What to Know
- The promoter of a botched, highly publicized music festival in the Bahamas has been sentenced to six years in prison
- Billy McFarland pleaded guilty to charges of defrauding investors in the 2017 Fyre Festival and charges in a ticket selling scam
- Prosecutors had sought over 15 years in prison; His lawyer urged leniency, saying McFarland suffers from mental illness
The promoter of a botched, highly publicized music festival in the Bahamas has been sentenced to six years in prison.
Billy McFarland was sentenced on Thursday in Manhattan federal court.
McFarland has twice pleaded guilty to charges. First, he admitted earlier this year he defrauded investors in the 2017 Fyre Festival. Then, weeks later, he pleaded guilty to charges in a ticket selling scam.
McFarland's pleas pertained to the bungled spring 2017 Fyre Festival on the Bahamian island of Exuma that cost over 80 investors a total of $26 million.
The festival was anything but the ultra-luxurious event promoted as "the cultural experience of the decade" over two weekends and touted on social media by Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and other models and celebrities.
Customers hoping to see Blink-182 and the hip hop act Migos arrived to learn music acts were canceled. Their upscale accommodations and gourmet food consisted of white tents and cheese sandwiches.
Prosecutors had sought over 15 years in prison for McFarland.
His lawyer had urged leniency, saying McFarland suffers from mental illness that includes delusional beliefs that his talents will lead to "fame and fortune."