Fyre employees are demanding CEO Billy McFarland fire the company’s controversial marketing boss — self-described genius Grant Margolis. Amplify has obtained an email from a Fyre executive sent Sunday in the wake of the Fyre Festival disaster, demanding that Margolin be shown the door at the company’s Manhattan offices. Yesterday, we reported that it was Margolin who sent staff a totally bonkers email earlier this year detailing how he wanted the festival’s ridiculous teaser video to be scored.

In his email, the executive demands that “Grant must be let go, immediately,” saying “not a single person CC’d on this email is willing to work with him any longer” warning “the way he treats team members is deplorable.”

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As far as we know Margolin is still employed at Fyre. When Fyre Media’s staff isn’t planning the world’s worst festival experience, they’re designing an app that encourages A-list artists to fire their booking agents and turn their careers over to McFarland and a smart phone app.

What could go wrong?

Check out the April 30 companywide email to Billy McFarland below:


This letter is from everyone cc’d in this email.

We appreciate your acceptance of responsibility for Fyre Festival. That being said, neither this or the public statements that we have read have eased our concerns. We are aware that this matter is not something we can address or fix overnight, but there are giant question marks around internal operations that have not yet been addressed by leadership. We want to list them out here so that our concerns are clear and known:

  • The majority of us joined this company to build and grow the product. We were always told that the festival was simply a mechanism for promoting the platform. Despite supposed intentions – which were never realized from a marketing perspective – it has ballooned beyond that and now threatens to seriously impact the brand and thus, the platform. What is our strategy for realigning on the product going forward and minimizing the collateral damage from the festival?
  • How exposed is Fyre Media as a company in the case of litigation?
  • What is the implication of this on Comcast’s recent investment in the product? Please provide the terms sheet and explain whether there is a possibility (however remote) of losing funding as a result.
  • What should our strategy be for dealing with inquiring reporters? As members of the product team who did not work on the festival, we are not going to admit culpability for the festival’s failure, yet we do not want to throw other team members under the bus.
  • Why was there an immediate commitment to put on another festival next year before there was a proper logistics, financial, and team-wide discussion? This public statement lands as foolish, tone-deaf, and above all, concerning to the product team who has thus far seen no positive outcomes from this endeavor.

We require a timely explanation of these matters, in the form of a team-wide comprehensive write up.

Going Forward

As a reminder, we are all highly employable. We’ve stuck it out through no payroll, no equipment, no leadership support, the loss of our CTO, and no ability to continue growing the team – all because we believe in Fyre and the platform. We need to know that Fyre believes in us. We need to see some serious changes moving forward. We would like to discuss the following requirements  – no exceptions or excuses:

  • A comprehensive post-mortem must be done on Fyre Festival. This must be done by the end of May.
  • We need to see a clear prioritization of the product over all other work. Anyone who does not wish to dedicate their time in support of the product and related activities should be asked to leave. If we ultimately decide after the post mortem that it would be beneficial to host another festival, that work will be done under an entirely separate entity and funded through other means
  • A complete rebrand of the booking platform, top to bottom, and a new EIN, separating it from the festival completely. The Fyre name has been too damaged by this festival to continue using it for the booking platform. This work must start immediately.
  • This company needs to be made honest. Clear budgets. Legitimate paychecks. Paystubs. Health Insurance. Taxes on time. The bonuses promised to all of us in our contracts. Stopping on grossly unnecessary spending (private planes, $30k on speakers) when new members can’t even get laptops. This all must be in place by the end of May.
  • We must revisit the company structure, define it and make it explicitly clear. This all must be in place by the end of May.
  • All department heads (Chief __) need to have well defined budgets – made clear to them by the CEO/CFO. This all must be in place by the end of May.
  • Grant must be let go, immediately. Not a single person CC’d on this email is willing to work with him any longer. His lack of experience and refusal to seek or accept help in areas in which he lacks knowledge was a major contributing factor to the festival’s collapse, as well as the poor quality in which the booking platform has been marketed. Also, the way he treats team members is deplorable.

Fyre Festival was a disaster, and damages to the brand and company are still being assessed. It was apparent to many of us that failures in festival planning and decision making were far-reaching and systemic. The universal consensus is that the festival’s failures are not just a referendum on Grant, but on a way of doing business that we do not abide by.

This entire team loves the product and fully believes in its ability for success. As news has spread, because of this festival, we are sure we will have more competitors soon. We need to focus, rally and get realistic.

We look forward to your answers and actions. Please let us know if we can help at all.

Dave Brooks
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Dave Brooks

Founder & Executive Editor at Amplify Media
Dave Brooks has over 15 years experience as a writer, including eight years as the Managing Editor of Venues Today. He started Amplify in 2014 to give the industry its own voice and turn up the volume on live entertainment.
Dave Brooks
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