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Fyre Festival Organizer Pleads Not Guilty to Wire Fraud Charges

  • April music extravaganza in Bahamas collapsed into chaos
  • McFarland entered plea on Monday in Manhattan federal court
Billy McFarland leaves federal court after his arraignment, on July 1, 2017, in New York.

Billy McFarland leaves federal court after his arraignment, on July 1, 2017, in New York.

Photographer: Mary Altaffer/AP Photo

Fyre Festival organizer Billy McFarland pleaded not guilty to fraud charges stemming from the April event -- dubbed as a luxury music extravaganza in the Bahamas -- that turned into a weekend of chaos.

The festival collapsed with concertgoers finding "luxury" accommodations were actually disaster-relief tents and instead of gourmet food they were fed cheese sandwiches. McFarland was first arrested on June 30 on charges that he defrauded investors who bought a $1.2 million stake in Fyre Media. Authorities said McFarland provided false documents which inflated Fyre’s revenue. He’s free on bail.