Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland apologizes from prison: ‘I’m devastated, but accepting’

Billy McFarland, who was sentenced to six years in prison last month for his role in the disastrous 2017 Fyre Festival, has apologized again for his actions, this time in an interview with People magazine.

“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 heavily hyped Fyre Festival was to be a “luxury concert” — taking place on a small island in the Bahamas and featuring Blink-182, Migos and Disclosure — but collapsed on in a mess of disorganization on April 29 before it had even started. Far from the luxury accommodations and celebrity-chef-prepared meals promised by its producers —McFarland and rapper Ja Rule — concertgoers were met with flimsy tents, boxed lunches, near-total disorganization and long waits for flights to return to the mainland after airlines began refusing to fly would-be concertgoers to the overcrowded island of Exumas.

20 PHOTOS
Pictures and firsthand accounts from Fyre Festival
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Pictures and firsthand accounts from Fyre Festival
Newly surfaced emails show the Fyre Festival organizers were notified of urgent concerns weeks before the festival. https://t.co/ydbUTBbmNL
Here's the "culinary experience" we got for our artists pass at Fyre Festival. https://t.co/Kk9q9uvkX0
The dinner that @fyrefestival promised us was catered by Steven Starr is literally bread, cheese, and salad with dr… https://t.co/GjBxQygxV9
FBI to investigate Fyre Festival, report says https://t.co/cxBvmq9GwR https://t.co/xtOzfD7w8P
One of the kitchens at Fyre Festival. #fyre #fyrefest #fyrefestival https://t.co/gQIpwxrw6S
A view of the luxury food court with some luxury school bus transportation at Fyre Festival. #fyre #fyrefestival https://t.co/XL3PtRw8q0
These are the secure lockers at Fyre Fest. They forgot to tell us we needed locks. #fyrefestival #fyrefest https://t.co/Tqyjqbg2Gy
Food court so lit rn at Fyre Fest. #fyrefestival #fyre https://t.co/sxEX4OduTR
Luxury trash receptacles at the luxury bar (with no beer). No shoes, no shirt, pajama pants, no problem.… https://t.co/aBWohANKnb
The infrastructure was nonexistent, and the festival staff either a skeleton crew or MIA. https://t.co/8Gh6NevsFI
@FyreFraud Just a reminder of what "The Duo" was originally sold as https://t.co/gKz90zNBvu
UPDATE: they are having us sign papers for full refunds. They are just pieces of computer paper but I mean...refunds https://t.co/oNa8EIojl1
Internal emails appear to show there were many warning signs ahead of Fyre Festival. Billy McFarland & Ja Rule now… https://t.co/8nsRzaczKN
The line of ex Fyre Festers at the Exuma International Airport. Yes that's throw up. #fyre #fyrefestival https://t.co/jSZHg0F0Kn
Inside the Fyre Festival fiasco: the reporters who wrote our exposé tell their stories on Popcast https://t.co/fUvLFd97Dy
Here are a few pics of the luxury cuisine options. The food on the right was pretty good. #fyrefestival https://t.co/aJkxtypQND
The luxury stage was so lit. Sadly, there was no beer at the luxury bar. They didn't run out. They never had any to… https://t.co/gw6l49sPKo
Luggage pickup was great. They brought the bags in and guests got to unload them for fun. In the dark. It built cha… https://t.co/AaRS25p3JY
They finally opened the doors to let some air in. The guy is ok. #fyrefestival https://t.co/D7j5qtzsGi
Also, we found a notebook from one of the Fyre Fest planners on the ground. It is amazing. #fyrefestival #fyre https://t.co/jFib0nO2RW
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Yet even after he had pleaded guilty to two counts wire fraud in March, McFarland was charged in June with running a fraudulent ticket-selling scheme while he was out on bail. His lawyers had asked for leniency, saying their client suffered untreated mental illness involving delusions about “fame and fortune.” Prosecutors had argued for a longer sentence, calling McFarland “the consummate con artist.” Judge Naomi Buchwald, who presided over the case in the U.S. Southern District Court, called McFarland “a serial fraudster.”

Investors in Fyre suffered $24 million in losses, it was revealed in court.

McFarland continued his contrite tone to People. “I’m devastated, but accepting, and I’ll use this opportunity to live my apology and become the family member, friend, business person and good citizen I should have been all along. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me every step of the way. Your love keeps me focused. Your hope keeps me motivated. Earning your forgiveness will fuel the rest of my days.”

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Fyre Festival scammer Billy McFarland
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Fyre Festival scammer Billy McFarland
William 'Billy' McFarland, organizer of the Fyre Festival, exits the U.S. Federal Court in Manhattan following his presentment on wire fraud charges in New York City, U.S., July 1, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
William 'Billy' McFarland, organizer of the Fyre Festival, exits the U.S. Federal Court in Manhattan, with his lawyer Sabrina Shroff, following his presentment on wire fraud charges in New York City, U.S., July 1, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
William 'Billy' McFarland, organizer of the Fyre Festival, exits the U.S. Federal Court in Manhattan following his presentment on wire fraud charges in New York City, U.S., July 1, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
WATER MILL, NY - JULY 30: Billy McFarland and Carol Mac attend The 23rd Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit & Auction at The Watermill Center on July 30, 2016 in Water Mill, NY. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 14: (L-R) Matthew Assante, Waka Flocka, Billy McFarland and Ja Rule attend 'Whisper Wednesdays' at PHD Terrace Dream Midtown on December 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Chance Yeh/Getty Images)
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