fyre festival

Video: "How Fyre Festival Almost Ruined My Life, Twice"

If you watched the Fyre Festival documentary that came out earlier this year, you might remember Maryann Rolle, who provided catering services for the catastrophic Fyre Festival and lost $50,000. After the documentary, an online crowdfunding campaign was organized to raise money for Rolle. She got over $220,000. In this Vice video, Rolle describes how she was almost scammed again.

Image: Vice/YouTube Read the rest

Michael Cohen checks into one of "America's 10 Cushiest Prisons"

Michael Cohen is reporting to prison today to serve a three-year sentence for lying to Congress and assorted crimes involving money. He's staying at a camp for nonviolent offenders at Otisville Federal Correctional Institution, about 70 miles from Manhattan. His fellow inmates include Fyre Festival con man Billy Shire and Jersey Shore star Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino.  The Otisville camp is one of "America's 10 Cushiest Prisons" as reported in Forbes.

From CBS News:

Inmates have lockers to store personal belongings, they can do their own laundry in washers and dryers and use microwaves to heat up food. They also have access to ice machines. It also has tennis courts, horseshoes and cardio equipment, leading the Associated Press to observe that it's "the closest thing the federal prison system has to sleepaway camp."

Also from CBS News:

About 115 inmates sleep in bunks lined up in barrack-style halls, instead of individual or two-man cells like in higher-security facilities. There are lockers to store personal belongings, washers and dryers for laundry, microwaves to heat up food and ice machines to keep cool... Otisville is also known as a favorite among prison-bound Jews for its Kosher meals and Shabbat services.

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Already regretting hiring Cormac McCarthy to revise the script for Star Wars Ep. IX

Previously:

Already regretting assigning J.G. Ballard to cover the Fyre Festival Already regretting assigning the new MacBook Pro review to Borges Already regretting assigning the Chelsea Clinton story to Frank Herbert Read the rest

Ja Rule has plans for to Fyre up another music festival. Seriously.

Ja Rule, who claims he hasn't watched either of the Fyre festival documentaries, is ready to rise like a phoenix from the, er, flames:

"(Fyre is) the most iconiq festival that never was," he says. "So I have plans to create the iconic music festival." Read the rest

Burning Man purges one-percenter camp that charged up to $100K, littered like crazy, and ripped off its attendees

Burning Man has long struggled with the tension between its commitment to "radical decommodification" and grifters and their ultra-high-net-worth marks who organize "turnkey camps" where you can pay giant sums to pretend to be a Burning Man "participant" while being looked after by paid "sherpas" (including, rumor has it, sex workers), in luxury settings designed to repel non-paying attendees (sometimes guarded by private security guards). Read the rest

Hulu appears poised to win the Fyre Festival documentary race

Looks like Hulu is going to beat Netflix to market with their Fyre Festival documentary.

Two documentaries on a festival that didn't happen. I was not one-documentary interested, but Mark is making popcorn.

Hollywood Reporter:

Fyre Fraud, a documentary chronicling the lead-up and aftermath of 2017’s disastrous Fyre Festival, is airing on Hulu.

Hulu dropped the documentary, produced and distributed by The Cinemart, Hulu, Billboard and Mic, Monday morning, with no advance notice. Netflix’s competing documentary, Fyre, comes out Jan. 18.

The 96-minute Hulu doc features an exclusive, extensive post-festival interview with 25-year-old entrepreneur and Fyre Festival mastermind Billy McFarland, who is serving a six-year prison term after pleading guilty to wire fraud charges. By turns repentant and defensive, he seldom takes direct responsibility for allegedly defrauding investors out of more than $26 million, nor does he admit wrongdoing.

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Watch this trailer for the new Fyre Festival documentary!

The Fyre Festival documentary premieres on Netflix on January 18 and I can't wait. If you remember the Fyre Festival, you definitely weren't there... because, y'know, it didn't happen. And I'm glad, because if it did, we wouldn't have this fantastically ridiculous story. From NetFlix:

Created by Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule, Fyre Festival was promoted as a luxury music festival on a private island in the Bahamas featuring bikini-clad supermodels, A-List musical performances and posh amenities. Guests arrived to discover the reality was far from the promises.

Chris Smith, the director behind the Emmy Award Nominated documentary Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, gives a first-hand look into disastrous crash of Fyre as told by the organizers themselves.

Read more Boing Boing posts about the Fyre Festival. Read the rest

Fyre Festival documentary to air on Netflix in January

If there was ever collective schadenfreude to be had, it was when we learned that a bunch of young, privileged rich kids got swindled by the promoters of the 2017 Fyre Festival and were left to fend for themselves on a remote island. On January 18, Netflix is releasing a documentary about the dumpster Fyre.

Here's its teaser trailer:

Previously: Fyre Festival fraudster sentenced to six years in federal prison

(COS) Read the rest

Fyre Festival fraudster sentenced to six years in federal prison

Billy McFarland, the 26 year old con-artist who organized a disastrous Bahamas music festival in 2017 was sentenced to six years in federal prison on multiple counts of fraud. Ticket buyers who paid $12,000 had been promised a "first class" experience on a private island with yacht rides, gourmet meals, supermodels, and luxury villas but instead received school bus shuttles, cheese slices on bread, feral dogs, disaster relief tents and no musical performances.

