Sen. Chuck Schumer’s press secretary says he was friends with convicted Fyre Festival organizer Billy McFarland, but denies he had any involvement with planning the doomed music event.
Angelo Roefaro appears near the end of a new Netflix documentary, “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened,” with McFarland, who pleaded guilty to defrauding investors and other charges, causing more than $26 million in losses.
“I was friends with McFarland,” Roefaro said in an email to Roll Call on Wednesday. “I met him at a networking event and we stayed in touch.”
Roefaro, who mainly works out of Schumer’s New York offices, briefly appears in the documentary at the penthouse suite in Manhattan’s Tuscany Hotel.
He had been invited to check out McFarland’s complimentary penthouse, which was near Roefaro’s apartment.
A videographer in the film, identified as Kindo, insinuated that Roefaro was helping McFarland with public relations, possibly allowing him to avoid prison time.
“There was a guy named Angelo, and I don’t know if it was Billy’s PR guy, but I know that this guy was very connected,” the videographer said in the documentary.
Roefaro told Roll Call that he “did absolutely nothing to help him avoid jail.” He also said he was never involved in McFarland’s Fyre Festival or the Fyre company, which produced an app.
“I did not work for the Fyre festival or app, and was not paid by either at any point,” he said.
The failed music festival was heavily promoted by Instagram celebrities and rappers, including Queens native Ja Rule. The influencers billed it as a posh three-day music festival on an island previously owned by drug kingpin Pablo Escobar.
The festival eventually took place on a different island in April 2017. But instead of luxury food and glamorous tents, attendees arrived to find an empty, flat lot filled with white hastily constructed tents and blow-up air mattresses.
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