Promoter in failed Bahamas music festival pleads guilty

Share

McFarland's due in Manhattan federal court Tuesday, where he's pleaded not guilty to charges he defrauded the doomed event's investors.

"I grossly underestimated the resources that would be necessary to hold an event of this magnitude", he added.

Following the disaster, Fyre Festival organizer, Billy McFarland was imidetly taken to court and sued for wire fraud. Instead, customers expecting to see Blink-22 and the hip hop group Migos arrived on the island to learn that some acts were cancelled and that they would be lodging in leaky tents and served cheese sandwiches.

The Fyre Festival sounded idyllic: upscale accommodations, gourmet food and top musical talent over two weekends in the Bahamas.

"My intention and effort was directed to organizing a legitimate festival", McFarland said in a clear voice to US District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan.

Scenes of chaos also played out on social media, as many festivalgoers turned to Twitter to post photos of the disappointing venue.

More news: U.S. aircraft carrier visits Da Nang

He was arrested and charged in late June, accused of using misrepresentations to raise millions of dollars by vastly overstating the app's revenues, the festival's prospects and his own finances.

Overall, prosecutors said McFarland's swindle caused losses of more than $26 million to at least 80 investors. As part of his plea, he agreed to a forfeiture order of $26 million.

McFarland is admitting he manipulated Fyre Media financial statements, promoted talent bookings that did not exist and "repeatedly made misrepresentations to investors created to overstate the company's condition and stability", according to court records.

McFarland, whose concert scheme grew out of a digital application for event promotion, admitted in court that he was out of his league.

McFarland's sentencing hearing is set for June, however, he has more than just this sentencing to deal with.

Share