×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fyre Festival Founder Billy McFarland Apologizes From Prison: ‘I’m Devastated, but Accepting’

Billy McFarland, who was sentenced to six years in prison last month for his role in the disastrous 2017 Fyre Festival, has apologized again for his actions, this time in an interview with People magazine.

“I am incredibly sorry for my collective actions and will right the wrongs I have delivered to my family, friends, partners, associates and, you, the general public,” he said. “I’ve always sought — and dreamed — to accomplish incredible things by pushing the envelope to deliver for a common good, but I made many wrong and immature decisions along the way and I caused agony. As a result, I’ve lived every day in prison with pain, and I will continue to do so until I am able to make up for some of this harm through work and actions that society finds respectable.”

The heavily hyped Fyre Festival was to be a “luxury concert” — taking place on a small island in the Bahamas and featuring Blink-182, Migos and Disclosure — but collapsed on in a mess of disorganization on April 29 before it had even started. Far from the luxury accommodations and celebrity-chef-prepared meals promised by its producers —McFarland and rapper Ja Rule — concertgoers were met with flimsy tents, boxed lunches, near-total disorganization and long waits for flights to return to the mainland after airlines began refusing to fly would-be concertgoers to the overcrowded island of Exumas.

Yet even after he had pleaded guilty to two counts wire fraud in March, McFarland was charged in June with running a fraudulent ticket-selling scheme while he was out on bail. His lawyers had asked for leniency, saying their client suffered untreated mental illness involving delusions about “fame and fortune.” Prosecutors had argued for a longer sentence, calling McFarland “the consummate con artist.” Judge Naomi Buchwald, who presided over the case in the U.S. Southern District Court, called McFarland “a serial fraudster.”

Investors in Fyre suffered $24 million in losses, it was revealed in court.

McFarland continued his contrite tone to People. “I’m devastated, but accepting, and I’ll use this opportunity to live my apology and become the family member, friend, business person and good citizen I should have been all along. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me every step of the way. Your love keeps me focused. Your hope keeps me motivated. Earning your forgiveness will fuel the rest of my days.”

 

More Music

  • Cardi B

    Cardi B Slams Trump Administration for Government Shutdown

    Cardi B took to Instagram Wednesday night to call out the U.S. government for the shutdown that began Dec. 22. While the Bronx-bred rapper has mostly shied away from politics, she didn’t hold back in the minute-long clip. “Trump is now ordering federal workers to go back to work without getting paid,” said Cardi, who went [...]

  • caroline diaz

    Interscope Records Appoints Caroline 'Baroline' Diaz Senior Director of A&R

    Caroline “Baroline” Diaz has joined Interscope Records as Senior Director of A&R. She arrives from Columbia Records and will report to Interscope Geffen A&M EVP of Urban Operations, Nicole Wyskoarko. Prior to Columbia, Diaz held a promotion position at Def Jam Recordings, where she worked national campaigns for such label artists as 2 Chainz and YG. Said [...]

  • woodstock 2019 fantasy lineup

    Fantasy Woodstock: A Part Reality, Part Dream Lineup for the 50th Anniversary Fest

    Following the announcement of Woodstock 50, which will be held on Aug. 16-18 in Watkins Glen, New York, fans immediately began coming up with their dream lineups for the 50th anniversary of the world’s most famous music festival. Michael Lang, the creator and producer of the original fest and its two follow-ups in 1994 and [...]

  • Michele Nadelman

    Warner Bros. Records Names Michele Nadelman CFO

    Michele Nadelman has joined Warner Bros. Records as Chief Financial Officer. She arrives following a 12-year run at Concord Music, where she also held the CFO title (of Recorded Music) as well as SVP of Finance for Concord Music Corporate, and will be based out of WBR’s Los Angeles offices and report to co-chairman and COO [...]

  • 'Fyre Fraud' and 'Fyre' Reviews: Behind

    TV Review: 'Fyre Fraud' and 'Fyre'

    It seems in retrospect unavoidable that the week of release for a highly-anticipated documentary about a scammer began with an attention-grabbing stunt. On Monday, in advance of the planned Friday drop of Netflix’s “Fyre,” Hulu executed a surprise release of its own “Fyre Fraud”; both films assay the failed 2017 gathering Fyre Festival, a would-be [...]

  • R Kelly protest

    Protesters Rally Outside Sony Music Headquarters, Demand the Company Drop R. Kelly

    Standing in the cold with megaphones outside of Sony Music’s New York headquarters, a group of activists delivered the company, parent of Kelly’s longtime label RCA, a petition signed by over 217,000 people demanding that the singer be dropped from the label. The rally comes less than a week after a plane carrying a banner [...]

  • major r&b grammy fox star recurring

    R&B Artist MAJOR. Lands Recurring Role on Fox's 'Star' (EXCLUSIVE)

    R&B artist MAJOR. is on “cloud three million” right now. His track “Honest” scored a 2019 Grammy nomination for best traditional R&B performance, and, as he tells Variety exclusively, he recently landed a recurring role on Fox’s “Star.” The singer-songwriter, born Major Johnson Finley, is currently shooting the musical drama in Atlanta, and will make his [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content