Tech: The founder of a private club for elite millennials is behind a supermodel-backed music festival that has descended into chaos
The organizer of the Fyre Festival, Billy McFarland, is behind another startup that has had its own controversies.
Fyre Festival, a luxury music festival on Great Exuma in the Bahamas this weekend, has reportedly descended into chaos. Attendees have complained on Twitter of disorganization, headliners backing out, and inadequate housing in a "tent city." Thousands of guests who paid between $450 and $12,000 for weekend passes say they're stranded in the Bahamas as organizers arrange flights back to Miami.
A host of supermodels, including Hailey Baldwin and Bella Hadid, had promoted the event on Instagram.
The festival was put on by the singer Ja Rule and Billy McFarland, a tech entrepreneur. They launched the entertainment startup Fyre Media in 2015.
McFarland previously founded Magnises, a social-networking startup that charges members a $250 annual fee for discounted access to exclusive events. After speaking to several current and former Magnises members earlier this year, Business Insider revealed that the startup had not been delivering on the perks it was advertising.
Members recounted similar stories of not receiving tickets on the promised timeline, having to rearrange plans multiple times because of the startup's scheduling snafus, and trips being canceled outright, sometimes the day before they were scheduled to happen.
Several members said they had received unwanted charges on their credit cards from Magnises, which in some cases took more than a month to refund their money, they said.
Since its inception in 2014, the New York-based startup has expanded to Washington, DC, and San Francisco. It now has nearly 40,000 members. The startup has raised $3.1 million in venture capital since its founding, and it has been cash-flow positive for the past year. It has 25 employees.
McFarland did not immediately return Business Insider's request for comment about this year's Fyre Festival.
Source: New feed
- Previous Tech: A luxury music festival where tickets cost up to $12,000 turned into a nightmare — here's what happened
- Next Tech: What to expect from Apple's upcoming earnings (AAPL)