A trustee wants its money back
Yesterday (August 28), a Fyre Festival trustee filed lawsuits against Blink-182, Kendall Jenner and model Emily Ratajkowski demanding they return fees they were paid for playing or promoting the festival.
As Variety reports, the trustee wants the pop-punk band to return their £409,637 ($500,000) fee to headline the doomed 2017 festival organised by Billy McFarland and Ja Rule. The trio of Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker and Matt Skiba had pulled out of Fyre Festival shortly before it began over concerns the fest would not meet their production requirements; Hoppus later told NME that “we had indications kind of early on that there were problems”.
The trustee is also seeking to reclaim fees from Jenner and Ratajkowski – £225,308 ($275,000) and £245,772 ($300,000), respectively – that were issued in exchange for promotional Instagram posts.
In addition to the artists and models, several talent agencies that represent the artists on the Fyre Fest bill are being sued.
A suit seeks to hold Creative Artists Agency and ICM Partners liable for the return of £479,258 ($585,000) and £286,755 ($350,000), respectively. The former reps Blink-182, Claptone, Bedouin and Burridge, while the latter Lil Yachty, Migos and Rae Sremmurd. United Talent Agency has been named over a £73,737 ($90,000) fee paid to Skepta, and Nue Agency over £598,005 ($730,000) paid to Pusha T, Desiigner and Tyga.
The festival director has also been sued, as have caterers, a yacht company and a ticketing firm, all of which worked with Fyre Festival.
The lawsuits argue that because the fees were paid as part of McFarland’s plot to scam investors, the transfers should therefore be voided. The suits also allege Jenner and Ratajkowski demonstrated a “clear lack of good faith” as they did not make clear their Instagram posts were sponsored, and they did not inform their followers that they had ultimately decided against attending Fyre Fest.
This slew of lawsuits comes months after news broke that the model agencies repping Ratajkowski – as well as others such as Hailey Bieber and Bella Hadid – could face subpoenas as part of a broader effort to establish where the $11.3 million paid by Fyre Festival co-founder Billy McFarland were funnelled to.
McFarland is currently serving a six-year sentence for multiple charges of fraud. He reportedly plans to self-release his memoirs, provisionally titled Promythus: God of Fyre, to clear the air about the festival, which turned into a laughing stock online and the subject of two competing documentaries by Hulu and Netflix. Seth Rogen and The Lonely Island are also reportedly working on a feature-length film about the festival.