Fyre Festival’s Billy McFarland Apologizes in First Public Interview Following Prison Release

In his first televised interview since his release from prison, Billy McFarland appeared on 'Good Morning America,' where he apologized for the Fyre Festival.

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Billy McFarland, the mastermind behind 2017’s Fyre Festival, is apologizing for the infamous Bahamas event.

McFarland stopped by ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday to give his first televised interview since his release from prison back in May. While speaking with Michael Strahan, McFarland expressed remorse for the disastrous festival. 

“I need to apologize,” McFarland said. “And that is the first and the last thing that needs to be done. I let people down. I let down employees. I let down their families. I let down investors. So I need to apologize. I’m wrong and it’s bad.”

He continued, “I was wrong. I messed up. And I was so driven by this desperate desire to prove people right. I had these early investors, backers, employees and I think I was just so insecure that I thought the only way to prove myself to them was to succeed. And that led me down just this terrible path of bad decisions.”

When asked if his decisions were made because he was on a power kick, or if he more focused on financial gains, McFarland admitted that it was “to prove myself.”

“It was to prove myself and, once again, I was totally wrong and I lied to investors to get money,” he said. “But I put every dollar I had or could find to make this festival happen and I literally came back to New York after with $100 in my pocket.”

In 2018, the New York-born entrepreneur was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple counts of wire fraud. He pleaded guilty to defrauding investors out of tens of millions of dollars in connection to the Fyre Festival and other events.

While in prison, he also apologized in a statement provided to People.

“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 told People in 2018. “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.”

Back in March, McFarland was released from the Milan Federal Correctional Institution in Michigan, where he spent four years of his six-year sentence.

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