From the New York Times:

Prosecutors said that the music festival, which was to have taken place in 2017, was the product of an elaborate scheme. The festival’s website identified its location as Fyre Cay, a fictional place that was described as a private island that had once belonged to the drug lord Pablo Escobar.

Actually, Mr. McFarland secured some land on Great Exuma just weeks before the festival and hired workers who scrambled to prepare for the event. But as ticket holders arrived, Mr. McFarland’s plans unraveled and the festival was canceled. His celebrity business partner in Fyre Media, the rapper Ja Rule, posted on social media that he was “heartbroken” about the chaos.

From late 2017 until early 2018, Mr. McFarland ran a company called NYC VIP Access that sold bogus tickets to events like the Met Gala, Coachella, Burning Man and the Super Bowl. In one case, prosecutors said, two customers flew from Florida to New York for the Grammy Awards, only to be turned away at the door.

In a sentencing memorandum, prosecutors called Mr.

Read the rest

Fyre Festival founder blames everything but himself

Attorneys for Billy McFarland, organizer of the fantastically failed "Fyre Festival," are blaming a host of untreated mental health issues, alcoholism and attention deficit disorders for the amazing flop, and asking a judge to be lenient. Read the rest

Good riddance to Klout, horseman of the influencer apocalypse

Social rating site Klout saw where society was heading with influencer marketing, but like many bad ideas that were a little ahead of their time, Klout will not live on to see the devastation they helped usher in. Read the rest

The Weinstein Effect is already taking a readership toll on the lefty blogosphere

The crackdown on "influencers" engaging in undisclosed paid endorsement roiled Instagram last year, but now the crackdown on sexual misconduct on influencers is affecting readership at Mic, Upworthy, GOOD, and Slate, who quietly paid influencers like George Takei to promote their articles on their personal accounts. Read the rest

Burger King Cheddar and Bacon Grill Dog : expectation vs. reality

The Burger King Cheddar and Bacon Grill Dog is the Fyre Festival of specialty hot dogs.

[via] Read the rest

Leaked Fyre Festival documents reveal "logistical nightmare"

This can't be good for Fyre Media co-founders Billy McFarland and Ja Rule: leaked emails and documents show that organizers were not only grossly incompetent, they didn't seem to particularly care that the Fyre Festival was doomed.

From Mic:

In an urgent April 3 email with the subject line, "RED FLAG- BATHROOMS/ SHOWER SHIPPING," a mid-level Fyre Festival worker alerted senior staff, including 25-year-old co-founder Billy McFarland and Fyre Media president Conall Arora, of a growing crisis: the unexpectedly high costs (estimated to be at least $400,000) of shipping enough toilets and showers to the Bahamas to accommodate an anticipated 2,500 people on the island.

This followed the news that its caterer, Starr Catering Group, had just pulled out of the festival. Those two events prompted one assistant on the email thread to joke, "No one is eating so therefore no ones pooping."

Here's another snapshot from the train wreck:

But there was one problem with Weinstein's plan: Those luxury villas — which Fyre Media marketed on its website and sold for thousands of dollars to attendees — don't seem to have existed.

Two days later, on April 22, Weinstein sent an email to staff strongly suggesting a campaign begin to reach out to the influencers planning to attend — and prepare them for seriously reduced accommodations.

"It is my opinion based on conversations with influencers, that the majority of them are not going to receive what they were promised," Weinstein said in a note urging Fyre staff to be more transparent.

Read the rest

Ja Rule on the Fyre Festival debacle: “False advertising, maybe — not fraud.”

There's lots of juicy, behind-the-scenes details in this New York Times expose about the Fyre Festival - a promised lavish music event in the Bahamas that was cancelled after people who paid thousand of dollars arrived by plane and discovered crappy tents on a gravely beach with little food or security and no performers. Fyre Festival co-founder Billy McFarland, 25, is accused of not paying workers and contractors. McFarland and his partner, Ja Rule, are blaming others for the calamity. Aggrieved parties are serving lawsuits by the dozen. And federal authorities are "looking into possible mail, wire and securities fraud," according to the Times.

Snip:

Well into March, the event’s website — which briefly vanished because its designer had not been paid — claimed it would take place on Fyre Cay, a private island that once belonged to the drug lord Pablo Escobar. Ticket packages included the $400,000 “Artist’s Palace,” with four beds, eight V.I.P. tickets and dinner with one festival performer.

But there was no such island or palace. Fyre employees recalled higher-ups inventing extravagant accommodations just to see if people would buy them — and some did, they said.

Mr. McFarland had been scouting sites, taking private planes to the Bahamas with his Fyre entourage and models in tow. But long after tickets had been sold, he was still nailing down a location.

By early April, the festival team finally set up at Roker Point, a largely unbuilt housing development on Great Exuma that borders a Sandals resort.

Read the rest

Mind-bending infinite gif loop for psychedelia festival

O.Z.O.R.A. Festival is billed as a psychedelic tribal gathering in Dádpuszta, Hungary. Their website splash page is a gorgeous infinite gif that you can set to trance or chill music. Read the rest

Fyre Festival founder to employees: you're not getting paid, but wanna work for free?

On Wednesday 25-year-old Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland -- who is being sued for $100M over his catastrophic schadenfreudefest -- gathered his long-unpaid employees on a conference call this week to tell them that "After conferring with our counsel and all financial people, unfortunately we are not able to proceed with payroll. We’re not firing anyone, we’re just letting you know that there will be no payroll in the short term." Read the rest

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