UPDATE: The promoter behind the crash-and-burn Fyre Festival has been released from prison after serving less than four years for his role in the 2017 Caribbean concert disaster.
Billy McFarand, 30, was released on March 30 and transferred to community confinement. He is expected to remain there through August, TMZ reported today.
McFarland pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud in March 2018. He originally faced up to 20 years in prison. As part of his plea deal, McFarland agreed to a forfeiture order of $26 million to reimburse his many victims.
McFarland enticed thousands of festival attendees who paid up to $12,000 to attend what was billed as a luxury music festival on the Bahamas island of Great Exuma.
Performances from dozens of musical acts like Ja Rule, Pusha T, and Blink-182 was promised, along with gourmet food and luxury accommodations.
Instead, cheap cheese sandwiches, FEMA disaster tents, and no performances were delivered. Several film documentaries were made about the debacle, and McFarland at one point promised to write a memoir on the experience.
EARLIER: The US Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York has approved a $2 million class-action settlement for ticket-holders to the ill-fated Fyre Festival.
The disastrous April 2017 event, which promised blissful luxury and delivered tents and cheese sandwiches, was the subject of two films and widely ridiculed. The event was co-created by promoter Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule. Promoted by such influencers as Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski, the festival, set on the Bahamian island of Great Exuma, failed on almost every level.
In March 2018, McFarland pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and a second count to defraud a ticket vendor. He was sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to forfeit US$26 million. He is still imprisoned.
Two documentaries detailing the monumental disaster, Fyre Fraud on Hulu and Netflix’s Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, captured the post-event outrage.
The class-action settlement was reached between the festival’s organizers and 277 ticket holders. Each ticket holder will receive roughly $7,200, according to reports, but it is unclear who is paying the settlements. The final total has yet to be approved by the court.
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