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Playing with Fyre: First tickets for sequel sell out

The first 100 tickets for the troubled festival were snapped up in a matter of hours

By Lisa Henderson on 22 Aug 2023

Fyre Festival 2017 main stage, Grand Exuma, Bahamas, Fyre Festival LLC

Fyre Festival 2017 main stage, Grand Exuma, Bahamas, Fyre Festival LLC

The first 100 tickets for the sequel of the infamous Fyre Fest have sold out, despite a baptism of fire during its first edition in 2017.

Developed by Billy McFarland, the inaugural festival Fyre Fest was originally set to run over two weekends on a private beach in the Bahamas, with the promise of luxury accommodation, gourmet food and music.

However, the event spectacularly collapsed on its first day when ticket-holders arrived to find half-built tents, insufficient food and a dearth of performers.

McFarland was jailed in 2018 and fined US$26 million for his role in the debacle, pleading guilty to defrauding investors and running a fraudulent ticketing scam.

The 31-year-old – who was released from prison last year– announced the return of the festival earlier this year and tickets went on sale this morning.

“FYRE is about people from the around the world coming together to pull off the impossible”

Despite a lack of details about the second edition, the first 100 tickets – which were priced at US$499 – have been snapped up. A further six tiers of tickets, ranging between $799 and $7,999, are “coming soon”.

The sequel’s location, date and line-up have not yet been confirmed, though the founder says it will take place in “the Caribbean” and that his unnamed partners are “targeting Fyre Festival 2 for the end of next year”.

“Since 2016 FYRE has been the most talked about festival in the world. We now saw this convert to one of the highest priced GA [general admission] pre-sales in the industry,” tweeted McFarland.

“FYRE is about people from the around the world coming together to pull off the impossible. This time we have incredible support. I’ll be doing what I love while working with the best logistical and infrastructure partners. In addition, all ticket sale revenue will be held in escrow until the final date is announced. We look forward to surprising the world alongside our partners as we build FYRE and FYRE Festival II into the island adventure of a lifetime.”

In a video posted to his official TikTok account yesterday, McFarland said: “It has been the absolute wildest journey to get here, and it really all started during the seven-month stint in solitary confinement. I wrote out this 50-page plan of how it would take this overall interest and demand in Fyre, and how it would take my ability to bring people from around the world together and make the impossible happen, how I would find the best partners in the world to allow me to be me while executing Fyre’s vision to the highest level…”

“It has been the absolute wildest journey to get here… it really all started during the seven-month stint in solitary confinement”

He added: “In the meantime, we’ll be doing pop-ups and events across the world. Guys, this is your chance to get in. This is everything I’ve been working towards. Let’s fucking go.”

In March this year, McFarland laid out his plans to repay the $26 million (£20.9 million) he owes to investors for the botched debut.

“Here’s how I’m going to pay it back: I spend half my time filming TV shows. The other half, I focus on what I’m really, really good at,” he said on Twitter. “I’m the best at coming up with wild creative, getting talent together, and delivering the moment.”

McFarland previously shared he plans on making a Broadway musical.

He made the announcement on TikTok and in an interview with journalist Adam Glyn. “Instead of like traditional Broadway actors, it’s going to be current music artists, combined with the Broadway format of the play — making fun of me, but also I think sharing some of the good sides as well,” he said of the planned musical, which he has dubbed Fyre Fest 1.5.

Last year, following his release from prison, McFarland also launched a Bahamas treasure hunt venture, called ‘PYRT’. The event was expected to be the subject of a not-yet-released documentary titled After The Fyre.

The press has been somewhat sceptical about a second iteration of the notorious event, with Rolling Stone’s headline on the announcement reading: “Fyre Festival II tickets are on sale now if you’re interested in lighting money on fire”.


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