Just when you thought the Fyre Festival PR disaster couldn’t get any worse, it has: Just-released emails show organizers haggling over how many toilets they’ll need to provide for the outdoor festival they promoted as a luxury concert in paradise.
Mic reports that nearly four weeks prior to festival meltdown, an email titled “RED FLAG- BATHROOMS/ SHOWER SHIPPING” circulated, calling attention to the “unexpectedly high costs…of shipping enough toilets and showers to the Bahamas to accommodate an anticipated 2,500 people on the island.” Around the same time, the festival’s caterer backed out of the deal. This series of events led one assistant to write jokingly in an email, “no one is eating so therefore no ones [sic] pooping…”
As Mic reports, even though the warning signs were clear, Fyre Media president, Conall Arora, repeatedly ignored them. After executive producer Lyly Villanueva suggested 18-20 bathroom trailers to accommodate the expected number of attendees, Arora pushed for half that number to cut costs.
“Can we stretch beyond that? If we cut it in half, we would just have double the line wait? I’m seeing some sites that say we could get away with 75 toilets,” Arora wrote.
He then sent links to cost estimates, but according to Villanueva, the numbers he provided corresponded to port-a-potties rather than the more upscale bathroom trailers originally planned for the site.
“Please keep in mind those…calculations are for events lasting 8-10 hours with portapotties in grassy fields. This is a ‘luxury’ campsite where people will be using this as only source of relief for 5 consecutive days,” Villanueva responded. She concluded the email by saying, “Ultimately its [sic] your call, but please consider the backlash of nasty bathrooms and showers.”
Festival organizers made other attempts to save money, such as stiffing the “50 lowest paying customers” by bumping them from the first weekend of the festival, then upgrading them for the second.
TheWrap reached out to Fyre Media’s legal department on the matter and did not immediately hear back.