The Leaked Audio From Fyre Fest Foreshadows Total Disaster

Ja Rule and Billy McFarland asked their employees to continue working for free

Ja Rule’s current mood, probably. Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Viacom

After the catastrophe that was Fyre Fest, founders Ja Rule (of J. Lo collaboration fame) and his youthful co-conspirator Billy McFarland attempted to say they genuinely believed the fest would be successful until the very end of their planning. But leaked audio tells a different story.

Their awkward conference call makes the BBC Dad’s Skype interview seem downright comfortable.

Vice News shared the awkward phone call, featuring McFarland talking to his rightfully alarmed employees. Ja Rule immediately jumps out of the conference call, blaming a bad connection. He leaves his 25-year-old buddy to fend for himself, telling the employees they aren’t fired, but they won’t be paid for their work.

Because of the sketchy and specific way they were let go, the Fyre starters were unable to file for unemployment, because they weren’t actually fired (McFarland steadfastly refuses to say the words). But don’t worry, McFarland’s not a bad dude! He wants to allow the festival planners to stay on…only unpaid, of course.

“We’re not firing anyone; we’re just letting you know that there will be no payroll in the short term,” McFarland announced early on in the call. At one point, an employee ominously asks if the FBI will be getting involved.

This audio doesn’t bode well for people attempting to get their money back. Perhaps they’ll have better luck accepting VIP tickets for next year’s festival—as long as the FBI doesn’t get involved.