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Billy McFarland placed in solitary confinement by Ohio prison following launch of Fyre Festival podcast

By | Published on Monday 26 October 2020

Billy McFarland

Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland has been placed in solitary confinement in an Ohio prison, seemingly as the result of him launching that new podcast aiming to tell his side of the story about the disastrous event.

According to the New York Times, McFarland has been isolated for 23 hours per day since a trailer for the new show, titled ‘Dumpster Fyre’, was shared online last week.

His attorney, Jason Russo, says that the Federal Bureau Of Prisons is planning to launch an investigation, although has not yet specified into what. However, the lawyer says that it may be due to photos of McFarland in prison, and with other prisoners, being used in that trailer.

“We believe the investigation stems from his participation in the podcast and the photographs that were taken and utilised in the trailer”, says Russo. Although, he adds, those photos were all “properly taken – we don’t believe he’s violated any rule or regulation”. Nevertheless, Russo says the issue has to be the podcast and the promotion of it, as “there can’t possibly be anything else – he’s been a model prisoner there”.

Expanding on his point that neither the podcast nor its promotion breaks any rules, Russo explains that prisoners are allowed disposable cameras, and that photographs are screened by prison authorities before they are allowed out. Also, all phone calls made by prisoners are recorded and screened. Given that McFarland gave his interviews for ‘Dumpster Fyre’ in phone calls from jail, he adds, prison staff “absolutely should have already known” about the show.

Currently two years into a six year sentence for fraud in relation to the Fyre Festival, McFarland was previously placed in solitary confinement in another prison after being discovered with a USB hard drive onto which he was saving files for a “self-reflection book” he was writing. Somewhat ironically, in the first episode of the podcast he says that it was during that time in solitary that he realised the error of his ways and decided to dedicate his life to doing good.