Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland has finally broken his silence on the disastrous event in a new interview from jail. On Wednesday, ABC aired The Con: Fyre Festival news special focusing on the Fyre Festival and the fallout that ensued when attendees discovered that they had been conned. The special also featured an exclusive interview with McFarland, the main figure at the center of the event.
Fyre Festival was pitched as a major music event in the Bahamas, which would have featured artists such as Blink-182 and Migos. It was even promoted by models and social media influencers, such as Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid. Still, when concert-goers arrived, after having spent thousands of dollars on the trip, they found all the event had to offer tents and cheese sandwiches. Speaking candidly and reflecting on the ill-fated festival, McFarland said, "When I think about the mistakes that were made and what happened, there's just, like, there's no way I can just describe it other than, like, what the f— was I thinking? And I think that applies to so many people on just so many decisions that I made."
In his first interview from prison after being sentenced for wire fraud, Fyre Festival organizer Billy McFarland said he “knowingly lied” to investors “to raise money for the festival.” #TheConABC https://t.co/Gnroh42ID5 pic.twitter.com/E2gBc4f3PO— 20/20 (@ABC2020) March 4, 2021
McFarland was his with fraud charges over the Frye fiasco, and in 2018 he pleaded guilty to defrauding investors. He also issued a formal apology. During The Con: Fyre Festival, McFarland again confessed to his actions, saying, "I knowingly lied to them to raise money for the festival, yes." The disgraced promoter also provided details on just how he was able to pull off his scheme.
"What I did was inflate our company's numbers. How much money we had, how much money we were making, in order to raise overall money," he explained. "I tried to justify to myself, well, you know, everybody has access to my bank account; they all know what's going on. And so, just give us more money. We're going to make this happen; we all know what's happening. But in reality, everybody didn't understand, you know, what was going on in my head."
McFarland is currently serving his sentence at a federal prison in Ohio. He has two more years behind bars. While his consequences are certainly not making for the most pleasant experience, McFarland stated that his biggest regret is "lying to people who put their trust in" him.