Fyre Festival founders tell staff they will ‘not be paid’ in leaked audio

Bahamas event continues to face problems

Alleged leaked audio between the co-founders of Fyre Festival and workers at the festival has revealed that staff who worked at the event will not be paid.

In the clip, which you can listen to via Vice here, co-founder Billy McFarland informs employees: “After conferring with our counsel and all financial people, unfortunately we are not able to proceed with payroll. We’re not firing anyone, we’re just letting you know that there will be no payroll in the short term.”

He continued: “I understand that this is not an ideal situation for everybody, and this will likely cause a lot of you to resign, which we totally get and understand. That said, if you want to stick with us, we’d love to have you and we’d love to work together and hunker down and get back to a place where everything resumes to business as usual as usual.”

During the call, employees asked why they weren’t being fired so they could collect unemployment benefits. “If that impacts you, you can email me,” McFarland said.


He also said everyone should have received an emailed “preservation notice” warning them not to delete or remove any files related to several multimillion-dollar lawsuits filed against the company in the past month.

Read more: Is Fyre Festival the worst luxury festival of all time?

The event, which is also co-founded by Ja Rule, has been hit with a number of lawsuits including a $100 million case, being filed by a celebrity lawyer who is representing over 150 festivalgoers.

A second high-profile class-action lawsuit was also filed by attorney John Girardi, attendees Chelsea Chinery, Shannon McAuliffe, and Desiree Flores who are suing over breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, and fraud suit.

The Bahamas-based festival made global headlines recently as pictures, videos and personal testimonies from the festival site depicted the event’s disastrous organisation, with claims of crowded airports, no running water and catering only offering bread, cheese and salad. Tickets for Fyre ranged from $1,000 to $12,000, with such acts as Migos, Skepta and Major Lazer booked to play.

While Fyre Festival have been adamant that they will return with another event next year – even offering disgruntled ticketholders the choice of VIP tickets to the 2018 festival instead of a full refund for this year’s event – Ja Rule and MacFarland have reportedly been “barred” from staging any more festivals in The Bahamas by the country’s Ministry of Tourism.