For those of you who are sucking up any tidbit of Fyre Festival damage news like a Dyson vacuum, the latest nugget of info has federal authorities getting involved. The Bahamian music festival went down in flames last month after it promised ticket holders the chance to relax on a private island, listen to headliners like Blink-182 and hang out with models like Bella Hadid. Instead, when they arrived to the island (once owned by Pablo Escobar, the promo video claimed), all they saw was a truck full of luggage, abandoned booths and a scattering of unfinished shelters. Musicians and models were already told not to show up.
The New York Times reported on Sunday that the company that ran the fest — the Billy McFarland and Ja Rule-owned Fyre Media — is now being investigated by the FBI, with “federal authorities looking into possible mail, wire and securities fraud.” An investigation is being tag-teamed with United States attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York by a prosecutor assigned to the complex frauds and cybercrime unit.
Fyre Media is already facing dozens of lawsuits in the aftermath of the festival. Those who have done business with McFarland and co. are still awaiting the return of their equipment — Blink-182 has yet to get their stuff back too — since the Bahamian government is still waiting for $330,000 in customs fees. One carpenter is owed $5,000 and is now going without utilities because he can’t pay his bills. “It’s killing me,” he told the Times. MaryAnn Rolle, who catered and rented out villas for Fyre employees, is out $134,000. Not to mention all the other lawsuits — one couple is suing Fyre for $5 million for false advertising. (Here’s one vlogger’s documentation of why the fest is being sued for over $100 million.)
In a now-infamous conference call — the one where McFarland told his employees they weren’t getting paid but they also weren’t getting fired so they couldn’t collect unemployment (which likely won’t hold up in court) — one employee asked if Fyre should be worried about the FBI. “That’s more of an individual thing,” McFarland replied.
(Via The New York Times)