Trustee To Untangle Fyre Festival Financial Docs

 A federal bankruptcy judge has reportedly granted a request to turn over financial documents of the company that produced the disastrous Fyre Festival to a trustee to assess its assets and liabilities.

Billy McFarland
AP Photo / Mary Altaffer
– Billy McFarland
Billy McFarland is followed by reporters as he leaves federal court after his arraignment July 1 in New York.

Judge Martin Glenn granted the request during a Dec. 13 hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, according to Variety.

The decision comes after creditors moved to force Fyre Media into Chapter 7 bankruptcy in July, which was approved in September. Now, Fyre Media principal Billy McFarland is required to produce documents and make himself available for questioning.

The 25-year-old Fyre Festival promoter pleaded not guilty to wire fraud and making false statements in October. McFarland faces more than a dozen civil lawsuits in connection to Fyre Festival, which was supposed to be a lavish getaway on a private island in the Bahamas but ended up serving sandwiches and lettuce to guests in makeshift shanties who were forced to use portable toilets and had no way home.

Co-organized with Ja Rule, the event was to feature performances from artists including Blink-182 before everyone from artists to caterers abruptly backed out. The event went on, with attendees comparing the experience to “The Hunger Games.” Later, emails surfaced from organizers during the event saying that at least if no one had anything to eat, they wouldn’t need to use the portable toilets.

The event has become a worldwide example of failing to deliver at a time when social media means a cover-up is next to impossible. Reports surfaced of McFarland driving a Maserati and living in a Manhattan penthouse for $21,000 per month, causing further outrage. “They went through with it, that’s the thing,” CID Entertainment’s Dan Berkowitz told Pollstar previously. Some looking for the luxury festival experience sprung for packages reportedly costing in the six figures, including concert tickets ranging from $1,000 to $12,000. 

“Knowing what they knew, clearly, a week before the show they knew what they were getting into. People came anyway and then couldn’t get off the island. Thank God no one was hurt or killed there.”

CID Entertainment has done destination festivals for the last four years in locales like Cancun, Mexico, with artists including Luke Bryan, CID Entertainment, members of the Grateful Dead and more. See Pollstar Lessons Learned from Fyre Festival  McFarland could face decades in prison.

However, it’s also certain that the vast majority paid substantially less. Suits filed against Fyre Fest are easily into the tens of millions, with one filed by Mark Geragos on behalf of a festivalgoer seeking $5 million in damages but anticipating a class of more than 150 and seeking at least $100 million.