In 2017, Billy McFarland gained international attention for his role in the Fyre Festival debacle. The Fyre festival gained infamy after attendees were left without accommodation, food and were attacked by feral dogs. Billy McFarland, who organized the event alongside American rapper – Ja Rule, was exposed as a fraud and was later arrested and arraigned. He was then sentenced to six years in prison.
Here’s everything you need to know about Billy McFarland including information on his family, how the Fyre Festival came to be and why fans think he is related to Seth MacFarlane.
Billy McFarland’s Claim To Infamy – The Fyre Festival Debacle
William ‘Billy’ McFarland, best known as the founder of the Fyre Festival, was born on the 11th of December 1991 and was raised in Millburn, New Jersey.
As previously mentioned, Billy McFarland’s luxury Fyre Festival was supposed to take place between the end of April and May 2017 in the Bahamas. The event gained traction after celebrities such as Hailey Baldwin, Alessandra Ambrosio, Emily Ratajkoswki and Bella Hadid, among others, promoted the festival. The tickets to this luxury festival were sold for approximately $1,200 and for that price, festival attendees were promised multiple perks different from the traditional festival such as gourmet food and exotic tents for accommodation.
When the festival attendees arrived, they were met by a series of disappointments which included, but were not limited to, management problems, lack of accommodation and misrepresentation of event offerings, among others. The Fyre Festival was eventually canceled but not before news of the festival’s failure imploded on social media.
Following the spectacular failure of the event which massively unfolded on Instastories and Twitter timelines, Fyre Festival instantly became the focus of multiple lawsuits and federal investigations by the United States. Billy McFarland and Ja Rule (American rapper and cofounder of the Fyre Festival) were later sued for $100 million in May 2017 in a class-action lawsuit. Billy then pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud in the month of March 2018.
McFarland agreed to forfeit over $26 million in restitution and was sentenced to six years in federal prison on October 11, 2018. The convicted fraudster was then incarcerated at FCI Otisville, in Orange County, New York. In 2019, the controversy surrounding the failed Fyre Festival was recounted in the two documentaries – Fyre Fraud, which was released by Hulu on the 14th of January and Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened which was released by Netflix on the 18th January 2019.
Who Are Billy McFarland’s Parents?
Billy McFarland’s parents – Steven and Irene McFarland – are both real estate developers. His father received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University and later received his MBA from Temple University. He then went on to become a founding principal of RS Development where he oversees Acquisitions, Planning and Regulatory Approvals, Construction, and Residential Leasing and Sales. Steve also serves as both a developer and general contractor for all his projects.
Billy’s mother, Irene, also works with RS Development where she is in charge of Finance, Commercial Leasing and Asset Management. She is also involved in Acquisitions and Project Design for RS Development and McFarland Properties. Irene McFarland earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Bucknell University and an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, with a double major in Real Estate and Finance. She also previously taught Real Estate Finance & Investment Analysis at the Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy at Rutgers University as an Adjunct Professor.
Is Billy McFarland Related To Seth MacFarlane?
When discussing Billy McFarland, a common question asked is if he is related to Seth MacFarlane, who is best known for being the creator of the television series, The Family Guy. Though the online audience is convinced that the convicted felon and the actor-comedian share a bit of resemblance, Seth McFarlane is not related to Billy McFarland. The fact that the two have similar, though different, surnames only seem to add fuel to the fire.
However, Billy was raised in Millburn, New Jersey while Seth was born and raised in Kent, Connecticut. Billy’s parents are real estate developers while Seth’s parents are educators and school officials. As a result, there is little to suggest the two are related.
Is He Dating Anyone?
Hulu’s 2019 documentary, Fyre Fraud, revealed that Billy McFarland was in a relationship with Anastasia Eremenko, a Russian model. Billy’s model girlfriend, who was born in 1990, is a native of Rostov-on-Don, a town in southeastern Russia.
Records show that Anastasia relocated to Delaware, in the United States, when she was seventeen years old. In 2012, she officially launched her modeling career and she has since worked with several major brands, including Balmain and Guess. Anastasia Eremenko is currently signed with Silent Models. For her education, she obtained an M.B.A. from Goldey-Beacom College.
The two are said to have met after the Fyre Festival fraud came to the light. Though McFarland is in jail, it is assumed he is still in a relationship with the model.