Fyre Festival alumnus plans guest workshops once released from prison

Amy Schlussler, Contributing Writer

University “alumnus” and entrepreneur Billy McFarland recently announced that he will be making an appearance on campus for the first time in many years. Due to extenuating circumstances involving fraud, lawsuits, and criminal investigations, McFarland is expected to return in 2024. The man behind the infamous Fyre Festival expressed his interest in holding several guest workshops at the University once his six-year prison sentence is over.


McFarland reported that he will be hosting these lectures as a way of repaying the University for nine months of invaluable knowledge. The workshops are anticipated to run once a week for a total of three weeks. Tentative titles include “Coping with Copious Lawsuits,” “We Didn’t Start the Fyre,” and “Friends, Not Fraud.”


The Bucknellian spoke with several students to get a feel for what the University has to say about McFarland’s return.


“McFarland instantly became a huge role model for me after watching his movie, ‘Fyre Fraud,’” James Cash ’19 said. “As a markets, innovation, and design major with a concentration in entrepreneurship, I’m hoping there will be a lot I can take away from the best entrepreneur of our time. I also think it would be pretty sick if I could get a pic with him for my Instagram.”


Not everyone was as ecstatic for McFarland’s arrival.


“I honestly think McFarland’s got some nerve showing up to the University. I happened to be one of the people that paid to attend the Fyre Festival,” Sarah Song ’20 said. “I’m an avid music festival goer and was completely let down when I realized my so-called ‘villa’ was a makeshift tent and Blink-182 was no longer performing. I’m just planning on attending the workshops so I can see what he has to say for himself.”


At this point in time, logistics regarding dates and other details of the workshops are yet to be confirmed. To attend these workshops, a reasonable registration fee of $100 will be required, as well as an additional $75 for the food package, consisting of cheese sandwiches and bottled water.


Registration will remain open in the coming years, so long as the University feels confident that McFarland will hold up his end of the deal.

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