New details of Fyre Fest founder’s financial mismanagement arise
Just when it seemed that Billy McFarland’s failed Fyre Festival was finally extinguished — McFarland was charged with fraud — and required to place the LLC under involuntary bankruptcy, the organization of yet another McFarland enterprise has come into question.
Seemingly the next McFarland-run company set to smolder is Magnises, a “members-only concierge service.” Founded prior to Fyre Festival LLC, Magnises marketed discounted concerts and event tickets to its members, with the tickets offered purchased from third-party platforms like StubHub, and then sold to members at what is being called a “significant” loss. McFarland is said to have frequently advertised and sold tickets to events that he did not have tickets to, leading McFarland to either cancel the ticket orders made via Magnises, or to supply tickets acquired through a third-party distributor. McFarland frequently bought the tickets on the same day of the scheduled performance.
McFarland orchestrated the ticket purchase and resale system at Magnises via the use of a Fyre Media corporate credit card, charging more than $1 million in tickets in a four-month period. At least nine other employees had possession of a Fyre Media corporate card, including Ja Rule ad Grant Margolin, Fyre’s marketing director, but the only unrelated charges are those that appear on McFarland’s card. The overlap in credit use is problematic as each company, Magnises and Fyre Media, had different aims; Magnises emerged as a ticket distributing service, whereas Fyre Media was intended to be an app for people to book artists for private events. Charges to a Fyre Media credit card for Magnises activity represent those from an entirely different company.
The new financial developments will hinder McFarland’s case, as the company head will have to now answer to officials regarding the ticket scheme that served as the foundation for Magnises.