Infamous Fyre Festival fraudster Billy McFarland thinks an hour of his valuable time is worth nearly $2,000.
The convicted con man, who had nothing but time on his hands while spending four years in prison for bilking investors out of $26 million, recently launched a new scheme that offers advice to tech entrepreneurs for a mere $1,800.
The consulting fee is one of the services provided by PYRT (pronounced “pirate”), McFarland’s new venture that smacks of his notorious music festival fiasco in the Bahamas.
The company promises to deliver a virtual reality-powered experience where users can beam themselves onto a tropical island from the comfort of their homes and control what happens there, McFarland claims.
A link from the bare-bones PYRT site to the business communication platform Calendly shows McFarland’s hourly consulting fee of $1,800, designed to help tech companies expand their reach on social media platforms.
McFarland posted a TikTok video explaining the company’s vision, but social media users weren’t convinced — ridiculing him for wearing socks, sweat pants, and a T-shirt while holding a water bottle.
One wrote sarcastically: “Absolutely no way this could go wrong, Billy.”
Another TikTok user who apparently anticipates the venture turning into another scandal wrote: “Can’t wait for the Netflix show.”
“Come on, this just can’t be for real,” another TikTok user commented, noting that McFarland was “being straight out of prison and on to the next hustle.”
The idea is for users sitting at home on their couches to digitally attend exclusive parties with celebrities and influencers in an “immersive” environment that makes them think they’re on a remote, tropical island.
“They could, like, buy the talent a drink and then have some drink service bringing [the same kind of drink] to them at the same time the talent gets it,” McFarland told The Post last week.
“So, if you’re 18 years old and you’re on your computer in the middle of America, now you can actually come [to this party] and not only watch what’s happening, but take part in changing it,” McFarland said.
“It kind of gives you access to this really cool land and group of people.”
The Post has sought comment from McFarland.
Ironically enough, the venture includes bringing users on trips to a remote tropical island together with internet content creators and social media influencers.
“PYRT is not an event, it’s not a festival, and it’s definitely not a metaverse,” McFarland said in the TikTok video.
He said it was a technology that he had been “working on for the past couple of years” called “VID/R” — or virtual immersive decentralized reality.
McFarland, 31, said VID/R “brings together and connects people from around the world both virtually and physically.”
“Then, once they’re together, it allows people to affect real world change,” McFarland said in the TikTok video.
McFarland said that PYRT would be “partnering with a small remote destination where we will host a handful of artists, content creators, entrepreneurs,” and prospective job applicants who eventually get hired to work for the company.
The plan is to gather people on the island and then “launch a virtual replica” of the same location so that “anybody from around the world can not only watch what’s happening live but they can actually come together with their friends to affect and even own their real world adventures.”
McFarland recorded the video while standing in front of a map of the Exumas — the Bahamian archipelago where the Fyre Festival debacle took place in the spring of 2017.
Bahamian officials were quoted by NBC News as saying that McFarland, who is considered a “fugitive” by officials in Nassau, isn’t welcome on the island and that they would prevent any McFarland-linked venture from obtaining permits there.
“The Government of The Bahamas will not endorse or approve any event in The Bahamas associated with him,” the Bahamian Ministry of Tourism said.
In his TikTok video, McFarland expressed a preference for the Exumas to serve as the backdrop of his latest venture, though he added he would be open to working with other destinations as well.
McFarland told NBC News last week that he believes everyone involved with Fyre Festival will get their money back. Then he could foresee future collaboration with the Exumas.
“I think that once everybody is paid back, I’d love to have a conversation to see if that relationship can get repaired,” he said.
McFarland was released from a Brooklyn halfway house in September after serving more than four years in federal prison.
He pleaded guilty to scamming investors out of some $26 million after they bought into his vision of a luxury music festival in the Bahamas that was promoted by celebrities and social media influencers including Ja Rule, Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin and Emily Ratajkowski.
Fans paid $12,000 per ticket only to discover that the Exuma resort was instead a dilapidated collection of tents and mattresses that were turned inside out by a massive storm.
Attendees, who had been promised lavish accommodations and luxury meals, instead posted images of plain cheese sandwiches in a box.
The disastrous event was the subject of widely viewed documentaries that streamed on Hulu and Netflix.
Additional Reporting by Joshua Rhett Miller