Billy McFarland was relatively unknown inside and outside of American clubbing circles until April 2017, when a VIP party he had organized turned into a nightmare, leaving those present stranded and completely shocked.
McFarland, who co-founded the festival together with the popular American rapper Ja Rule (born Jeffrey Bruce Atkins), was later arrested and put on trial. Currently, the Fyre media chief is serving a six-year sentence in federal prison after pleading guilty to two counts of remittance fraud.
Below are all the facts about the convicted Fyre media chief. You will also learn who his parents and girlfriend are and whether he is related to the American actor, author, and director Seth MacFarlane.
Billy McFarland Biography
The founder of the Fyre Festival, whose real name is William McFarland, was born in the United States of America on December 11, 1991. However, he grew up with his parents in the Short Hills section of Millburn, New Jersey.
After high school, McFarland went to Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, to study computer science. However, he left the institution after less than nine months with the intention of creating an online advertising platform called Spling.
He briefly served as CEO of the company before joining an elite New York Millennium club known as Magnises. Located in a townhouse in the West Village. Magnises membership costs $250, while members received discounted access to high-profile events and were also invited to lectures, dinners, cocktail parties, and art exhibitions.
Later, however, it turned out that the company did not keep its promises, as was revealed by its members. Around this point, Billy perfected his idea of organizing the Fyre Festival.
Fyre Festival Debacle
The luxury festival, managed by Fyre Media (a company founded by Billy in 2016), was scheduled to take place in the Bahamas in late April and May 2017, with tickets selling for $1,200. Party-goers were assured that they would be flown in from Miami in a custom Boeing 737 and treated to gourmet food and exotic tents to sleep in.
The Fyre Festival also attracted the attention of many influential supermodels such as Hailey Baldwin, Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, and Alessandra Ambrosio, who participated in the shooting of the event’s promotional trailers. Upon their arrival on the island of Great Exuma for the festival, the participants were greeted with a series of serious misrepresentations, administrative, and management problems that eventually led to the cancellation of the event organized by Ja Rule and Billy McFarland.
After the spectacular failure of the event, which spread massively on Instastories and Twitter timelines, the Fyre Festival immediately became the subject of several lawsuits and the federal investigation of the United States. Billy and Ja Rule were later sued for $100 million in a class-action lawsuit in May 2017, and Billy pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud in March 2018.
McFarland agreed to forfeit over $26 million and was sentenced to six years in federal prison on October 11, 2018. The convicted fraudster is incarcerated in Otisville, FCI Otisville, in Orange County, New York. In 2019, the controversy surrounding the failed Fyre Festival was recounted in the two documentaries Fyre fraud (Fyre fraud, released by Hulu on January 14) and Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (released by Netflix on January 18, 2019).
Billy McFarland, son of American parents, founded his first company at the age of thirteen. In contrast to the disgraced fraudster, not much is known about his parents. However, authoritative sources report that Billy’s parents are both real estate developers. Apart from this information, their family background and where they live is still a mystery.
According to the Hulu documentary, Billy McFarland is in a relationship with a beautiful model named Anastasia Eremenko. The model was born in 1990 and comes from Rostov-on-Don, a city in southeastern Russia.
Anastasia moved to Delaware at the age of seventeen and later earned an M.B.A. at Goldey-Beacom College. She started her modeling career in 2012 and has since worked for several brands, including Balmain and Guess. Eremenko currently works at Silent Models.
The couple is said to have met after the fraud at the Fyre Festival was uncovered. Although McFarland is in prison, he is still in love with his girlfriend.
Is Billy Related to Seth MacFarlane?
Seth MacFarlane is best known as the creator of the television series The Family Guy. Although the online audience is convinced that the convicted criminal and the actor bear a certain resemblance in some ways, Seth has no family relationship whatsoever with Billy.
Apart from the fact that there is no possibility that the two could be brothers, Seth knows nothing about the Fyre Festival, his parents are not real estate developers and his last name is MacFarlane.