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Fyre Festival is back and tickets are selling out, Billy McFarland says. Is it for real?

Fyre Festival II tickets are now on sale, according to its organizer. But have potential buyers forgotten the notorious cheese sandwiches and FEMA tents that set Twitter ablaze in 2017?

Fyre Festival, the disastrous 2017 music festival organized by convicted fraudster Billy McFarland, is apparently returning for round two.

“As of right now, Fyre Festival II tickets are officially on sale,” McFarland announced in an Aug. 21 video post shared on Instagram. “It has been the absolute wildest journey to get here, and it really all started during a seventh-month stint in solitary confinement.”

“FYRE Festival 2 Pre-Sale is LIVE,” McFarland captioned his post, which also cited a link to the ticket site.

Speaking about his effort to launch a follow-up to his initial failure, McFarland explained how he worked to capture public interest in the festival that inspired the 2019 Netflix documentary “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened.”

“I wrote out this 50-page plan of how it would take this overall interest and demand in Fyre and how it would take my ability to bring people from around the world together to make the impossible happen.”

In a follow-up note shared to Instagram, McFarland announced that “The first FYRE Festival II drop has sold out.”

Here’s everything we know regarding the festival.

What’s the controversy around Fyre Festival?

In 2016, McFarland announced the now-notorious Bahamas music festival.

Set to take place between April 28–30 and May 5–7 in 2017 on the island of Great Exuma, the festival sold ticket buyers on an ultra-exclusive, VIP event. The star-studded event promised a stellar music lineup with acts like Tyga, Blink-182 and Migos.

Rapper Ja Rule was a co-founder of the event, and it was promoted on social media and in a splashy video by celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin and Emily Ratajkowski.

The festival was meant to run over two weekends on a private beach. However, things fell apart on its inaugural weekend.

What happened at Fyre Festival? 

According to NPR, McFarland sold attendees on an event for the ages with passes that gave them access to chartered flights, meals made by celebrity chefs, and accommodations in “modern, eco-friendly, geodesic domes.” Tickets for the event were sold for $500 to $1,500, and VIP packages for $12,000. 

Upon arriving on the island, however, attendees realized food, facilities and security were not up to the standards that had been promised.

The broken-down festivities were compared to books like “The Hunger Games” and “Lord of The Flies.” On Twitter, attendees famously revealed that those “celebrity chef” made meals were just cheese sandwiches served in foam containers. Accommodations were disaster-relief tents, and there was also no concert.

What happened to Billy McFarland from Fyre Festival?

In March 2018, McFarland pled guilty to wire fraud charges relating to the festival. Later, in July 2018, he pled guilty to fraud charges stemming from a separate ticket-selling scam, according to NBC News. In October of that same year, McFarland received a combined prison sentence of six years in prison for fraud.

After spending around four years behind bars, McFarland was released from prison early in May 2022.

Why is Fyre Festival coming back?

At the moment, it's not clear, and details about the alleged follow-up festival are scant.

A website for the event says the first 100 tickets have sold out. The next round is selling for $799, and prices go up incrementally. A "Last Chance" round of tickets is listed for $7,999.

There is no lineup of acts, and the date is slated as "the end of 2024." The location is listed as "The Caribbean."

According to NBC News, McFarland’s lawyer Jason Russo said he planned “put together a team of good people for a solid plan to make amends and pay” the millions in restitution he owes due to the failed festival.

At the time, Russo also said that McFarland had spent his two-year prison sentence working on a plan to “immediately” pay off the $26 million fine a judge gave him in 2018.