Business News Legal Live Business

Kendall Jenner returns $90,000 of her Fyre Festival fee

By | Published on Tuesday 26 May 2020

Fyre Festival

Kendall Jenner last week agreed to return $90,000 of the fee she was paid to help promote the infamous Fyre Festival. The pay back was agreed as part of a settlement deal with the trustee who is overseeing the bankruptcy of the companies that were behind the festival in the Bahamas that never actually happened.

That trustee, Greg Messer, began legal proceedings last September in a bid to get back some of the money that had been splashed out by Fyre Festival boss and convicted fraudster Billy McFarland when he was booking bands to play at and hiring social media influencers to promote his 2017 event.

The festival, of course, fell apart just as it was opening when it became clear McFarland hadn’t put in place the infrastructure required to deliver an event of that scale.

Booking agencies like CAA, UTA, ICM and Nue Agency were among those named in Messer’s legal filing last year, all of which represent artists who were booked to play the Fyre Festival and who had received advance payments.

It’s not uncommon for such advances to be unreturnable in artist contracts, especially when an act agrees to play an unproven new event. However, Messer argued that those advances were paid for out of monies McFarland had fraudulently secured from investors and therefore there was still an obligation on artists to return the cash.

In March, it emerged that Migos had agreed to return $30,000 of the $100,000 fee they had received for a planned set at the Fyre Festival. And now a new legal filing with the bankruptcy courts has confirmed that Jenner, one of the social media influencers paid to big up the doomed festival, will return $90,000 of her fee.

Messer’s lawsuit last year also made a number of allegations against Jenner beyond demanding back the fee she had received.

He accused her of failing to declare to her followers that she had been paid to promote the Fyre Festival on her social channels and also said that she had misled people by implying her half-sister’s husband Kanye West might be playing.

Though Jenner only actually said that his label GOOD Music was involved, and it was, with other artists from the label’s roster meant to be performing at the event.

Presumably Jenner is hoping that – by returning $90,000 of the $275,000 she reportedly received for waffling on about the doomed Fyre Festival on her social channels – she can now put this whole sorry incident behind her.

At least she gets to keep the other $185,000. And the whole thing was a learning experience. A nice $90,000 learning experience. Or at least that’s what she told the New York Times in an interview last year.

“You get reached out to by people, whether it be to promote or help or whatever, and you never know how these things are going to turn out, sometimes it’s a risk”, she told the newspaper.

“I definitely do as much research as I can”, she added “but sometimes there isn’t much research you can do because it’s a starting brand and you kind of have to have faith in it and hope it will work out the way people say it will [but] you never really know what’s going to happen”.

Actually, I’m not sure she learned anything for the whole Fyre hoo haa. So, not really a learning experience worth $90,000. Then again, that was kind of unreal money anyway, so I’m not sure it matters all that much.