Fyre Festival founder tells employees they will no longer be paid

FyreYouTube/Fyre FestivalA still from a video promoting of the Fyre Festival.

CEO Billy McFarland told employees of Fyre Media on Friday they would no longer be paid for their work, according to a leaked audio recording obtained by Vice News.

He said the employees could stay at the company and work without pay if they wished.

This comes after the cofounders of Fyre Media, McFarland and rapper Ja Rule, attempted to put on the doomed Fyre Festival in the Bahamas that left would-be revelers without adequate food, transportation, or shelter.

The recording was of a conference call between McFarland, Rule, and other Fyre employees.

“After conferring with our counsel and all financial people, unfortunately we are not able to proceed with payroll immediately for the company,” McFarland told his employees. “I understand that this is not an ideal situation for everybody.”

McFarland also told employees he “understands” if this causes employees to resign.

“We’re not asking anyone to stay employed,” McFarland said. “There’s no more official employment.”

McFarland said he hopes to return focus to the Fyre booking platform and “building that business,” and would be able to resume paying employees at some point in the future.

After employees raised objections that they would not be able to apply for employment benefits if they were not fired from the company, McFarland said he would let employees go on an individual basis if they asked him.

McFarland also confirmed to employees that no Series A round had been closed, as Bloomberg reported that Comcast neared a deal that unravelled before the doomed festival.

“Should we have any concern about the FBI?” one employee asked.

McFarland demurred, saying it was an individual matter.

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