Featured News

Fyre Fest founder ordered to pay investor millions

Billy McFarland, the founder of the ill-fated Fyre Festival, has been ordered to pay back $3m (£2.3m/€2.6m) to an investor who sponsored the 2017 event.

A New York County judge ruled in favour of EHL Funding after McFarland “failed to appear, answer or otherwise move in this action.”

McFarland has been ordered to fork out the $3m loan, as well as the contractually stipulated 30 per cent interest. EHL Funding has also asked for reimbursement for attorney’s fees.

The loan repayments stopped in April of 2017, the same month that the festival, which was marketed as a luxury event in the Bahamas, with some tickets costing as much as $100,000, took place.

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. The event was postponed after organisers admitted “we didn’t think security could keep up”.

The $3m payout to EHL Funding is due to be added to McFarland’s already huge $24m debt following his SEC settlement.

McFarland pleaded guilty in March to two counts of wire fraud related to the festival, but then in July admitted two more counts of fraud relating to another ticket-selling scam that he had set up while on bail. Since then, two festival-goers won $5m in damages from a lawsuit against the Fyre Fest founder, with multiple other class action lawsuits still pending.

Netflix and Hulu have launched separate documentaries on the ill-fated festival that landed organiser McFarland a six-year prison sentence.

Image: Ian Moran