On Friday of this week, Netflix released its long-awaited documentary Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, and amongst the many troubling stories that came out of the failed festival, one in particular, from event producer Andy King, really stood out.
Fyre Fest was touted as a luxury festival in the Bahamas and promoted by a number of top models and Instagram influencers, but during the planning stages, it became apparent that chief Billy McFarland had never organised an event of that scale, and things spiralled into chaos.
Without a reliable water supply at the festival site, organisers had to arrange four eighteen-wheeler trucks packed with cases of bottled Evian water, but a problem arose when local customs decided to hold on to the water, asking for a cash payment of $175,000 for its release.
At this point, Billy McFarland approached Andy King with an extremely inappropriate proposition, and King recounted in the documentary:
“Billy called and said, ‘Andy, we need you to take one big thing for the team …’ And I said, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve been taking something for the team every day.’ He said, ‘Well, you’re our wonderful gay leader and we need you to go down, will you suck dick to fix this water problem?’ And I said, ‘Billy, what?’ And he said, ‘Andy, if you will go down and suck Cunningham’s dick, who is the head of customs, and get him to clear all of the containers with water, you will save this festival.’”
King then said that he was actually willing to go through with this plan, and that he showered and drove across the island, prepared to “take one for the team”, but when he arrived, the head of customs agreed to release the water on the understanding that the import fee would be paid.
“Can you imagine, in my 30 years of career that this was what I was going to do?” King said. “I was going to do that, honestly, to save the festival.”
Director Chris Smith said that his jaw dropped when Andy King told him this particular story, explaining: “I think that one of the things that makes the movie work and makes it so special is the openness of the participants, including Andy in that moment.”
Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, which is streaming now, includes interviews with numerous other event insiders, all of whom now regret putting their trust in Billy McFarland and the disastrous Fyre Fest.