It seems that Billy McFarland is putting his time in prison to arguably productive use.
McFarland, the notorious fraudster behind the failed Fyre Festival, is currently serving time in federal prison for fraud following the catastrophic failure of his 2017 music festival. The incident inspired two documentaries, one on Netflix and another on Hulu, but McFarland seems to believes that there’s still more of the story to tell, because he’s reportedly working on a memoir about the experience.
McFarland’s in-progress work has a tentative title of “Promythus: The God of Fyre,” according to freelance editor Josh Raab, who told New York Magazine this week that he’d been approached about the project by McFarland’s girlfriend, Anastasia Eremenko.
McFarland might be referring to Prometheus, who in Greek Mythology was a titan who defied the gods and stole fire for humanity. Or fyre. With McFarland, it's probably best not to get hung up details — or spelling.
Raab, who communicated with McFarland through emails and phone calls over the course of two weeks, told the magazine that McFarland pitched the book as telling the “raw” story not covered in either of the recently released documentaries (but Raab notes that McFarland’s publicist said that McFarland hasn’t seen either film). He touts as his inspiration Jordan Belfort, the man whose memoir, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” inspired a Martin Scorsese film starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
The book is part of McFarland’s comeback plan, and he’s been writing the pages longhand and mailing them to Eremenko, who then types them up, Raab told the outlet. His draft of the book will reportedly be around 800 handwritten pages by the time he’s done.
McFarland reportedly told Raab that he planned to self-publish the book and sell it on Amazon by the end of April, but that has yet to happen, according to NYMag. Proceeds of the book would help him cover the $26 million in restitution McFarland owes, but additional revenue would be for the people effected by the failure of the festival, with McFarland reportedly telling Raab that he had not yet “fully come to terms with” the negative impact the festival had on the local community.
McFarland also seemed to suggest that there was more of the festival coming, reportedly explaining to Raab in one email that he was rushing the book because the festival "will not be a one and done event — it’s happening again, so the original story will lose the potential to be told and set the stage if it’s not done before the next events take place.”
Raab, for his part, ultimately opted not to work with McFarland, because he didn’t think the project would be a “worthwhile addition to the general discussion.”
But Raab said that after he declined the project, he was still contacted by McFarland’s publicist Brandon Rubinshtein, who claimed that Ryan Seacrest reached out to McFarland in prison to express interest in relaunching the Fyre Festival; however, sources close to Seacrest deny this claim, NYMag reports.
After pleading guilty to wire fraud in October, and admitting to defrauding others in a ticket-selling scam separate from his failed music fest, McFarland was sentenced to six years in federal prison, a sentence he is currently serving out at the Federal Correctional Institution at Otisville, New York — the same institution where reality TV star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is serving out an eight-month sentence for tax-related crimes.
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