The fallout over the failed Fyre Festival continues to grow. Now, the focus in on paid social media influencers.
Two years ago, in an effort to promote the Fyre Festival, Billy McFarland paid millions to social media influencers. McFarland is now a convicted felon sitting in a jail cell.
McFarland paid a number of influencers to promote the failed music festival, implying that they would attend.
McFarland also directed millions towards two agencies, DNA Models and IMG Models. They represent models like Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber, and Emily Ratajkowski, all of whom appeared in a video promoting the Fyre Festival.
Kendall Jenner also received $250,000 for her promotional work.
Once subpoenaed, they may have to testify in court about the Fyre Festiva.
In total, McFarland raised $26 million from investors. The US Bankruptcy Court has now tried to figure out where all that money went.
Gregory Messer, the court-appointed trustee overseeing Fyre Media’s liquidation, is now expanding subpoenas to key players.
Messer asked the court last Friday to sign off on new subpoenas including models and social media influencers. These will target Hadid, Bieber, Ratajkowski, and Jenner, among many others.
Earlier this month, a judge had signed off on an order to subpoena talent agencies, including Paradigm. The company had received $1.4 million to book artists for the failed music festival, largely through inflated upfront fees.
According to Messer, IMG received $1.2 million. Four months after receiving her payment, Jenner wrote that members of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music Family would perform at the event. Despite a warning from the Federal Trade Commission, Jenner hadn’t disclosed that she had received payment for the post.
Jenner has since deleted all Fyre Festival related postings on her social media accounts. She’s also gone silent on the matter, though her involvement helped to drive massive attention while encouraging many to book high-priced reservations.
Messer will also issue a subpoena against Jerry Media, which revolves around the ‘fuckjerry’ influencer account. Despite obvious signs that the event wouldn’t take place, the online agency heavily promoted the event. The company had reportedly received up to $90,000, an amount Jerry Media has since disputed.
Messer will also subpoena Soulja Boy and Waka Flocka Flame. The former had received $115,000 in August 2016, while the latter received $150,000.
Messer has also asked for subpoenas for United Talent Agency (UTA), cruise ship charter company Landry & King, Aircraft Services, and Ellis Duff, a pastry chef. UTA reportedly received $90,000 from McFarland in February 2017. Duff and the other companies had reportedly received hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Among others who may receive subpoenas are Raymond Andrews, listed as a ‘festival consultant/investor,’ who received $405,800; JP Gutfrend, another ‘festival consultant/investor,’ who received $180,000; and LeRoy Archer, Chairman of the Bahamas National Sports Authority. Archer apparently received $100,000 days before the failed event would’ve taken place.
In total, Messer seeks to find out information on $5.3 million in payments made by McFarland with the new court filing.
Featured image by Klint F (CC by 2.0).