Netflix Fyre Festival doco: Billy McFarland’s jail letters
He scammed his way to millions of dollars and put on what will long be known as the world’s worst music festival. Now Billy McFarland has told his girlfriend he's “showering in the sink” in jail.
Netflix’s new jaw-dropping documentary tells the story of Fyre Festival and its organiser Billy McFarland who teamed up with rapper Ja Rule to promise a high-class music festival in the Bahamas.
The event promised its attendees a line-up of artists including Blink 182 and Major Lazer with glamorous villas and accommodation on yachts, all available at prices ranging from $25,000 to $250,000 per attendee.
Models including Bella Hadid, Alessandra Ambrosio and Emily Ratajkowski were used to sell tickets, all frolicking in bikinis on white beaches and in crystal blue waters. Kendall Jenner was part of promoting the event, reportedly collecting $250,000 for a single Instagram post.
Such was the hype created by the glamorous images and the social media ‘influencers’ posting links to the festival, the event sold out in rapid time.
The Netflix documentary “Fyre” documents the following months in which the preparation and planning went from partying to panicking and then simply laughing as rain washed away any last hope they had of putting on even a very basic event.
Punters who arrived having spent tens of thousands of dollars for accommodation had no light, electricity, or running water and barely any food (some were famously served a cheese and salad sandwich that would have looked mediocre in prison). Many were left without anywhere to sleep and once the event was finally cancelled they were locked into the airport for a night.
Wish I had a cheese sandwich to eat while watching this Fyre Festival documentary pic.twitter.com/0nOo2jHVvH— Sammy Nadin 🌻 (@SammyNadin) January 18, 2019
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The wash-up was the man behind it all, Billy McFarland, was charged with multiple offences and labelled a “serial fraudster” by the judge, sentencing him to six years in a US federal prison.
‘So how’s he going now’, we hear you all googling.
Well, some of the bits you didn’t see in the Netflix documentary were included in a second documentary (released about the same time on Hulu) and feature interviews with McFarland AND his model girlfriend Anastasia Eremenko (pictured below). Photos show the two of them riding in a horse drawn cart, and staring into each other’s eyes in cafes.
When they met, Anastasia said she didn’t know he had been involved in Fyre Festival, let alone totally responsible for it.
“When me and Billy met it was destiny for us. It’s love, I never had this kind of connection but he drew my attention just with his energy,” Eremenko tells ‘Fyre Fraud’.
“But then I google him, that’s when I realise he was connected to Fyre Festival. My mind, maybe my head, were saying one thing but then I had these feelings in my heart.
“He kinda explained me that some point I guess he lost the sense of reality.”
Now Eremenko is receiving letters from him in jail. She said he’s not loving the experience and has to take "a shower in the sink.” The letter also includes drawings and "Billy loves Anastasia," she says.
Since he’s been in jail, Billy has written another letter, this one intended to be made public. In it he vows to make things right by becoming a better person while serving his time.
“I am incredibly sorry for my collective actions and will right the wrongs I have delivered to my family, friends, partners, associates and, you, the general public,” he said in the statement released to People.
“I’ve always sought — and dreamed — to accomplish incredible things by pushing the envelope to deliver for a common good, but I made many wrong and immature decisions along the way and I caused agony. As a result, I’ve lived every day in prison with pain, and I will continue to do so until I am able to make up for some of this harm through work and actions that society finds respectable.”
Who could believe him after he used his time on bail to sell tickets that he didn’t have and never intended to get to events including Victoria’s Secret fashion shows and US Masters golf.
The second documentary says his next business venture is already underway, teaching music production to his fellow inmates.
Ja Rule had stayed conspicuously silent on the Fyre disaster until Monday when he lashed out at the criticism that had come his way since the release of the documentaries.
I love how ppl watch a doc and think they have all the answers... 🤦🏾♂️— Ja Rule (@Ruleyork) January 20, 2019
I had an amazing vision to create a festival like NO OTHER!!! I would NEVER SCAM or FRAUD anyone what sense does that make???— Ja Rule (@Ruleyork) January 20, 2019