Purchasers of Coachella’s lifetime pass NFTs are unable to access their tokens amid the ongoing crash of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange.
In February of this year, Coachella auctioned off 10 lifetime passes to the festival. Dubbed ‘Coachella Keys’, these came in the form of NFTs, and were part of a partnership with the cryptocurrency exchange FTX. The lifetime passes were valued at a total of $1.5million USD (£1.2million) and were included in the festival’s broader range of NFT products called ‘Coachella Collectables’.
Now, the status of these is in limbo due to the collapse of FTX, after the exchange filed for bankruptcy earlier this month. Owners of the digital hub – the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world – cited a “severe liquidity crisis” as reason for its collapse, leaving thousands of users who’d stored NFTs on the platform unable to access their tokens.
According to Billboard, many of the Coachella lifetime passes are seemingly stuck on the now-defunct exchange. A spokesperson for Coachella said the platform “appears to be disabled at the moment”, while one collector said he was only able to add the Coachella Key to his wallet because he withdrew it from FTX in the days before the crash. Any buyers who left the passes stored on the exchange would no longer be able to access them.
Speaking of the NFT crash in a statement to Billboard, Coachella’s innovation lead, Sam Schoonover, said: “We’re actively working on solutions and are confident we’ll be able to protect the interests of Coachella’s NFT holders.”
Meanwhile, on the festival’s discord server, one festival employee wrote: “Like many of you, we have been watching this news unfold online over the past few days and are shocked by the outcome.”
They continued: “We do not currently have any lines of communication with the FTX team. We have assembled an internal team to come up with solutions based on the tools we have access to. Our priority is getting Coachella NFTs off of FTX”.
In statements announcing ‘Coachella Collectibles’ in the lead up to the festival – which this year ran from April 15-17 and 22-24 – organisers said the range gave collectors the “opportunity to own lifetime festival passes, unlock unique on-site experiences, physical items and digital collectibles”.
Coachella was one of many music events to incorporate NFT experiences into their festivals this year, with the likes of Tomorrowland, EXIT and Ozzfest also using the format in some capacity.
Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, Flume, Megan Thee Stallion, Disclosure, 21 Savage and Phoebe Bridgers were among those to appear at this year’s Coachella, which was deemed a “cause for celebration” in a four-star review by NME. In June, Frank Ocean was confirmed as a headliner for next year’s edition, with dates set for its traditional two-weekend outings in April.