Billy McFarland shelled out $250,000 to Kendall Jenner to promote his disastrous Fyre Festival, but apparently he can’t spare a cent for his actual employees. In a conference call on Friday, as Vice reports, McFarland told Fyre Media employees that they wouldn’t be getting a paycheck for their last two weeks, or any paychecks in the immediate future. But he’d love it if they’d keep working for free!
“After conferring with our counsel and all financial people, unfortunately we are not able to proceed with payroll,” McFarland said. “We’re not firing anyone” — so no one can collect unemployment benefits — “we’re just letting you know that there will be no payroll in the short term. 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.”
Many Fyre Media employees, whose primary job was building the talent-booking app that the festival was supposed to promote, had no involvement with the planning of the actual festival. Most quit over the weekend.