Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland admitted to “knowingly lying” to investors in a new “20/20” special from prison.
McFarland was sentenced to prison for six years after being convicted of defrauding investors of $26 million, Fox News reported. Now he’s opened up about the festival in an interview set to air Wednesday during an episode of “20/20” titled “The Con: Fyre Festival.” (RELATED: US Marshals Are Auctioning Off Merchandise From Failed Fyre Festival)
“I knowingly lied to them to raise money for the festival, yes,” McFarland told ABC News.
Embattled “Fyre Festival” mastermind Billy McFarland, who is currently serving a six-year sentence for defrauding investors of more than $26 million, speaks out for 1st time behind bars. @arobach reports. https://t.co/i9rZzYvW4s pic.twitter.com/ZpvY4PfJoI
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 3, 2021
McFarland claimed that if he had set a better timeline for the event that he would have been in a “better place” during the interview. He claimed he would have needed two more years to fully plan the festival.
“There’s no way I can describe it other than, like, what the f*ck was I thinking?” McFarland responded when asked what he would say to people who call him a con man. “And I think that applies to so many people on just so many decisions that I made.”
McFarland apologized for his role in the failed festival in 2018.
“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 told People magazine in a statement. “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 Fyre Festival was advertised as a high-profile concert in The Bahamas with luxury accommodations, fine dining and A-List entertainment that would take place over two weekends in April and May of 2017. Many supermodels and influencers, including Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and Hailey Baldwin, were allegedly supposed to attend and some even promoted it on their social media accounts.
Guests, who reportedly paid anywhere from $1,200 and $100,000, were instead forced to stay in tents with no running water or air conditioning and eat sandwiches for meals.