In 2018, the New York-born entrepreneur was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple counts of wire fraud. According to the Bureau of Prisons website, McFarland was released March 30 from the Milan Federal Correctional Institution in Michigan, and is now residing at a halfway house in New York. Billboard reports he will remain at the facility until Aug. 30.
McFarland was taken into custody more than three years ago for his involvement in Fyre Festival—the infamous music event that was billed as a luxurious, tropical retreat in the Bahamas. The festival—which was scheduled to take place during the weekends of April 28–30 and May 5–7, 2017—promised live performances by some of the biggest names in music, as well as upscale tent accommodations and meals prepared by celebrity chefs; but when attendees arrived on the island, they were greeted by rows of FEMA tents, depressing cheese sandwiches, and chaos.
McFarland later pleaded guilty to defrauding investors out of tens of millions of dollars in connection to the Fyre Festival and other events. In 2020, he released a lengthy statement in which he apologized for the scheme, which was explored in multiple documentaries.
“I lied, deceived, and ultimately hurt many people in pursuit of what I thought would be successful business ventures,” he wrote. “What I did was absolutely despicable, and the responsibility for the damages caused starts and ends with me. There’s absolutely no excuse for my actions. There’s not a day that goes by that my reflection of these choices doesn’t make me sick.
“Ultimately, my mistakes may prove to be unforgivable, but as I sit here and take all of this in, I think back to the day I was sentenced. I promised to dedicate myself to helping those I hurt through the only way I thought appropriate: by living my apology.”
McFarland’s attorney, Jason Russo, confirmed his client is currently residing at a halfway house, where he is brainstorming his next project—one that will “generate income to pay this restitution back and make amends.
“Any new projects that he does become involved in will be done solely for the purpose of generating the restitution for paying back his victims,” Russo said.