The 2017 Fyre Festival became a punchline after defrauding its attendees and just generally being a complete disaster.
The idea for the music festival in the Bahamas came to entrepreneur Billy McFarland, who wanted to promote his Fyre app, which helped users book music talent. McFarland partnered with Ja Rule to create the event. The duo decided to get the word out via social media by paying celebrities and influencers — including Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin) and Emily Ratajkowski — to promote the concert.
However, during the April 2017 weekend, concertgoers did not get the luxurious experience they were promised on the island of Great Exuma. Instead, the extraordinarily poorly planned event had nonstop problems related to security, food availability, accommodations, medical services and artist relations. It was so bad that the event had to be canceled, and many attendees were literally left stranded on the remote part of the island.
Both McFarland and Ja Rule were sued for $100 million in a class-action lawsuit brought by attendees in May 2017. The following month, McFarland was arrested by federal agents and charged with wire fraud.
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Keep scrolling to see where the people behind Fyre Fest are now: