The disgraced organizer of the disastrous Fyre music festival in the Bahamas, an audacious scheme that defrauded investors and left hundreds of ticket buyers stranded on an island, was sentenced on Thursday to six years in prison by a federal judge in Manhattan.
The organizer, Billy McFarland, 26, was also sentenced for running a sham ticket-selling business — but that fraud was run-of-the-mill compared with the Fyre Festival, which had been promoted by A-list social media influencers but imploded just as publicly on Instagram and Twitter. Mr. McFarland had promised an event with luxury accommodations and performances by bands like Blink-182, but the festival in fact never took place, leaving attendees wandering unfinished sites on the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas.
In March, Mr. McFarland pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud after investigators concluded that he had defrauded investors in his company, Fyre Media, as well as a subsidiary that had promoted the music festival, resulting in $24 million in losses.
Then in July, Mr. McFarland pleaded guilty to two more counts of fraud related to another company that he ran while out on bail that sold fake tickets to fashion, music and sports events and was said to have cost at least 30 victims a minimum of about $150,000.