Transcript for Man behind Fyre Festival speaks from prison
be the hottest event of the year. An ultra music festival set on the island of great exuma with supermodels and opulent villas. The plan for the much-anticipated fire festival went up in flames. What is this? Oh, Jesus! Reporter: Guests who paid thousands of dollars for that getaway were instead met with storm-soaked tents, soggy cheese sandwiches, and canceled musical acts. Welcome to the crazy . I am stranded in the Bahamas amidst hundreds of other extremely unlucky festivalgoers. This call is from a federal prison. William Mcfarland. Reporter: Now, nearly four years later, the man behind all that well-documented chaos, 25-year-old Billy Mcfarland, is back with a new venture. Speaking out in a new episode of ABC's "The con." What the Was I thinking? Reporter: For the first time on television, since being sent to prison for defrauding investors out of millions. Are we rolling? Reporter: Billy and some partners recently started a podcast, appropriately titled "Dumpster fire." He promises his share of any profits will be going back to paying the victims of his failed festival. I hurt many people. And I'm aware of the pain and suffering that I've caused. Not only did it harm people financially, I know that it violated their trust. I let them down. And I'm truly sorry about that. Reporter: But this is a legit rehab tour? Or just another scheme? Billy's 100% a con artist. He's a narcissist. But he's all of that and a con artist. Reporter: Billy started out as an entrepreneur, launching multiple high-profile ventures. Eventually leading to his most-ambitious idea yet, fire festival. But the reality was a far cry from the cultural experience Mcfarland and his team sold on social media. It wouldn't have worked without Instagram. It wouldn't have worked without all of these celebrity photos and endorsements. It's luxury, it's once in a lifetime, it's the first ever. That was basically how they pitched it and that's how it was sold. That's why I bought it, that's why it seems everybody else did too. Reporter: Just weeks before the festival was set to take place, nothing was ready. Mcfarland's half-baked idea spiraling out of control. I had five weeks to try to build this luxury music festival with zero infrastructure. With a new team. Essentially wanted to build this city out of nothing. But I couldn't be told no. Reporter: As the money starts to run out, the extravagant accommodations Mcfarland had promised don't materialize. Every night when I turn and said, Billy, we probably need to pull the plug. Wie three weeks out, this is not going to work. He'd say, tell me what we need to fix, we'll fix it, throw money at it, we'll make it work. Reporter: Less than 24 hours before the first band is supposed to take the stage, a storm lays the site to waste. When the rain came, everything was drenched. This whole entire property was a mess. Billy said to me, get more people, let's just get more people, we've got to get this done. Reporter: But it's too late. Plane after plane filled with festivalgoers descend on great exuma, finding themselves in the midst of an epic disaster. Opposite of everything we were promised. No electricity, no showers no bathrooms, no running water. They basically abducted us. Take me back to the day when everyone arrived on the island. The biggest wrong decision I made was trying to improve the festival site by sending people away from it the whole day and having them arrive at night. Couldn't handle that when they all arrived at the same time. That was a day-of decision that probably altered the whole course of the festival. Reporter: The fallout for Mcfarland was swift. With a $100 million class-action suit filed against him on behalf of festival workers and attendees. Billy Mcfarland was gaslighting everyone by claiming that nothing was going wrong and this was what was planned. Which shows kind of how insidious what Billy and people like Billy do. He duped us. He screwed us over big-time. Reporter: Federal officials then arrested Mcfarland, charging him with wire and bank fraud, charges he'd later plead guilty to. You let down so many people, what do you say to people who would call you a con man? When I think about the mistakes that were made and what happened, there's no way I can describe it other than what the Was I I think that applies to so many people and decisions that I Did you knowingly con the investors to get their backing? I knowingly lied to them to raise money for the festival, yes. Reporter: He's been ordered to pay investors back the entire $26 million he bamboozled them out of and isn't scheduled to be released from prison until 2023. I could pretty much guarantee you he's going to come up with another get rich quick scheme and try to sell that to the public. Reporter: In fact, Billy has come up with many ideas since he's been in prison. Like a phone calling card for inmates. My overall concept really put together in jail, to get as many people as I can around the world -- Reporter: Whether or not this is a real attempt to make a fresh start, for now, only Billy knows. What's your greatest regret, 20/20 hindsight? Why people would put their
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