Following the arrest of Fyre Music Festival organizer William “Billy” McFarland who is being accused of wire fraud, former Fyre CRO Jason Ve has spoken out about what happened behind the scenes in the months leading up to the disastrous luxury festival. In an interview with Mic, Ve says McFarland was the only one who was fully aware of the company's finances. "Billy was the only one who had the complete picture of the full finances and operations of the company,” he said.
Ve states McFarland would advise him to inform vendors that they would be receiving their money through wire transfers. Even going as far as getting him to send out a screenshot of the wire transfer to prove that their payment was on the way. When Ve realized that some Fyre bank accounts would be short of paying back the vendors in full, he brought it up to McFarland who reassured him that they would eventually receive all of their money.
"Sometimes the money went through, which gave me confidence that he would be able to pay vendors,” Ve said.
However, there were some waiting on their payment. Luca Sabatini, co-owner of the production company Unreal-Systems in Miami, is part of that latter group.
In the days leading up to the festival, Sabatini received one of these screenshots of a wire transfer. Believing that the payment had been sent, his company sent over what he claims to be $8 million worth of equipment to the Bahamas. More than two months later, he just recently retrieved the equipment after Bahamian Ministry of Tourism held onto it because McFarland and Fyre co-founder, Ja Rule, had not paid more than $330,000 to the Bahamian government in outstanding customs fees. "It was a loss of a huge amount of money,” Sabatini said. “It also caused a lot of damage for our partner companies nationwide who had rented us some of the equipment.”
Much like Ve, Lyly Villanueva, executive producer of the festival, also expressed concerns over a number of issues, including the bathroom situation and a shortage of housing, in emails obtained by Mic and published last month.
Today Tablelist – the ticket-sales service provider – has sued Fyre Festival organizers for $3.5 million. Other Bahamian vendors, some of whom are owed more than $100,000, are still awaiting payments.