TWO YEARS after the Fyre Fest disaster: Where are they now?
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.
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
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.
"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.
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.
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.
"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."
Andy King has seen all of your FYRE Fest memes — and he loves them! pic.twitter.com/mCNgDoHpjW
— (@netflix) January 29, 2019
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.
I just watched the Netflix Fyre Fest doc. What a mess. The only person who settled her debts that weren’t even her debts was the black woman, Maryann Rolle.
— (@rgay) January 22, 2019
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."
I’m really, really mad at what they did to this lady – Maryanne Rolle, the owner of the Great Exuma restaurant who spent $50,000 of her own money to pay her staff. But a gofundme started for her met its goal! So that’s good. #FyreFestival #FyreNetflix pic.twitter.com/a2kDX3OpAJ
— (@nativeone) January 21, 2019
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