U.S. Marshals Are Auctioning Off Confiscated Fyre Festival Merch

Now's your chance to drop several hundred dollars on a hat commemorating the infamous scam event.
August 11, 2020, 11:00am
fyre-festival-merch
Image via U.S. Marshals / Composite by VICE Staff

When the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the IRS and other assorted government agencies need to sell seized property, they frequently use a Texas auction house to host their online auctions. In the 30 years since it was founded, Gaston & Sheehan have auctioned the former belongings of high-profile criminals. The company was responsible for the "complete liquidation" of property owned by fallen financier and Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff; it offered up a jewelry collection taken from now-late drug trafficker Jimmy Chagra; and it relocated and sold all of James "Whitey" Bulger's stuff last summer. 

As of this writing, there are 380 live auctions on Gaston & Sheehan's website, including more than two dozen Rolexes, a pair of 10-karat gold Jesus pieces, and one deeply discounted wine fridge. The company is also auctioning 126 items on behalf of the Southern District of New York, and all of its stuff is related to that eternal punchline, the Fyre Festival. 

The listed items range from nine baseball caps stitched with the 2017 festival's logo to Fyre hoodies and joggers, as well as wristbands and tokens featuring the URL for the now-defunct FyreBookings.com. (Unfortunately, there are exactly zero cases of Evian available, and you'll have to source your own sad cheese sandwich and salad tray.) 

“This Fyre Festival-branded clothing and other items that were seized from [Fyre co-founder] Billy McFarland were originally intended to be sold at the Fyre Festival itself but were kept by McFarland, with the intent to sell the items and use the funds to commit further criminal acts while he was on pre-trial release,” U.S. Marshal Ralph Sozio of the Southern District of New York, said in a statement. “The proceeds from the sale of these items, all traceable to McFarland’s $26 million fraud, will go toward the victims of his crimes.”

In 2018, McFarland pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and faced a sentence of between eight and 10 years in prison. He was also ordered to repay $26 million that he stole from the festival's investors, using a combination of faked documents and flat-out lies about his finances. "I deeply regret my actions, and I apologize to my investors, team, family, and supporters who I let down,” McFarland said at the time of his guilty plea. (He was re-arrested three months later for stealing more than $100,000 from some of those same people while he was out on bail.) 

McFarland was ultimately sentenced to six years, and he is currently incarcerated at the low-security FCI Elkton in northeast Ohio. The Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator lists his release date as August 30, 2023. 

The Fyre Festival auction runs through this Thursday, August 13—but it's not cheap to own a piece of this legendary shitshow. As of this writing, baseball caps are going for upwards of $300, while one mildly impressive white crew-neck sweatshirt is already over $800. Very on-brand for Fyre.