Authorities Auctioning Fyre Festival Merchandise to Repay Victims
Fyre Festival was a complete failure almost from the jump. The most successful thing it did was birth two very good documentaries that are available on Netflix and Hulu. If you haven't taken the time to see either one, here's the quick version:
A rich "entrepreneur" named Billy McFarland teamed up with rapper Ja Rule to create a "luxury" music festival that would take place on a private island in the Caribbean. To market the festival, McFarland and Ja flew Instagram influencers out to the island, basically to have a party. They promised attendees fancy housing in private villas, extravagant chef-cooked meals every day and top-of-the-line entertainment.
Looks awesome, right?
What actually happened was that people got to the island, saw that they would be staying in (likely flooded) disaster tents leftover from a hurricane, heard they would not be seeing any of the musical acts they paid thousands to see, and would be fed sliced white bread with some cheese on it.
Back in October, McFarland was sentenced to up to six years in prison for defrauding customers.
The festival failed spectacularly, but the fact that McFarland and co. refused to admit defeat until attendees started showing up on the island with nowhere to go meant that they still were trying to force the show to go on. That means there's plenty of Fyre Festival merchandise, like apparel and wristbands, floating around (not literally, but actually, maybe).
Vulture reported that the U.S. Marshall Service office in Manhattan has two boxes of Fyre Festival stuff that it will auction off to pay back some of the employees and customers McFarland scammed out of money.
“We have an assortment of the ‘real thing’ Fyre Festival-branded T-shirts, sweatpants, sweatshirts, hats, wristbands and medallions,” a spokesman for the office said in an email to Vulture. “We know that there is tremendous interest in these items in the NY metro area in particular.”
There's no date for the auction, yet, but the items have been properly "appraised" by the authorities to verify their legitimacy. So, if you see Fyre festival stuff on sites like eBay that seem to be coming from a non-official source, it's probably bogus. That'd be some intense scam-ception—scamming others by selling fake merchandise relating to a fraudulent music festival designed to scam people out of their money.
Also, buying fake stuff inhibits the victims from receiving the compensation they deserve.
"Our objective always is to get funds back to the victims as fast as we can in cases where there are victims," the U.S. Marshals office said.
This is a pretty good solution to help the employees who were stiffed by McFarland as well as the people who coughed up crazy amounts of money for a dubious music festival.
Millennials, am I right?