Fyre Festival's Billy McFarland wants early prison release due to coronavirus fears

Fyre Festival’s Billy McFarland wants early prison release due to coronavirus fears


Fyre Festival's Billy McFarland wants early prison release due to coronavirus fears 1

The man at the centre of the 2017 Fyre Festival scandal, Billy McFarland, has requested that he be released from prison early due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

McFarland is currently serving a six-year sentence for two counts of wire fraud at the Elkton Federal Correctional Institution in Ohio, having pleaded guilty to his crimes in March 2018.

However, in documents obtained by The Wrap, McFarland’s lawyers have asked for early prison release, arguing that the 28-year-old has pre-existing health conditions that make him susceptible to the virus, such as asthma and “extreme” allergies.


“Mr McFarland is not a risk to the community nor a threat to public safety,” they wrote.

“The crime to which he pleaded guilty for was the non-violent financial crime of wire fraud. However, he is [at] a low risk of recidivism for such financial crimes as he has explained that he has a supportive family that has attested to providing for his basic needs.

Local news has reported that at least 67 inmates and 12 members of staff in the prison have contracted Covid-19, with three prisoners dying of the virus in the last week.

A repeated scammer, McFarland promised that Fyre Festival would be a “luxury music festival” held on Pablo Escobar’s former private island in the Bahamas, with Blink-182, Migos and Disclosure booked to perform and influencers including Emily Ratajkowsi, Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid appearing in the promotional video.

The event was a notorious disaster, collapsing in chaos after issues with food, security and accommodation arose and guests documenting everything on social media.

Billy’s involvement in the scheme was the subject of two documentaries: Netflix’s Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened and Hulu’s Fyre Fraud, both released in 2019.


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