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Tech These photos reveal why the 26-year-old organizer of disastrous Fyre Festival concert could spend 10 years in prison

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Here's what happened at the Fyre Festival versus what attendees expected.

  • Fyre Festival organizer Billy McFarland pleaded guilty to wire-fraud charges on Tuesday.
  • The 26-year-old was arrested in June 2017 after being accused of misleading investors who poured more than $1 million into Fyre Media.
  • McFarland admitted he defrauded 80 investors and a ticket broker out of more than $26 million.
  • Here's what the VIP festival was expected to be versus what it actually ended up being.

The founder of the nightmarish Fyre Festival that left hundreds of attendees stranded in the Bahamas pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud on Tuesday.

26-year-old Billy McFarland admitted to defrauding a ticket broker and 80 investors in Fyre Media, a company that he founded and that was responsible for putting on the Fyre Festival. Prosecutors have alleged that McFarland used falsified documents to trick investors in a $26 million scheme.

McFarland may face eight to 10 years in prison plus a fine of up to $300,000, according to Bloomberg.

Fyre Festival promised to offer attendees a VIP experience when they set off to Great Exuma in the Bahamas. But the reality was very different: delayed flights, half-built huts to sleep in, and cold cheese sandwiches to eat. And that doesn't even include the disastrous trip home.

The luxury festival — tickets for which started at $1,200 — was advertised as two weekends in paradise, but it turned into a nightmare.

Take a look at festivalgoers' expectations compared with the reality they encountered.

And here's the full Fyre Festival promo video:

The three-day party was supposed to be on a private beach on the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas.

The three-day party was supposed to be on a private beach on the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas. play

The three-day party was supposed to be on a private beach on the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas.

(YouTube/Fyre Festival)


It was supposed to be over two weekends: April 28-30 and May 5-7.

It was supposed to be over two weekends: April 28-30 and May 5-7. play

It was supposed to be over two weekends: April 28-30 and May 5-7.

(YouTube/Fyre Festival)


A host of supermodels had promoted it on social media, including Hailey Baldwin, Emily Ratajkowski, and Bella Hadid.

A host of supermodels had promoted it on social media, including Hailey Baldwin, Emily Ratajkowski, and Bella Hadid. play

A host of supermodels had promoted it on social media, including Hailey Baldwin, Emily Ratajkowski, and Bella Hadid.

(YouTube/Fyre Festival)


Guests expected to party on the white sand beaches.

Guests expected to party on the white sand beaches. play

Guests expected to party on the white sand beaches.

(YouTube/Fyre Festival)


But when they turned up, it didn't look anything like the advertisements.



They were told they would fly in from Miami on a custom, VIP-configured Boeing 737 ...

They were told they would fly in from Miami on a custom, VIP-configured Boeing 737 ... play

They were told they would fly in from Miami on a custom, VIP-configured Boeing 737 ...

(YouTube/Fyre Festival)


... to have the full VIP experience.

... to have the full VIP experience. play

... to have the full VIP experience.

(YouTube/Fyre Festival)


Instead, guests ended up waiting for hours at the airport ...

Instead, guests ended up waiting for hours at the airport ... play

Instead, guests ended up waiting for hours at the airport ...

(Twitter/@WNFIV)


... and collecting their luggage from the back of a shipping container in the dead of night.

... and collecting their luggage from the back of a shipping container in the dead of night. play

... and collecting their luggage from the back of a shipping container in the dead of night.

(Twitter/@WNFIV)


The ticket cost was meant to include gourmet food.

The ticket cost was meant to include gourmet food. play

The ticket cost was meant to include gourmet food.

(YouTube/Fyre Festival)


Guests were expecting Starr Catering Group to be there, but the group told Business Insider it terminated its services with Fyre on April 2. Instead, there were makeshift food tents.

Guests were expecting Starr Catering Group to be there, but the group told Business Insider it terminated its services with Fyre on April 2. Instead, there were makeshift food tents. play

Guests were expecting Starr Catering Group to be there, but the group told Business Insider it terminated its services with Fyre on April 2. Instead, there were makeshift food tents.

(Twitter/@WNFIV)


They were given cheese sandwiches and salads.



Fans were expecting to see Blink-182 perform.

Fans were expecting to see Blink-182 perform. play

Fans were expecting to see Blink-182 perform.

(YouTube/Fyre Festival)


But the band dropped out before the festival started on Thursday.



Festivalgoers were promised luxury, eco-friendly domes and villas to stay in that were included in the ticket prices. But one guest described it as a "disaster tent city."



Some of the tents hadn't been put up.



Instead of partying on the beach with friends ...

Instead of partying on the beach with friends ... play

Instead of partying on the beach with friends ...

(YouTube/Fyre Festival)


... guests were trying to fly back to Miami.

... guests were trying to fly back to Miami. play

... guests were trying to fly back to Miami.

(Twitter/@WNFIV)


But for some, that wasn't possible, and they ended up stranded in the airport.

But for some, that wasn't possible, and they ended up stranded in the airport. play

But for some, that wasn't possible, and they ended up stranded in the airport.

(Twitter/@WNFIV)


One guest said she was kept in a room without food or water, waiting for a flight to take off. She said a person fainted because the conditions were so bad.


Not exactly the VIP experience they had envisioned.



Festival organizer Billy McFarland could now spend eight to 10 years in prison.

The Fyre Festival creator Billy McFarland could spend eight to 10 years in prison in addition to paying a fine after pleading guilty to wire-fraud charges. play

The Fyre Festival creator Billy McFarland could spend eight to 10 years in prison in addition to paying a fine after pleading guilty to wire-fraud charges.

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

McFarland has pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud. Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, but McFarland would likely face eight to 10 years in prison plus a fine of up to $300,000 under the plea deal, according to Bloomberg.



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