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Prosecutors push for Fyre Fest promoter to serve prison time

Prosecutors have requested that Billy McFarland, the promoter of the ill-fated Fyre Festival that took place in the Bahamas last year, should face 15 years or more in prison.

In a written filing in Manhattan federal court, prosecutors said McFarland was “far more interested in the fame and notoriety generated by the festival than he was in paying back investors and his employees”.

Festival-goers paid between $1,500 and $12,000 to attend Fyre Festival on the Bahamas island of Exuma at the end of April, with the promise of great music, yacht parties, luxury accommodation and gourmet food.

However, the event was a disaster with headline act Blink 182 pulling out, and patrons who had no way of leaving the island claiming that they were going without basic essentials such as secure accommodation, food, drink and electricity.

McFarland has twice pleaded guilty to charges, after admitting he carried out wire fraud in a ticketing scam and agreed to serve up to a decade in prison for lying to investors and sending false documents.



According to Billboard, prosecutors said McFarland should not receive leniency, in part because he “brazenly dreamed up a new scheme targeting the same victims” while he was free on bail after his initial arrest.

They also cited instances of falsehoods McFarland told over 80 investors to persuade them to put more than $26m into his schemes.

“So far, the criminal justice system has utterly failed to get the defendant’s attention,” prosecutors wrote.

They said the public needed to be protected “from McFarland’s next scam.”

His lawyer last month urged leniency, saying McFarland suffers from mental illness that includes delusional beliefs that his talents will lead to “fame and fortune”.

Image: Ian Moran