Fyer Festival, as the name suggests, was a festival. However, it did not turn out to be much of a festival. Billy McFarland and Ja Rule organised the festival to be a luxury music festival and to promote the Fyer music booking app. The festival was scheduled to take place on the Bhamian island of Great Exuma over two weekends in April and May 2017.
The organisers enlisted the help of many social media giants. Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski were enlisted and they promoted the luxury festival on Instagram. Although, it appears the promotion side of things ran smoothly, that’s about all that went smoothly.
Attendees, or would be attendees, arrived on specially charted flights to Exuma International Airport and were brought to a beach party. Later on they were brought to the festival grounds, this is when the true picture emerged. From the luxury festival there came reports of disaster relief tents, portable toilets, poor quality food, and theft. Luckily there was a group of local musicians on hand that took to the stage, whilst it was announced that the festival would be postponed and the attendees would be sent back.
Ja Rule went on to post on Twitter saying “it was not a scam” and “this is not my fault”. Fyre Festival has announced it would give all attendees a full refund, or VIP tickets to next year’s festival.
The Festival is now subject to a number of lawsuits. The New York Post has reported that Oleg Itkin provided $700,000 to the Fyre Company. It is stated that the New York socialite saw paperwork that suggested the festival was expecting revenues of $932 million from both the festival and the booking app combined. Oleg Itkin now wants all of his money back and $250,000 to cover his legal costs.
EHL Funding allegedly loaned $3 million to McFarland and Ja Rule, just weeks before the festival was to commence. It has been reported that the scheduled weekly repayments have stopped and EHL is now claiming its $3 million, plus interest in a lawsuit.
A class action lawsuit, filed on behalf of Daniel Jung by entertainment lawyer Mark Geragos, with over 150 plaintiffs has also been filed. This lawsuit alleges fraud, breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and negligent misrepresentation. Through his firm, Mark Geragos pledged to hold “all those who recklessly and blindly promoted the festival accountable”.
Another class action lawsuit, this time filed by personal injury lawyer John Girardi, alleges that the festival deceived patrons into attending the festival by paying over 400 social media personalities and celebrities to promote it.
Yet another class action lawsuit, filed in Florida federal court, accuses the festival organisers of sending cease and desist letters to criticizers of the festival on social media.
Guess what, another lawsuit this time filed in New York federal court accuses McFarland, Ja Rule, Fyre Media and the chief marketing officer Grant Margolin of “false representations, material omissions…negligence, fraud, and violations of consumer protection statutes”.
National Event Services, the providers of the medial services for the festival, filed a lawsuit too. They are claiming $250,000 in damages, and allege breach of contract, fraud, and negligence.
There is also a class action lawsuit that has been filed in Manhattan federal court, this lawsuit alleges most of the above and unjust enrichment and a violation of New York state business law.
Tablelist, the ticketing vendor company, has also filed a lawsuit. This lawsuit, filed in Suffolk County Superior Court, alleges the festival organisers committed breach of contract and fraudulently deceived Tablelist and ticket purchasers.
So there we go, Fyer Festial in the litigation fryer.