Fraudsters are fascinating.
Particularly the ones who get revealed in public to millions of people and try to start again.
The creator of Fyre Festival, Billy McFarland, is out of jail. He just announced he’s going to create Fyre Festival II.
The return of Billy is both bad for humanity and excellent, with a surprising twist we’ll get to.
First impressions of the new Billy McFarland
I’m not gonna lie. I don’t like Billy Boy.
What he did with Fyre Festival is beyond a joke. But it’s what he did after it all blew up that’s worse.
For those who’ve seen the documentaries on the royal screw-up, you’ll know that Billy set up a new business and tried to legit steal people’s money by selling fake concert tickets to events like Coachella.
This is the behavior of a true criminal, not an accidental festival mishap.
The initial tweets Billy has posted since getting out of jail don’t give me a lot of hope that he’s learned his lesson.
First, he announces that he’s one of the most googled people in the world. He compares himself to rapper Ye (who shall not be named), Elon Musk, and the President of the United States.
What he misses is, he’s famous for the wrong reasons.
Being known as one of the greatest conmen in history isn’t something to be proud of Billy Boy. Still, Billy is on social media trying to get attention.
He asked 50 cent if he wanted to chat now that Ja Rule is busy doing other things. He talks about being an expert at raising VC money. And how he’s really good at bringing together talented people, despite his horrific track record. It feels like comedy but it’s not.
He sounds like a 5 year old boy desperate for attention.
There’s even a photo of him holding an NFT. God help us all. Despite his tragic comeback, there is another side to this story…
Is a scammer always a scammer?
It’s an interesting question. Some people never change. But some do.
- Nelson Mandela went to prison and became the president of South Africa.
- Actor Tim Allen went to jail for drugs in the 1970s and came out a successful actor.
- Frank Abagnale from the “Catch Me If You Can” movie wrote fake checks and ran an elaborate scam. He later got a job working for the FBI catching people doing the same scams he did.
People do change. Do I think Billy McFarland is one of them? Not sure. He’s certainly no Nelson Mandela, that much I know.
As Billy has started to post on social media again, 99% of people have given him sh*t. He’s not much more than a joke, at best a meme.
There are signs of hope for Billy…
First, he made fun of himself and the drama he caused.
In this skit with the famous “blow job man” from the documentary, they both send themselves up. They admit how they screwed up.
When people ask why he shouldn’t be in jail, he has an intelligent response:
It’s in the best interest of those I owe for me to be working. People aren’t getting paid back if I sit on the couch and watch tv. And because I served my time.
He regularly talks about how he will pay people back the money he stole.
Critic: How you going to pay back all the individuals you scammed?
Billy: Working 85 hour weeks and doing my best to provide value so I can earn and make small steps to pay back those I owe.
It’s clear the guy is trying to rebuild his life and it’s hard not to respect.
After serving 50 months, I’ve been out of jail for 6 months.
This shit is hard.
PYRT employs 10 🏴☠️
I’ve launched mAIt 💖 and WAVE 🌊
I’m filming tv shows 🎦
I have the biggest ⭐ ‘s coming together for the next campaign 🥕
and a movie is being made 🔥
And it seems not everyone has written off Billy.
Some do believe that he should get a second chance at life and business.
(Shoutout to Sam Parr for taking a risk on Billy.)
The kindness of strangers never gets old. It’s so beautiful to see.
Bringing it all together
I’m no Billy fan but I do love to see an underdog win.
Here’s where I’m at: if he pays back the money he stole, and only if, maybe he should be given a second chance. But that’s a bloody big maybe given the chaos he created.
From what we’ve seen so far … I’m not sold. I just can’t get the end of the Fyre documentary out of my head, where he’s secretly recorded selling fake tickets to events and is all smug about it. It just feels like criminal behavior.
Hustle is all fine and dandy, but not if it’s used to steal from people.
I wish you the best Billy with your second chance at life, but I’m not holding my breath buddy-boy.