NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — A federal judge in New York has granted an ex-partite order seeking to subpoena some of the world’s leading talent agencies over payments by the organizers of the notoriously failed Fyre Festival for artists that never performed.
As noted by Dave Brooks, Gregory M. Messer, the trustee appointed to oversee the festival’s bankruptcy is seeking further information about a series financial transfers totaling $1.4 million to a list of talent agencies that include CAA, ICM, as well as AM Only and Windish, which are now part of Paradigm.
“Each of the Examinees is an agency that represents various music acts and models who were due to either appear, perform or promote the Festival. The Trustee has uncovered transfers made to each of the Examinees that were likely made in connection with either promotion of the Festival or a prospective performance at the Festival. To the Trustee’s knowledge, not a single performer ever showed up to, much less performed at, the Festival,” representatives for Messer stated in the ex-partite petition.
According to the petition, transfers include $250,000 each to CAA and ICM; $242,500 to AM Only; $447,500 to Windish; and $215,000 to NUE Agency.
Messer filed the petition as part of his court-appointed duty to unravel the financial affairs of the festival as part of a chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The festival, which was scheduled to take place in 2017, was a billed as a destination event for the well-heeled, but in reality, turned out to be something more akin to a Lord of the Flies theme vacation. Its founder, William McFarland, failed to keep even basic financial records and borrowed substantial sums from other investors, as well as using money from his other venture Fyre Media.
“[McFarland] maintained only one bank account of its own, which it used exclusively in connection with booking air travel. All of the Debtor’s funds were run though Fyre Media or other non-debtor accounts, including Billy McFarland’s personal accounts,” the petition said.
In a separate petition, Messer also requested subpoenas for further information on $4.7 million in transfers from McFarland to sixteen ompanies tied with the event, ranging from a charter air service to festival consultants and credit card companies.