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More artists return fees to Fyre Festival trustee

By | Published on Monday 21 September 2020

Fyre Festival

The trustee of the Fyre Festival bankruptcy says he has reached settlements with more of the artists who were paid to play the disastrous 2017 event. The deals now done cover artists including Major Lazer, Disclosure, Pusha T and headliners Blink 182.

The companies behind the Fyre Festival debacle all fell into bankruptcy after the big party in the Bahamas was cancelled just as it was getting starting. It transpired, of course, that those companies hadn’t put in place much of the infrastructure required to deliver even a basic music festival, let alone the luxury experience they’d promised ticket buyers.

The debacle resulted in the festival’s founder Billy McFarland being convicted of fraud. Plus there was a big stack of litigation against McFarland and his former companies, as well as the efforts by Greg Messer, the trustee of the bankruptcy, to get back some of the fees that had been paid upfront to artists who were set to play the festival and influencers who had promoted it.

Although such upfront payments are often non-returnable if festivals do not go ahead, Messer had previously successfully negotiated the part return of fees that had been paid to Migos and Kendall Jenner.

According to Billboard, Messer has now also confirmed that deals have been done with three booking agencies and the acts they represent that were due to play the festival.

Paradigm, whose Fyre-booked acts included Major Lazer and Disclosure, has returned $225,000; Neu Agency, which reps Pusha T among others, has returned $100,000; and CAA, which is agent for headliners Blink 182, has paid back $135,000.

Seemingly now on a bit of a roll in terms of getting some cash back for Fyre Festival’s defrauded investors, according to Bloomberg, Mercer is also seeking the return of some or all of the fee McFarland’s former companies paid to an agency to film the failed festival. Footage filmed by said agency appeared in Netflix’s popular Fyre Festival documentary.

It remains to be seen if the trustee has any success on that front.