Fyre Festival will go down as a complete failure and the memes that continue to flood social media, no one will be able to forget what went down that fateful weekend. But before the festival even begun and before the lawsuits started pouring in, Fyre Festival was in debt.
According to documents that were reviewed by Bloomberg News, the organizers of Fyre Fest had borrowed as much as $7 million in a last minute attempt to fund the doomed Bahamas music extravaganza.
First it was the ticket holders that came forward to sue the organization and now it seems that the investors who backed the festival are demanding their money back as well. As lawsuits keep multiplying, almost $1 million is still unaccounted for, leaving people to wonder where exactly how the rest of the money was spent. Even thousands of ticket-holders are asking themselves if they will ever get a refund as well as employees of Fyre Media Inc., the startup behind the festival.
A $100 million class action suit came through the first wave of litigation from the vendors and attendees of the event. Now backers are looking to recoup their investment which included funding that was directly connected to how much ticket-holders spent on extras such as tours, booze, and “upgrades.”
A $3 million loan was taken our from a New York firm run by Ezra Birnbaum. Listed as “member” of EHL Funding LLC is now suing the festival’s organizers for defaulting. There was a second load which came out to be as much as $4 million. That loan was tied to Carola Jain, the wife of a respectable Wall Street executive named Bob Jain.
The loan taken from Birnbaum was supposed to be repaid with the money Fyre spent on festival related purchases such as tickets and funds that were added to the electronic wrist bands meant to be used on site throughout the event. More than $700,000 had been brought in from festival-goers that were never repaid to Birnbaum, according to his complaint.
On April 10, less than three weeks before the event, EHL Funding made a multimillion-dollar loan to fund the Fyre Festival. The interest on load amounted to $600,000 over three months but only if Fyre met the stipulations. It needed to make a payment of $500,000 within 16 days, make payments on time and raid the company’s valuation to more than $75 million.
The loan of EHL was meant to be repayed by the wristband payments. Since the money that was coming in was due to ticket-holders placing money on their wristbands for everything from boat rides massages to extras throughout the event. Fyre Fest advertised that these so called extras could be purchased with cash or credit cars. On April 17, just days after the festival took EHL’s $3 million loan, organizers sent an email to ticket holders asking them to activate their FyreBand. That email stated stated that the festival was now cashless and payment from the vendors would be taken from the wristbands themselves. “We recommend adding at least $300-500 per day,” the email had suggested. The email promised that all unused funds would be refused.
At least several of the attendees have since sued, claiming they haven’t gotten their money back. EHL claims another $760,000 was collected through these FyreBand payments and like the attendees who have yet to get their money back, the portion owed to EHL has yet to see any of their money return to them.