Disgraced Fyre Festival fraudster says he’s launching another ‘island experience’ in the Bahamas

Convicted fraudster and Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland has announced another “island experience” based in The Bahamas.

McFarland was released from jail in early May 2022, after serving only four years of a six year prison sentence.

He was convicted in 2018 of wire fraud after using social media influencers, including Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid, to advertise a luxury music festival with tickets costing up to $12,000. In reality, attendees arrived to find the experience was nothing like the glamorous affair that had been advertised, and found themselves stranded on the island without accommodation.

First teasing details of a new project on social media in October this year, McFarland released more information about his latest venture, PYRT, last week.

Billed as a “virtual immersive decentralised reality”, McFarland claims it incorporates technology “to connect people virtually and physically.”

In a video posted on Instagram and TikTok, he claims that PYRT is looking to partner with remote destinations and launch live virtual replicas of these islands. He then shows viewers a map of the Bahamas as an example.

McFarland pronounces PYRT like the word pirate, and there’s a flag depicting a skull and crossbones on the brand’s (currently private) social media pages too. He has specifically asked Caribbean locations to get in touch if they’re interested in partnering with PYRT, and claims that one in particular has responded.

The Bahamian government published an open letter to the public on 14 November stating that no application for an event has been made by McFarland, highlighting that Fyre Festival was a “notorious charade for which McFarland was convicted and sent to prison”.

The letter continues: “The Government of The Bahamas will not endorse or approve any event in the Bahamas associated with him.”

Furthermore, it adds: “He is considered to be a fugitive, with several pending complaints made against him with the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF).”

The Bahamian government finishes by asking anyone who knows of his whereabouts to report them to the RBPF.

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