The FBI has arrested Fyre Media CEO, Billy McFarland. In a statement released on June 30, the US Department of Justice states “As alleged, William McFarland promised a ‘life changing’ music festival but in actuality delivered a disaster. McFarland allegedly presented fake documents to induce investors to put over a million dollars into his company and the fiasco called the Fyre Festival.”
Apparently, it’s time to pay the piper for being responsible for a festival that left its attendees stranded on a Bahamian island with low sources of food, water, and virtually nowhere to sleep. The walls have been closing in on McFarland since emails and audio leaked of private conversations.
Fyre Media Group was warned of the declining accommodations almost a month before the event was set to take place. In multiple leaked emails from mid-level Fyre Media workers, everything from toilets costs to housing availability was steadily declining.
One email dated April 3 from Lyly Villanueva, the executive producer, states that portable toilet costs would exceed $400,000 (for 125 stalls) to accommodate the 2500 expected festival goers. Fyre Media president Conall Arora responded that he was told that they could possibly get away with only sending 125 bathroom stalls and doubling the wait time.
A few days later, booked caterers for the event decided to opt out due to the fact that they would not be able to provide luxury food for the large number of people over five days.
This was followed by another alarming email from senior consultant Marc Weinstein warning that there is a severe housing shortage in addition to the suggestion that they would need to cut over 130 Fyre staff members to stay within budget.
There are thousands of leaked emails that range from warning event organizers to tell the social media “influencers” paid to downplay what to expect on the island to joking about the fact that no one would be using the bathroom because no one will be eating.
These leaked emails, along with leaked audio of Billy McFarland and co-event planner, Ja Rule, explaining to workers that they would not be paid, will most likely be used to build on the cases of multiple lawsuits in effect against the company that include angry ticket buyers and unpaid workers who are outraged by the way the failed festival was handled.
McFarland could face up to 20 years if found guilty.