Entertainment

Promoter of failed Fyre Festival freed on bail after arrest

The promoter of a failed Bahamas music festival has been freed on bail a day after he was arrested on a fraud charge.

Billy McFarland charged with scheming to defraud investors after music festival in Bahamas cancelled in April

Billy McFarland, right, leaves federal court with his lawyer Sabrina Shroff after a hearing July 1 in New York. McFarland is charged with scheming to defraud investors in his company, Fyre Media. (Mary Altaffer/The Associated Press)

The promoter of a failed Bahamas music festival has been freed on bail a day after he was arrested on a fraud charge.

Billy McFarland left Manhattan federal court Saturday with his lawyer, assistant federal defender Sabrina Shroff. McFarland was charged Friday with scheming to defraud investors in his company, Fyre Media. 

The charges stem from McFarland's promotion of the Fyre Festival.

The Fyre Festival was billed as an ultra-luxurious event with headliners including rockers Blink-182 and the hip-hop act Migos. But performers bowed out and organizers were forced to cancel the show.

Mattresses and tents set up for attendees of the Fyre Festival April 28, touted as an ultra-luxurious event before it was eventually cancelled in the Exuma islands, Bahamas. (Jake Strang/Associated Press)

Prosecutors say McFarland presented fake documents to induce investors to put more than $1 million US into his company and the failed festival.

He was freed on $300,000 bail, telling reporters he'd love to speak but can't.

McFarland and his partner, rapper Ja Rule, already face more than a dozen lawsuits filed by ticket buyers and investors in the festival.

Rapper Ja Rule was one of the partners involved in the Fyre Festival and along with promoter Billy McFarland, already faces more than a dozen law suits from ticket buyers. (Christopher Smith/The Associated Press)

A lawsuit filed in May in Los Angeles said the festival was "nothing more than a get-rich-quick scam" akin to a Ponzi scheme.

Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, has not been arrested.​

now