Fyre festival organizers hit with $100 million fraud and breach of contract lawsuit

In the immediate aftermath of the Fyre festival debacle, co-founder Ja Rule tweeted, "I truly apologize as this is NOT MY FAULT..."

Mr. Rule's heartfelt apology did not soothe Fyre ticket buyers, who'd been assured of a "first class" experience on a private island with yacht rides, gourmet meals, supermodels, and luxury villas but instead received school bus shuttles, cheese slices on bread, feral dogs, and disaster relief tents. They've retained the services of a prominent law firm to sue Mr. Rule, his partner Billy McFarland, and their company, Fyre Media, Inc. for $100 million in a Federal Class Action lawsuit.

The promise:

The reality:

iBankCoin posted a few highlights from the filing:

Shockingly, Defendants had been aware for months that their festival was dangerously under-equipped and posed a serious danger to anyone in attendance… …the few contractors who had been retained by Defendants were refusing to work because they had not been paid.

At the same time, however, Defendants were knowingly lying about the festival’s accommodations and safety, and continued to promote the event and sell ticket packages. The festival was even promoted as being on a “private island” once owned by drug kingpin Pablo Escobar—the island isn’t private, as there is a “Sandals” resort down the road, and Pablo Escobar never owned the island.

Appalling conditions:

Festival-goers survived on bare rations, little more than bread and a slice of cheese, and tried to escape the elements in the only shelter provided by Defendants: small clusters of ‘FEMA tents,’ exposed on a sand bar, that were soaked and battered by wind and rain.

“With only unsecured tents as accommodations, rather than the promised villas, attendees had no secure area to store valuables and other personal items. Similarly, the ‘world-class cuisine’ was nowhere to be found, replaced by meager rations that were in dangerously short supply. Even more troublingly, festival staff were nowhere to be found to address attendees’ concerns, and the medical staff was similarly absent.

Attendees became trapped:

Faced with the complete lack of even the most basic amenities, as well as no assistance from Defendants, festival attendees began to panic. Predictably, Attendees began attempting to leave the island en masse, but found themselves trapped—even locked inside an airport awaiting delayed flights.

Attendees’ efforts to escape the unfolding disaster were hamstrung by their reliance upon Defendants for transportation, as well as by the fact that Defendants promoted the festival as a ‘cashless’ event—Defendants instructed attendees to upload funds to a wristband for use at the festival rather than bringing any cash. As such, Attendees were unable to purchase basic transportation on local taxis or busses, which accept only cash. As a result … at least one attendee suffered a medical emergency and lost consciousness after being locked inside a nearby building with other concert-goers waiting to be airlifted from the island.

Perhaps most damning, the organizers warned their celebrity pals and performers not to come:

Mr. McFarland and Mr. Atkins began personally reaching out to performers and celebrities in advance of the festival and warned them not to attend—acknowledging the fact that the festival was outrageously underequipped and potentially dangerous for anyone in attendance.

Last week Billy McFarland spoke to Rolling Stone about what went wrong and how next year, it's gonna be great.

"We were overwhelmed and just didn't have the foresight to solve all these problems," McFarland said. "We thought we were making timeframes that were correct. We were a little naïve in thinking for the first time we could do this ourselves. Next year, we will definitely start earlier. The reality is, we weren't experienced enough to keep up."

There will be make-up dates, May 2018 in the U.S., free for everybody who signed up for this festival. We will donate $1.50 [per ticket] to the Bahamian Red Cross. It'll keep the theme of being on water and beach. It'll be not just music, but all forms of entertainment. The one change we will make is we will not try to do it ourselves. We will make sure there is infrastructure in place to support us.

Can't wait to go!