Fyre Festival II is here: Tickets for disaster reboot go on sale – despite no lineup

Entertainment

Convicted fraudster and organiser of the infamous Fyre Festival Billy McFarland has announced he is relaunching the music festival, and presale tickets are already available. No, we’re not kidding.
Billy isn’t ready to give up on his Fyre Festival dreams just yet. Image: Getty

Despite the fact that the location of Fyre Festival II is listed as just “the Caribbean”, the date is just “targeted” to be for “the end of 2024”, and there isn’t a lineup in sight, the ever-ambitious McFarland has already released presale tickets for the event.

Presale tickets include access to the festival, VIP access to Fyre lead-up events (the nature of these events is yet to be specified but allegedly there will be “a minimum of 4”), and access to the FYRE crew and community.

The presale tickets will be released in groups and will get increasingly expensive as tickets sell.

The first group includes 100 tickets that will cost $499 each, tickets 100-500 will cost $799, and so on, up until the final round of presale tickets, which will set you back $7,999. At the time of publication McFarland had not yet sold the first 100 tickets.

McFarland was released from prison in 2022, following a conviction of multiple counts of wire fraud and one count of bank fraud.

He still owes investors in the original Fyre Festival $US26 million – but that hasn’t stopped him from having another crack.

So, what went wrong the first time?

A lot.

The original Fyre Festival was birthed by McFarland and rapper Ja Rule, with the intent of promoting the ‘Fyre app’, which was supposed to simplify the process of booking talent for events.

The event drew global headlines thanks to glamorous promotions from celebrities including Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski.

Welcome to paradise… Image: Supplied

Around 5,000 people bought tickets, some of which sold for up to $US49,000 each, for the promise of a luxury music festival set on a tropical private island in the Bahamas.

Instead of luxury villas, there was a limited number of disaster relief tents and soaking wet mattresses that attendees were left to fight over in what looked more like a scene out of ‘Lord of the Flies’.

Instead of a gourmet Bahamian feast, guests were served some of the most depressing cheese sandwiches you’ve ever seen.

A widely shared post from an attendee at the first Fyre Festival

Headliners at the festival like Pusha T, Tyga, Migos, and Blink-182 all pulled out shortly before the event.

The chaos that the festivalgoers experienced was shared widely on social media platforms, and ultimately paved the way for the Netflix documentary released in January 2019.

Fyre II: Rising from the ashes?

According to a video posted to McFarland’s Instagram, “the best management companies, the best agencies, and even a couple of the biggest festival companies” are apparently “vying to come on board”.

In terms of specifics, however, the only publicly concrete details are the festival’s name and its increasingly expensive presale tickets.

So far public response has been… lukewarm.

In a video to his Instagram, McFarland told followers that “it has been the absolute wildest journey to get here”.

According to McFarland, inspiration to create Fyre Festival II struck during a 7-month stint in solitary confinement while he was serving 3 and a half years in prison for fraud related to his role in the original Fyre Festival.

McFarland says that while in solitary confinement he wrote out a 50-page plan, detailing how he would use the interest surrounding Fyre and his “ability to bring people from around the world together”, to “execute Fyre’s vision to the highest level”.

Crashing and burning or smoking hot? What is “Fyre’s vision”?

McFarland described it as “10,000 people on one of the best islands in the world with some of the best talent in the world”.

Fyre fell short of this vision last time – with the main talent pulling out last minute, and 5,000 attendees – although admittedly they did have the tropical island location.

However, although Fyre Festival II is set to take place somewhere in the Caribbean, we can probably rule out the chances of it being in the Bahamas again.

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 7: Andy King and Billy McFarland attend the Magnises Dinner Party at 22 Greenwich Ave on August 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Last year when McFarland announced a separate business venture located primarily in the Bahamas, the country’s government released a statement essentially banning him from entering the country or engaging in business there.

The first of the festival’s ‘lead-up events’ was supposed to take place on the 26th of August, and McFarland had said on his Instagram that he would be inviting 8 people to live with him for two weeks before the event, so they could “be there for all the crazy build-up”.

However, in an Instagram post on the 12th of August, McFarland announced the event had been canned, because there was apparently “so much interest”.

What’s next for McFarland

McFarland, who describes himself as an entrepreneur but who Wikipedia describes as a ‘fraudster’, has also revealed on his Instagram that he has been working with a production company on a docuseries called ‘After the Fyre’, detailing his return from prison into the outside world.

Not only that, but he has signed with a production company to create “Fyre Festival: The Broadway Musical” – so stay tuned for that one theatre lovers.

McFarland said he has also been sanctioned for his first kickboxing match this November, the proceeds of which will allegedly go towards paying back those he owes in the US and the Bahamas.

Whether or not tickets will sell, whether or not the festival will go ahead, whether or not it will be any good, all remains to be seen.

But McFarland seems to remain eternally optimistic, at least publicly.

“I need to stick to my original vision,” He told his Instagram followers he wanted to “go all in and focus on Fyre II. We are here to make history guys. This is my life goal. This is my odyssey.”

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