Fyre Festival founder tells staff 'there will be no payroll', pleads 'stay and help out' in leaked audio

'The payroll’s not happening, we’re not being let go, so we’re just here?'

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The Independent Culture

Fyre Festival was, by nearly all accounts, a complete disaster. Attendees were forced to leave, the organisers have attempted to apologise, and lawsuits have been filed. 

In another damning stroke against one of the organiser’s, Billy McFarland, leaked audio has appeared online, uploaded by Vice News.

As noted by the publication, McFarland basically tells staff — via a conference call — that they won’t be paid any longer, but can “stay and help out” unpaid because “that would be great.”

“We’re not firing anybody,” he tells the disgruntled employees. “We’re just letting you know that there will be no payroll in the short term.”

An employee then asks “The payroll’s not happening, we’re not being let go, so we’re just here?” Another adds: “So you’re not going to lay us off, which would allow us to file for unemployment benefits? You just are not going to pay us any more then, making us quit ourselves.”

Realising the employee’s problem with quitting, rather than being laid off, the entrepreneur says: “If this impacts you, then you can email me.”

Towards the end of the clip, another person asks: “Should we have any concern about the FBI?” McFarland calls the issue “an individual thing.”

Meanwhile, in a recently released email from a group of disgruntled Fyre Media staff to McFarland they detail at length their concerns about the future of the business and are incredulous about the immediate commitment to a 2018 Fyre Festival.