Remember FYRE Festival, the music event that looked too good to be true, with supermodels frolicking around in the Bahamas and a lineup including Disclosure, Major Lazer and more? Well it infamously ended up being one of the biggest public disasters and has thus spanned two new deep-dive documentaries on Netflix and Hulu. The docus showcase the production of the event and ultimate downfall of founder Billy McFarland, who scammed ticket buyers, his own employees and investors.
Sammy Krost was tapped as the talent booker and while he sucessfully wrangled a star-studded lineup for what was promised to be a glamorous, VIP music experience, he too was scammed.
“I have to say the lineup was really strong ... but everything else fell apart,” Sammy said while recalling the disastrous event on-air on Friday, January 25. “… I did lose money,” he added. “FYRE Media was kinda like my baby; as a talent booking platform we did about 80 deals in a matter of five, six months … we built a team of what started as three to 20 and everyone kind of lost their job overnight unfortunately.”
As both documentaries show, founder Billy McFarland has since been convicted of defrauding investors of $27.4 million, among other charges.
While Sammy suffered from the scam, he shared with Ryan that it showed him things can come full circle.
“Everything happens for a reason and we all go through difficult things and may not understand why those difficulties happen, but I’m a big believer that the light bulb will go off one day and you’ll realize why you go through certain tragedies,” Sammy shared. “… Things come full circle … over that course of the year, no MBA program or business school could teach me the lessons I learned watching this guy run the company exactly how you shouldn’t.”
Sammy, who has launched his own passion project since, clothing line KROST, doesn’t have plans to ever speak with Billy again, rightfully so.
“I don’t know [what I’d say to him],” Sammy concluded. “That’s a good question. I’m kind of speechless. I always felt like I had a good judgement of character and he really took me for a spin. … I hope this is a lesson learned for him and that when he does come out, he gets back on a straighter path because even after the festival he was again running fraudulent schemes when he was out on bail … He doesn’t live in a real world … Hopefully there’s a lesson learned for him, but I don’t think I’d ever speak to him to tell you the truth.”
Listen back to the full interview above for more and check out both documentaries on Netflix and Hulu.