Billy McFarland, The CEO of Fyre Media who was responsible for the disaster that was the Fyre Festival, isn’t doing so great right now: His company had to declare bankruptcy, and he’s facing fraud charges after putting on a supremely underwhelming event that promised a lot and delivered basically none of it. You would think that the aftermath of trying to pull a scam like this would dissuade any other con artists from taking a stab at it, but that is sadly not the case.
As Digital Music News notes, an unknown company called EDM United Events was promoting an event in Charleston, South Carolina called The Gathering over the past month or so. Various promotional materials teased “four themed stages of sound,” “twenty amazing DJs,” “50,000 watts of sound, amazing lighting that will melt your face, visuals that will blow your mind, an Oxygen BAR, food vendors and a Beer Cave,” all included with the $130 price of admission.
Those types of fun-sounding things came nowhere near The Gathering this past weekend, on October 7th.
See that picture above, featuring a plywood stage surrounded by a middle school dance PA system? It was shared by Facebook page EDM Confessions, and it’s a photo of the main stage. Another photo shows a second stage, which consists of plywood, wooden palettes, a plastic folding table, and two speakers under a sagging wooden swing set.
Andrew Murdock, owner of EDM United Events, talked a big game, telling performers he had done business for “17 plus years,” but after artists built the stages themselves, he skipped town. The EDM United Events Facebook page has since been deleted, and Murdock’s Twitter account, which has four whole followers as of this posting, hasn’t tweeted since October 3rd.
Naturally, performers were pretty upset by this whole thing, especially since a lot of them didn’t get paid. Scheduled performers like DJ B-Nasty (real name Carlos Alvarez) and Matthew Bartlett took to social media to vent their frustrations, and they weren’t pleased: “F*ck Andrew Murdock and his shady ass wife,” Alvarez wrote. “You guys f*cked over so many good people out of time and money for you to be a total piece of dog s**t. […] I’ll see you in court bud.”
Another DJ, Josh Ware, said that he was not paid for performing or for building the stage, and added, “Me and like four or five dudes are the only reason anyone had a stage to even play on.” DJ Duo ATLiens also commented on EDM Confessions’ post, “We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.”
There’s no word yet on how many artists didn’t get paid, if there has been any legal action set in motion, or if anybody has even managed to track down Murdock. All we can do at this point is hope that justice will be served, and that this kind of thing stops happening.