Leaked Fyre Festival Emails Show Behind The Scenes Chaos
Things took a turn for the worse for organizers of the disastrous Fyre Festival this week after internal emails revealed that senior management for the festival shook off warnings from subordinates and consultants, and tried to cut corners by skimping on essentials such as sanitary facilities.
According to Fyre Festival emails leaked to music news site Mic, executive producer Lyly Villanueva emailed senior staff, including Fyre founder Billy McFarland a month before the festival was due to launch, warning about costs for obtaining a sufficient number of portable toilets for the event.
The email, with the subject “RED FLAG- BATHROOMS/ SHOWER SHIPPING” warned that Villanueva believed the event would need about 125 toilet stalls—18 to 20 trailers’ worth for the estimated 2,500 festival attendees.
“These were equations given to us by bathroom providers and confirmed via my own research and experience,” Villanueva warned in the emails, per Mic.
The festival’s management team allegedly responded with what seems like casual indifference.
“If we cut it in half, we would just have double the line wait?” Fyre Media president Conall Arora wrote in an email reply. “I’m seeing some sites that say we could get away with 75 toilets.”
Other emails seem to show similar levels of disfunction. On April 20, one week before the festival was to start, consultant Marc Weinstein reportedly sent an email with the subject “***DO NOT IGNORE*** HOUSING UPDATE & ACTION ITEMS FOR YOU” that indicated that there was insufficient housing for festival staff and social media ‘influencers’ who had helped to peddle the event.
Weinstein’s estimates indicated that the festival was almost short on housing for staff, influencers, artists and vendors by more than 600 slots.
In the emails, Weinstein recommended renting a cruise ship for additional accommodation space; the dismissal of 130 staff members, including 70 members of the security team; and bumping some of the social media influencers along with the ’50 lowest paying customers’ from the second week of the event.
Weinstein also urged organizers to launch an “outreach campaign” that would help to manage social media influencers expectations about their accommodations at the festival.
The emails sent to the festival’s senior team appeared to evince little in the way of a practical response. Grant Margolin, chief marketing officer for Fyre, responded that they would offer some of the people affected by the housing shortage with “upgrades” to some of the “luxury villas” that Fyre’s marketing discussed. The catch was that those villas did not seem to exist.
“It is my opinion based on conversations with influencers, that the majority of them are not going to receive what they were promised,” Weinstein purportedly wrote in a subsequent email two days later. “In speaking to even low-level influencers, it was clear they expected their own rooms at private villas on the beach. Of course, these villas don’t exist.”
Fyre and its senior team, including Fyre co-founder Billy McFarland, are facing a number of lawsuits over the event, with allegations such as breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and negligent misrepresentation.
Fyre organizers did not respond to a request from Mic for comment, the publication said.
via Celebrity Access