Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland pleads guilty to fraud

He faces up to 40 years in prison

Fyre Festival owner Billy McFarland has pleaded guilty to fraud, and now faces up to 40 years in prison.

The failed festival hit headlines last year, after the first edition of the ‘luxury’ event soon turned into a dystopian nightmare in May.

Despite promising punters luxury accommodation and a line-up that included the likes of Major Lazer, the event quickly descended into chaos when it took place. The company behind it was later forced into bankruptcy, though McFarland originally pleaded not guilty back in October.

Now, though, appearing in court today (March 6), he has admitted to two counts of wire fraud. As TMZ report, each count faces up to 20 years in jail – sentencing is set for June of this year.

New documents also show that promoter Billy McFarlane’s budgeting was a mess – despite failing to factor in costs for toilets, the organiser spent $160,000 on a yacht for headliners Blink-182, who pulled out ahead of the festival regardless.

Other expenses included $18,208 on towels, and $260,000 on carpet for ‘tent city’, which costed around $470,000. Despite these costs, the festival was left without running water when punters arrived on-site.

Ja Rule, who is a business partner of McFarland’s, has not been charged with any offences, but has been named as a defendant in many of the civil lawsuits that have been brought against McFarland, Fyre Festival and Fyre Media since the ill-fated event.