If you think it’s insane to spend a massive amount of money on a festival where big names like Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner will be participating, think again. Roughly 5,000 individuals were scammed into paying for such a ridiculous event. We can’t really blame people for where they want to spend their money, but what makes it so depressing is that this whole event turned out to be a sham; even the likes of Kendall Jenner were scammed! So what exactly happened here? Did people ever complain and file a Fyre Festival lawsuit against the organizer? 

Was the Fyre Festival an organized scam?

Yes, the Fyre Festival was nothing short of an organized scam. From the get-go, the organizer, Billy McFarland, lied to investors just so they could provide him with the funds to run his delusional festival. You’re probably thinking how severe his lying had to be for him to face jail time for it. Well, he did tell investors that his meager company, Fyre Media, was well worth $90 million. 

If that doesn’t make him thick-skinned enough, imagine how bold he is to believe that his lying would actually take him anywhere. He would then go as far as to rush the music festival and push through with it despite seeing how the odds were clearly not in his favor. Everything was destined to fail, from time constraints to a lack of funding for his pointlessly extravagant music festival held in the Bahamas. 

McFarland’s decision making was just as bad as the promises he made to people who were interested and bought tickets to the festival. Imagine paying $1,500 up to $100,000 for what you would hope to be a luxurious experience; instead, you’re handed out soggy sandwiches packed in styrofoam, soaked mattresses, lost luggage, and FEMA tents. 

That’s not the end of it. 

During his probation, McFarland made an audacious move by offering people a VIP ticket service to Hamilton, the Met Gala, and the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, all of which he never had access to to begin with. That landed him another bout of fraud charges, so he was basically digging his own grave. 

Was McFarland ever arrested for the scam he committed?

In 2018, the swindling McFarland pleaded guilty to fraud. McFarland was arrested and given six years of jail time. However, much to people’s dismay, the fraudster won’t be spending all six years behind bars. 

According to USA Today, after spending four years in prison, McFarland was released on March 30, 2022, and transferred to community confinement. He spent six months under house arrest until he was released in September of last year. 

Who were involved in the Fyre Festival lawsuit?

Gregory Messer, a trustee who oversaw the bankruptcy of the Fyre Festival, filed 14 lawsuits against several talent agencies and celebrities alike; ICM, Paradigm, Matte Productions, United Talent Agency, International Creative Management, and Creative Artists Agency, Kylie Jenner, and Emily Ratajkowski, to name a few. 

The return amount is $14.4 million, which is the sum of what Fyre Media used to pay for the parties that were involved. Overall, the lawsuits had two objectives: to recover the losses made by Fyre Media and to regain the money paid to celebrities who decided to bail on the event on short notice. 

Sadly, Messer was only able to obtain a measly $1.4 million from all the damages. Sadly, the $1.4 million won’t be given in full to the investors and ticketholders since a $1.1 million fee would be deducted as payment to Messer and his legal team. 

What happened to the celebrities involved in the scam?

Among the famous people embroiled in this hot mess, Kendall Jenner had something to say about her participation in the Fyre Festival. As she spoke with The New York Times, she explained how “you never really know what’s going to happen.”

In a way, she was trying to convince people that having faith in a start-up brand is a risk; and despite making a personal effort to research on such things, there’s a possibility you’ll end up getting tangled in some mess you never wanted to be in. 

In the end, she agreed to pay a $90,000 settlement for her involvement in promoting the failed festival. As for the likes of Bella Hadid, who also took part in promoting this event, she only issued an apology on a now-deleted tweet. 

Were the celebrities as guilty as McFarland? In a way, they are. In Jenner’s case, paying for a settlement is one thing, but not admitting to the act of intentionally misinforming people in hopes of hyping up an event to lure in consumers is another. 

How much money was scammed off of people?

Fyre Media scammed more than 100 investors worth $26 million; as for the 8,000 attendees, in terms of the amount they were scammed with individually, it would range from $1,500 to a whopping $100,000. 

Luckily, according to the New York Times, 277 ticket holders will each get $7,220 in total, which is worth $2 million in payout. 

Is it true that there’s going to be another Fyre Festival?

As if the Fyre Festival from five years ago wasn’t a colossal fail, wait until you find out that McFarland is back at it again with another recipe for disaster. The fraudster proceeds to use TikTok as his main platform for sharing his brand new event called PYRT (which is read as “pirate”). 

People are right to be wary about this new-born catastrophe in the making, and yet McFarland is quick to dismiss people’s thoughts by saying that it’s nothing like his mistake five years ago. He proceeds to say that it’s neither an event nor a “metaverse.”

So what’s his deal anyway? What is PYRT all about? McFarland says that this is his way of paying back the investors what they’re due. To cut a long story short, this is just an insanely audacious way of saying that he wants other people to pay for the debt he owes the investors he scammed. 


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