Fyre Festival leaked emails show organizers ill-prepared weeks before festival

Five weeks after Fyre Festival was cancelled, more details show how ill-prepared its organizers were.
Five weeks after Fyre Festival was cancelled, more details show how ill-prepared its organizers were. Daniel McKnight/Twitter

The fallout from the much-hyped Fyre Festival continues.

Leaked emails show that more than three weeks before The Bahamas music festival’s epic failure, the organizers had issues regarding the bathroom situation on the festival grounds.

Mic obtained the emails, which documented some back-and-forth exchanges between the executives behind the festival.

READ MORE: Fyre Festival organizers hit with another class-action lawsuit

Lyly Villanueva, executive producer of the festival, shared concerns regarding the bathroom situation in an urgent April 3 email.

The subject line read “RED FLAG- BATHROOMS/ SHOWER SHIPPING,” and the email outlined the unexpectedly high costs of shipping enough toilets and showers to the Bahamas to accommodate the anticipated 2,500 people on the island.

“Please keep in mind those are calculations for events lasting 8-10 hours with portapotties in grassy fields. This is a luxury campsite where people will be using this as only source of relief for 5 consecutive days,” Villanueva said.

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WATCH BELOW: Fyre Festival descends into chaos, frustration, leaving rich festival-goers angry

Click to play video 'Fyre Festival descends into chaos, frustration, leaving rich festival-goers angry' Fyre Festival descends into chaos, frustration, leaving rich festival-goers angry
Fyre Festival descends into chaos, frustration, leaving rich festival-goers angry

Villanueva made a joke while discussing the bathroom situation:”We have to move quick on this or we are in a sh***y place, lol. Sorry.”

Fyre Media president Conall Arora’s email seemed to be more concerned with saving money. “If we cut it in half, we would just have double the line wait? I’m seeing some sites that say we could get away with 75 toilets,” he responded to Villanueva. Later he added: “It sounds like we can save a lot of money if we sub in port a potties.”

READ MORE: Fyre Festival hit with $100M lawsuit by celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos

This email exchange occurred shortly after the Starr Catering Group pulled out of the festival, causing one person on the email thread to joke that it didn’t matter if there were bathrooms. “No one is eating so therefore no one’s pooping,” they wrote.

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Other emails obtained by Mic centred around the housing shortage, which was clearly evident when the guests showed up for the festival to minimal shelters (described as “cabanas”).

The emails seem to indicate that almost 600 people would be without housing, and the organizers began to try to find a way around the issue.

“The majority of them are not going to receive what they were promised,” senior consultant Mark Weinstein said. “In speaking to even low level influencers, it was clear they expected their own rooms at private villas on the beach. Of course, these villas don’t exist.”

Due to the housing shortage, Weinstein proposed “cutting” 130 members of Fyre’s staff from the first weekend of the festival, including around 70 members of the festival security team in favour of local security, and moving 46 “influencers” from the first weekend of the festival to the second.

He offered a solution to the problem, which included renting a cruise ship for $530,000 to house up to 225 people and bumping some of the lowest-paying guests from the first weekend.

“I’d start by cutting your 50 lowest paying customers today,” Weinstein said.

Weinstein asked Grant Margolin, chief marketing officer for Fyre Media, to begin contacting the lowest-paying guests “ASAP” and tell them they would be “upgraded” for the festival’s second weekend, in May.

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READ MORE: Concertgoers arrive in Bahamas for Fyre Festival, find out it was cancelled at last minute

The housing that did exist had other problems. “We need to make a decision as to the bare necessities that each house needs or decide not to hold ourselves accountable for provisioning,” Weinstein wrote. “Having seen many of the houses, they don’t have toilet paper, soap, water. Do we want to stock these items for guests?”

Despite vocal concerns from members of the staff, the company failed to adequately respond to the problems facing their event.

The people who ended up attending the event claimed it was “closer to The Hunger Games or Lord of the Flies than Coachella.”

READ MORE: Fyre Festival founder tells employees they will ‘not be paid’ in leaked audio

Fyre Media is the subject of several lawsuits alleging fraud and breach of contract, along with a federal investigation.

The festival was scheduled to take place in the Bahamas this April, but the luxury festival turned into chaos and was soon postponed.

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism issued a statement saying that “tourism is our number one industry,” and that they were “extremely disappointed” in the way the festival had unfolded.

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Tickets for the festival cost anywhere from US$1,000 to US$125,000 for luxury group packages.

Performers were to include Blink-182, Migos, Major Lazer and Disclosure.