Music | May 22, 2017 4:29 pm

Fyre Festival Founder Under Siege for His Role in Alleged Fraud

Famously aborted luxury music festival owner drowning in lawsuits, federal investigation.

Fyre Festival Founder Billy McFarland in a World of Hurt Following Festival Debacle
Billy McFarland (center) attending The 23rd Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit & Auction at The Watermill Center on July 30, 2016 in Water Mill, NY. (Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

The Fyre Festival proved to be the dark side of “truth in advertising,” one of the 21st century’s truly great marketing, operational, and financial disasters.

And now, as The New York Times reports, a federal investigation is underway into just how far its founders went in making it so.

The festival, whose demise RealClearLife reported on in real time, was supposed to be the luxury music festival to end all luxury music festivals.

Taking place on a remote island in the Bahamas, its founders regaled would-be festival-goers with tales of glamping, high-end cuisine, and top international music acts—all to the tune of thousands of dollars in ticket fees and package deals.

There ended up being no luxury or music.

A source told the Times that—aside from the number of lawsuits that have been levied against the festival’s founders—an investigation is being conducted by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York and the FBI.

Among the victims of the festival is one restaurant owner in the Bahamas, who says she hasn’t been paid $134,000 for the food services she provided the festival crew. There are countless others—crew members, employees at Fyre Media (the festival’s parent company), and artisans—who haven’t been paid for their services.

And all of it seems to be coming down on the head of 25-year-old entrepreneur and founder Billy McFarland, whom the Times refers to as “The Wolf of Wall Street for the selfie set.”

According to reports in the article, McFarland had a history of making lofty promises he couldn’t keep, and may be looking at substantial jail time when all is said done.