New charges for organiser of failed Fyre Festival

NEW YORK • Two customers flew from Florida to New York for the Grammy Awards, only to be turned away at the door.

They were victims of a ticket-selling scam run by Billy McFarland - even though he was out on bail after he was charged last year with fraud in connection to the failed Fyre Festival.

He now faces new charges, prosecutors said on Tuesday, noting that, from late last year to about March - months after McFarland had been charged - he ran a company that sold fraudulent tickets to exclusive events such as the Met Gala and Coachella.

McFarland used an e-mail account in the name of another employee of the company he owned, NYC VIP Access, and sent sales proceeds to other people's financial accounts to try to hide his involvement.

In all, McFarland, 26, defrauded about 15 customers out of about US$100,000 (S$134,000).

The Fyre Festival - which was billed as an opulent experience in the Bahamas - failed in spectacular fashion in April last year.

Hundreds of concertgoers suffered through a disorganised mess filled with soggy tents and cheese sandwiches in foam containers. Blink-182, who were to headline the festival, never performed.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2018, with the headline 'New charges for organiser of failed Fyre Festival'. Print Edition | Subscribe