Fyre Festival Podcast Appearance Reportedly Lands Billy McFarland in Solitary Confinement

The information comes from McFarland's lawyer

Billy McFarland
Billy McFarland in 2014.
Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Earlier this month, Billy McFarland of Fyre Festival infamy recorded an interview for a podcast titled Dumpster Fyre. McFarland did so from prison, as he’s in the midst of a 6-year prison sentence in FCI Elkton in Ohio.

It’s worth mentioning here that, according to a report on the interview’s aftermath from the AV Club, McFarland did not stand to benefit from this interview himself. Instead, as writer William Hughes phrases it, “the show’s producers also state early on that any profits McFarland would have gotten from the project will go towards the people who were victimized by the festival instead.”

Unfortunately for McFarland, doing the interview has nonetheless landed him in hot water with the prison’s administration, and he’s now reportedly been placed in solitary confinement. As Hughes writes at the AV Club, “it’s a decidedly nasty reaction to McFarland performing the completely legal activity of calling someone on the phone.”

A report from The New York Times offers more details on the situation. “We believe the investigation stems from his participation in the podcast and the photographs that were taken and utilized in the trailer, which were all properly taken,” said McFarland’s lawyer, Jason Russo. The Bureau of Prisons declined to comment.

Another worrying detail from the Times report: McFarland’s cellmate is also reportedly in solitary confinement after he, too, took part in the podcast. According to Russo, inmates in the prison are permitted to make telephone calls — and, as the article notes, this wouldn’t be the first podcast with contributions made by someone incarcerated. McFarland is an easy target, but the larger principles at play here are worrying.

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