Fan-favorite Andy King confirms his Fyre Festival II return and says 'sell-out' 2024 event will be 'ultimate redemption' | The Sun
FYRE Festival fan-favorite Andy King is returning to help convicted fraudster Billy McFarland revive his ill-fated Bahamas event that ended in disaster six years ago.
King, who worked as the event producer for the original Fyre Fest in the spring of 2017, revealed his intentions to help McFarland redeem himself in a statement to The U.S. Sun on Tuesday.
"I look forward to working with Billy and our partners to share FYRE with the world," said King in an emailed statement.
"I’m so grateful to have support to help us execute the ultimate redemption."
Questions seeking additional information went unanswered by King. A rep for him teased that more details would be revealed "soon."
McFarland announced his intentions to rebirth the disastrous Fyre Festival brand earlier this year.
The revamped event is slated to take place in December 2024 – but in typical McFarland fashion, the details remain hazy.
So far, a line-up for the festival has not been shared and where it will be held has not been confirmed, with the location listed only as the "Caribbean Sea" on Fyre Fest's website.
But still, the first 100 tickets for Fyre Fest II went on sale on Monday for a limited-time price of $499.
McFarland claimed on Tuesday that the tickets sold out in less than a day.
Most read in The US Sun
Only Fools and Horses star's nephew dies – with watch stolen from body
Delivery driver, 23, is 'ambushed & killed by armed gang while working'
Agony for Queen Camilla as her first love tragically dies aged 77
Greenwood 'wanted by Gerrard's Saudi club' but ex-Man Utd boss 'interested'
The next batch will be released soon for $799 and will reach as much as $7,999 per ticket in the final release, the convicted conman said in a video posted to YouTube.
King's decision to reunite with McFarland comes as somewhat of a surprise, having told The U.S. Sun in an interview earlier this year that he'd almost certainly decline the opportunity to work with McFarland again.
"I probably would say I wish you all the luck in the world but unfortunately I can't be involved with another project like that," said King in February, shortly after McFarland announced the festival's return.
"Fyre Fest did a number on me […] Unfortunately, I don't think any of my advisers would be happy if I jumped into another project like that."
CHANGE OF HEART
At the time of speaking, King said he was still rebuilding his own life from the ashes of the original Fyre Fest.
The event had promised an epic party for the ages in paradise, replete with luxury villas and decadent dishes cooked by the world's finest chefs, with tickets costing up to $100,000.
But instead of luxury villas, attendees were housed in emergency FEMA tents; instead of world-class cuisine, they were served cold cheese sandwiches in foam containers.
King, a veteran events planner, was called in by McFarland to stave off disaster and "save Fyre Fest" six weeks before opening night as preparation for the big day was heading south, and fast.
Despite his best efforts, the event inevitably imploded and King's reputation as one of Hollywood's premier event planners went up in flames with it.
Financial challenges would follow, with King estimating he lost somewhere between $200,000 to $300,000 in the harebrained scheme which also saw McFarland jailed for four years on fraud charges and hit with $25million in fines.
But a reprieve for King would come two years later in the unlikely form of a Netflix documentary.
After Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened hit the streaming platform in January 2019, King became its breakout star.
He was immortalized in meme-hood and dubbed the ultimate team player on social media for an anecdote he shared during the film about being willing to "suck d**k" to ensure a delivery of Evian water would make it to the festival on time.
A sponsorship deal with the drinks brand soon followed, as did an appearance in an ad campaign for actor Ryan Reynolds' gin company, Aviation, titled "Dedication."
McFarland, meanwhile, was released from federal prison in May 2022 having served four years for wire fraud.
He hard-launched his comeback bid late last year by unveiling a new venture called PYRT ("pirate"), which he billed as a virtual immersive decentralized reality" experience.
It's unclear if McFarland's plans for PYRT have since been abandoned, however, he promised that event – which he insisted was "definitely not" a festival – would involve a bevy of influencers and creators gathering together for a party on a remote island that will be broadcast across the world.
Promotional videos for PYRT mentioned worldwide treasure hunts and featured luxe images of the Bahamas.
In a TikTok video back in October, McFarland promised the event would be "a little crazier and a whole lot bigger than anything" he's attempted before.
The pledge has sent alarm bells ringing for a number of McFarland's former associates and employees, who claimed deja-vu.
Among those voicing their concerns was King, who said it felt like history was about to repeat itself.
"My immediate reaction was, 'It's too fast, too quick, and too soon.' I just couldn't believe that so quickly out of prison he's already promoting something," King told The U.S. Sun in February.
"I would have thought he'd have taken more time to really plan something out and to re-establish relationships and heal some of the relationships he hurt through Fyre.
"But instead it looks like he's just jumped right into something else.
"I'm confused by the concept or how it's going to work […] and I just can't believe it."
King added at the time that, while he had heard from McFarland since his release from prison, he hadn't yet received an apology for roping him into the calamity that Fyre Fest proved to be.
When asked whether he believes McFarland was a reformed character after his stint behind bars, King said that it didn't seem so.
"I would say that generally spending a few years in prison, to my knowledge, often changes people, right?" he began.
"I think it usually makes you feel and hopefully become a lot more humble, and more grounded and more grateful, and I feel like those traits have come back a little bit.
"But then when you're hearing him speak, and his deliveries and his presentations and videos and that kind of thing, it doesn't look like he's changed as much as I'd hoped.
"He brought a lot of angst, sadness, and turmoil to the Bahamas, and the fact he's focusing on doing things down there again is odd. To my understanding […] he's not welcome back.
"What is he creating? Will it be completely aboveboard? Will it be successful? How long will that take? These are all questions that I'm sure everybody who's watching has.
"But when you speak about Billy to many different people, a lot of the comments that I get are, 'he's done' or that he's old news – but he's back in the news now, so let's see what happens."
While it's unclear precisely how King and McFarland buried the hatchet, they reunited in April to serve $5 grilled cheeses at 7th Street Burger in New York City.
Proceeds generated from the ironically-chosen sandwiches were reportedly set to benefit vendors and other workers McFarland scammed in the Bahamas.
King told The U.S. Sun two months prior that it was McFarland's failure to pay back those he defrauded that irked him most.
"Those are the things I'd do first," added King. "He hasn't really addressed what happened with me or anyone else who got really hurt very badly by Fyre.
"It really did have a huge negative impact on my career. To be known as the guy who was part of the big scam was so damaging.
"But there was only one of the hundreds of people that were working at Fyre Festival that was performing any kind of a scam: that was Billy.
"Everybody else was working day and night, as hard as they could, to make the impossible happen.
"Not that Billy wasn't, but he was also scamming people at the same time."
Read More on The Sun
Love Island winner Jess Harding reveals what she’s had done to her face
Mum reveals 8p travel item that makes packing kids’ suitcases so much easier
More to follow…For the latest news on this story, keep checking back at Sun Online.The-sun.com is your go-to destination for the best celebrity news, sports news, real-life stories, jaw-dropping pictures, and must-see videos. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheSunUS and follow us from our main Twitter account at @TheUSSun.
Source: Read Full Article