest, they found the aforementioned disaster-relief tents as accommodations (with water-soaked mattresses, to boot) and the paltry cheese sandwiches as meals. It wasn’t anywhere close to the VIP experience they had been promised—and they made sure to tell social media all about it.

After the saga was publicised all over the internet, McFarland pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud in 2018 and was sentenced to serve six years in prison. (He was released early in March 2022.) He was additionally ordered to pay back US$26 million to his investors. If you want to dive even further into the mess, both Netflix and Hulu made documentaries about the disastrous ordeal. (And back in 2019, you could have bought the island where the whole thing took place for a cool US$11.8 million.)

Despite all the drama, McFarland has seemingly returned for Fyre Fest round two. There aren’t yet any details as to when and where the event will take place, but one must hope that the planning is at least slightly more legit this time around, if the festival ever gets off the ground at all. We can’t quite imagine who would invest in it—let alone pay to show up—when we all know how well that worked out the first time.

This story was first published on Robb Report USA