Fyre Festival Founder Told Fyre Media Employees They Will Not Be Paid

Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland told Fyre Media employees Thursday they will not be paid for their past two weeks of work.

Billy McFarland (L) and Liam McMullan

Billy McFarland (L) and Liam McMullan attends Galore X Magnises Fashion Week Valentines Day Dinner

Billy McFarland (L) and Liam McMullan

The Fyre Festival debacle is a story that does not want to die. After the “luxury” music festival that was slated for the end of April in the Bahamas imploded, the fallout has been like the scene of a car accident: a disaster you can’t take your eyes off of.

Today’s news: Billy McFarland, the 25-year-old founder of the festival, relayed to Fyre Media employees that they would not be paid for the past two weeks of their work. McFarland offered to allow the roughly 12 employees to stay on with his organization in unpaid positions, giving them the opportunity to grow the business until it had enough revenue for them to continue being paid.

“After conferring with our counsel and all financial people, unfortunately we are not able to proceed with payroll,” McFarland said on an internal call. “We’re not firing anyone, we’re just letting you know that there will be no payroll in the short term.”

This much came to light after Vice News released audio of the call. Ja Rule, the co-founder of the festival who has sort of taken responsibility for it, was on the call as a listener.

The Fyre Media employees had waited to find out their fate since the festival fell apart, though they were not directly involved in the festival. Their primary role, according to Vice, was “building a celebrity and talent booking app the festival was intended to promote.” The app, of course, never happened because the festival itself never happened.

The Fyre leadership has been sued at least seven times. One class-action lawsuit seeks $100 million in damages. And, as TMZ reported, an investment company called EHL Funding sued Thursday, alleging Ja Rule and Billy McFarland had defaulted on a $3 million loan issued to the co-founders.

It's a lot, we know. For a recap of the madness that sparked this flurry of lawsuits, read this.


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