“WTF? Fyre Fest 2.0 Is Back….And There’s A Musical”
Funding has been secured for Fyre Fest 2.0 and a Broadway musical inspired by the disastrous original edition, according to founder Billy McFarland.
Taking to Twitter, the controversial figure explained he not only has backing to produce the theatre piece and a potential new festival, but is in discussions with investors to clear the huge debts he is carrying following the failed 2017 event.
“Instead of, like, traditional Broadway actors, it’s going to be current musical artists, combined with the Broadway format of the play — making fun of me, but I also think sharing some of the good sides as well,” he said of the new theatrical idea in an interview with journalist Adam Glyn.
Details have not been made public in terms of the festival, although McFarland has stated that there is some interest from artists. “Half of them are like, ‘Fuck off, how dare you call us.’ And there’s half [who have been] texting, emailing, saying: ‘Hey, like, what can we do to come?'”
Due to take place on a stunning Caribbean island, Fyre is remembered as one of the most catastrophic attempts at a festival in living memory. Set to run over two weekends on a private Bahamian beach, ticket holders — who paid thousands for access — arrived to unsanitary and unsafe conditions, lack of food, water, staff, organisation, and a slew of cancelled performances.
Largely marketed through social media influencers, Fyre suffered an immediate backlash due to the obvious miss-sale, was quickly postponed and then cancelled. Later it emerged that numerous contractors, many from the island, were never paid, and endured heavy financial losses. Attendees filed a class action to recoup their expenses and damages, receiving $7,226 each.
The festival itself also launched multiple legal claims against artists, agencies, models and more, seeking millions in returned fees, eventually settling most out of court. Much of the debacle was captured in the hugely popular Netflix documentary, ‘Fyre Festival: The Greatest Party That Never Happened’. This proved problematic in itself, though, with one attendee suing the streaming service for using footage of them without permission.
McFarland was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple counts of fraud. He was released early in 2022, having already requested to be allowed home in early-2020 due to concerns over Covid-19. It’s understood he currently owes $26million and has previously stated the fastest way to repay this is by working on projects. These have ranged from the Dumpster Fyre podcast, launched while still in prison, resulting in him being placed in solitary confinement, to a new Bahamas-based treasure hunt company, PYRT.
“Here’s how I’m going to pay it back: I spend half my time filming TV shows. The other half, I focus on what I’m really, really good at,” McFarland said in March via Twitter while first revealing speculative plans for a new festival. “I’m best at coming up with wild creative, getting talent together, and delivering the moment.” The statement included a contact number for would-be partners to get in touch.