The Rise & Fall Of Billy McFarland: The Fyre Festival Flop

by Stephanie Maida · July 5, 2017

You may remember this April's worldwide experiment in schadenfreude: the Fyre Festival. What was advertised (and criticized) as an exclusive, private island music festival filled with Instagram models and luxury accommodations eventually became a global punchline for the very same reasons. The privileged attendees who paid thousands of dollars to party with the likes of Bella Hadid and Migos were indeed in for a memorable experience - just one that included feral dogs and disaster relief tents instead of envy-inducing 'grams and VIP treatment. The festival certainly made headlines, just not the ones organizers were hoping for. 

Or were they? "The whole world knows Fyre’s name now," said Ja Rule, the festival's celebrity face, sitting in what we could only imagine to be a throne of hellish flames. But while people were quick to turn the rapper into some sort of Batman-esque super-villain in the wake of the Fyre flop, the actual mastermind behind the whole thing was one Billy McFarland, the 25-year-old "entrepreneur" who has been in the social spotlight for years

After an arrest and subsequent court appearance likely ruining his plans for this past Fourth of July weekend, we've decided to dig into our archives for a full timeline of the rise and fall of this millennial Madoff.

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