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fyre fest

Can you believe it's been two years since April 28, 2017? 

The day when mass chaos occurred in the Bahamas after Fyre Fest descended into disarray, with musical acts dropping out, no food and water and fake amenities similar to a refugee camp.

Marketed by the industry's most valuable influencers such as Hailey Baldwin and Kendall Jenner as the Coachella of the tropical islands, the festival organisers committed total fraud and lost thousands of dollars.

The upper class scandal led to a Hulu and Netflix documentary, GoFundMe pages set up for all the staff who were duped out of money in their home of the Bahamas, and arrests being made.

Tickets cost thousands of dollars and gained notoriety through the famous 'orange tile' advertising by famous models on Instagram such as Bella Hadid.

Let's just say it DEFINITELY was not what it was advertised, with glamorous rich folks receiving sad pieces of cheese on bread instead of gourmet meals, and had no place to lodge at all in the middle of a deserted island.

The festival organiser, Billy McFarland, 'fully postponed' the event after pretty much everyone had already arrived. Smart.

"After assessing the situation this morning and looking at best options for our guests, we cannot move forward as we hoped we could. At this time, we are working tirelessly to get flights scheduled and get all travelers home safely," they quoted at the time.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Ja Rule, a rapper who befriended Billy McFarland at the time and co-organised the event, assured attendees that Fyre Fest was "not a scam" and that he was heartbroken about the scenario. He faced his share of backlash, deservedly so.

He tweeted;  "I too was hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, lead astray!!!" Mmmmhmmm. McFarland was charged with wire fraud and sentenced to six years in prison, where he currently is still serving his time in Otisville

GIF by Team Coco

Where are they now, though? Let's start with good old Billy McFarland.

McFarland is sharing a prison with Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino. He was found guilty of defrauding investors of the festival out of a whopping $26 million in November 2018.

He plead guilty to two counts of wire fraud, and faces three years of supervised release when he completes his sentence. The 27-year-old issued an apology to People, saying;

"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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"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."

The Hulu documentary claims that McFarland is teaching a music entrepreneurship class to fellow inmates of the Otisville Federal Correctional Facility in NYC.

Ja Rule

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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While the rapper didn't take part in either documentary, he was heavily featured in both. Fair enough, considering he was Fyre's co-founder and worked very closely with McFarland.

The 42-year-old has remained seemingly in the clear since his partner went behind bars, famously defending himself as clueless on social media,

"I had an amazing vision to create a festival like NO OTHER! I would NEVER SCAM or FRAUD anyone what sense does that make?" he tweeted.  Nevertheless, he was subjected to multiple lawsuits due to his ties.

Ja Rule has since begun a new investment in an app called ICONN, a "celebrity entertainment book & concierge  service." Hmmm, we feel like we've heard this one before. "It's very different, but it's similar," he admitted.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Andy King, AKA The Team Player

Bless his wee soul. Poor Andy is now remembered as the key player who attempted to save the doomed festival through using any means necessary.

He quickly became an Internet sensation after the Netflix documentary aired, with McFarland asking him to "take one for the team" and perform oral sex on a customs official so they could get bottled water delivered.

He famously declared that he took a shower, rinsed his mouth with mouthwash and drove across town to do the deed. Thankfully, the situation didn't escalate to sexual coercion, but Andy is still revered nonetheless.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"I just don't want to necessarily be known as the Blow Job Kind of the world," he said. Well, nowadays he's doing amazingly well considering his reputation. One might even call him a breakout star?

King admitted in a recent Netflix video that he was "completely blown away" (LOL) by the public response to the interview. "I am now a noun, a verb, an adjective…it's mind-blogging." 

The Billy Whisperer admitted to the L.A. Times he hasn't cut his ties with his imprisoned protégé; "No, I'm not done with him. I know- I'm Uncle Whackjob," he said.

"We come from a preppy background. Half my friends have sons his age. I didn't have somebody to mentor me at that age. He's not a horrible guy. He has hurt a lot of people. Will I probably go visit him someday? Yeah, I will probably. And maybe that's the closure I need."

The 57-year-old is still working as an event producer, and aided the start if a GoFundMe to help pay back all of the local Bahamian staff members.

Last but not least; Maryanne Rolle

Rolle was the caterer at the Exuma Point Resort in the tropical islands of the Bahamas, and lost her ENTIRE life savings to feed the staff of the festival.

Of course, anyone who watched the documentary had a huge amount of sympathy for her, and began a GoFundMe campaign to help her out.

It raised over $123,000 dollars and exceeded the goal, with many of the festival organisers offering donations.

Maryanne and her husband, Elvis Rolle, have found the attention highly difficult, and revealed in an interview that she has fallen ill due to the stress, "She can't cope with it all," Elvis told The National. "I hope she feels better soon."

As for the amazing GoFundMe campaign, he said, ""It means everything, it means we get something back from everything we put in. It is like God is watching over us."

So there you have it. Most of them are still embroiled in the law, but at least Maryanne got her savings back? We wish her well.

Feature image credit: Hypebeast

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In case anyone wants to hear more about the sh*t-show that was Fyre Fest, we HIGHLY recommend the Netflix documentary.

The whole thing was insanity, but models and influencers who shared those infamous orange tiles to their Instagrams were paid a huge amount to do so, despite knowing nothing about the actual festival.

Rumour has it that Kendall Jenner was paid a whopping $250,000 for her post marketing the campaign, which is madness, but Hailey Baldwin has revealed that she gave her pay to charity. 

The model and wife of Justin Bieber was a guest on James Corden's US talk show game Spill Your Guts, but remained candid on how much the actual amount was… which was probably wise.

While she did refuse to reveal the digits, she replied: "I’m not going to share but it made for a very generous donation to charity." Not one to let things go easily, Corden joked; "You gave the money away after you saw how… great it was." 

Hailey had to laugh that one off, saying nervously, "Yes, I did." The chat show host made sure to call the 22-year-old supermodel 'noble' for her efforts. We're glad something good came out of the whole thing.

Baldwin and a group of models were flown out to the Bahamas, including Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner, in April 2017 to film a promotional video for the music festival.

The event was created by rapper Ja Rule and entrepreneur Billy McFarland using fraudulent funding on McFarland's part, who was arrested and sentenced to six years in prison.

He was let out on $300,000 bail but continued to create fraudulent businesses while on probation, awaiting trial.

Image: VICE News

Recent reports now state that Hailey and Bella Hadid, and influencers involved in the festival who are represented by IMG modelling agency would be subpoenaed as part of the criminal investigation into the disastrous event, which was later cancelled.

Billboard claim that the subpoenas aim to discover more about the reported $1.4 million budget that Fyre allegedly had to book artists and talent.

McFarland allegedly spent $10 million on the music festival, despite the chaos of no accommodation, water, food or artists.

Feature image: mhamed-hassine-fantar.com

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