Fyre Festival Leaks: A Case Study On How Not To Hold A HR Call

This browser doesn't support WebRTC so you won't be able to use Computer Audio to join a conference call.
Please use a browser that supports WebRTC such as either Chrome, Firefox or Opera.

The recent celebrity non-fest that was Fyre Festival culminated in a conference call held by the management of Fyre Media, the company behind the doomed festival. We all know that with time and travel costs, conference calls can be an excellent working alternative to meeting face to face, however, we suspect that the management may have had ulterior motives (such as not getting physically attacked) when choosing a conference call as a solution.

While we won’t go into the Employment Law details of whether it’s legal not to let people go (versus just not paying them), nor what constitutes an investment versus a Term Sheet, nor whether employees should have payslips; instead we’ll look at some common rookie errors. Avoid these and your next call will go like a dream!

1. Make sure everyone is on and you know who’s on

Ja Rule (co-founder of Fyre Media) speaks at the beginning of the call saying he can’t hear anything because of the “f***ing hum” on his phone. He can be heard fine and a male colleague suggests dialling back in to get a better line, then a female colleague says she’ll dial his cell… and he’s not heard of again on the call. Is he on the call? Does he care about his employees? When dealing with sensitive issues it’s imperative to be aware of who can hear you.

2. Make sure your own line is clear

As Billy McFarland (Fyre Media co-founder) speaks in the first 90 seconds, there’s interference on his line. Ideally, he should hold a sensitive important HR call from a high-quality desk phone, not a cheap mobile which makes him sound like he’s on a beach.

3. Keep your children/pets in other rooms

At a sensitive point in the discussion, we hear a child’s voice in the background (8:20s). While children are great, as Robert Kelly found out, they don’t contribute to your conference call! Keep them occupied and happy in another room if possible.

4. Don’t let your recordings leak

It seems unlikely that a former employee made the recording and distributed it. Recording directly from a mobile phone is not easy. It seems more likely that the call was recorded by Billy McFarland using the Conference Call Service Provider’s built-in recording facility. Every Service Provider provides recording facilities and while it might be easy to record your conference call it may not be so easy to access or manage the recording after the fact. In order to keep your recording secure, you will need to ensure you have a secure file storage system with your IT department. Additionally, you should confirm with your conference call provider what the details of their data privacy and retention policy are.


Do you frequently hold sensitive conference calls? Are you ever worried about an information leak such as Fyre Media’s leak? 247meeting offer security solutions to stop that creeping paranoia that your unintended audience may be on the other end of the line. Our App: 247meeting Mobile allows you to see your audience in real time. Let us know in the comments below what security measures your company takes to protect their conference calls.

Leave a Reply