Entertainment

Fyre Festival Ticket Holders Win $7,220 Each in Class-Action Settlement

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Nearly four years after an infamous festival billed as an ultra-luxury musical getaway in the Bahamas hunted attendees for shelters on a dark beach, a court has decided how much the nightmare was worth: roughly $ 7,220 each.

The $ 2 million class action lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. bankruptcy court in the southern borough of New York between organizers and 277 ticket holders of the 2017 event is pending final approval, and the amount could ultimately depending on the outcome be lower from Fyres bankruptcy proceedings with other creditors.

Ben Meiselas, partner at Geragos & Geragos and senior attorney for the ticket holders, said on Thursday that he was glad that a solution had finally been found.

“Billy went to jail, ticket holders can get some money back and some very entertaining documentaries have been made,” Meiselas said in an email mentioning Billy McFarland, the event’s mastermind. “Well, that’s justice.”

Lawyers representing the trustee charged with Fyre’s assets did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

McFarland and the festival’s co-founder, rapper Ja Rule, filed more than a dozen lawsuits against their firm, Fyre Media, following the event. Plaintiffs have searched for millions and alleged fraud, breach of contract and more.

McFarland, 29, is serving a six-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to fraud charges. In 2018, a court ordered him to pay $ 5 million to two North Carolina residents who were spending about $ 13,000 apiece on VIP packages for the Fyre Festival.

“I cannot stress enough how sorry I am that we missed our target,” McFarland said in a 2017 statement, despite refusing to respond to certain allegations. “I am determined and actively working to find a way to get this right, not just for investors but for those who wanted to participate.”

The festival, dubbed “the cultural experience of the decade,” was scheduled for two weekends from the end of April 2017. Ticket buyers who paid between $ 1,000 and $ 12,000 to attend were promised an exotic island adventure, with luxurious accommodations and gourmet food, the hottest music acts and celebrities. Influencers like models Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid have promoted it.

But when the concert-goers arrived, they were confronted with what the court record describes as “total disorganization and chaos”. The “luxury accommodations” were, in fact, FEMA disaster relief tents, the “gourmet food,” a cheese sandwich served in a styrofoam container, and the “hottest pieces of music” that didn’t exist.

The festival, which sold around 8,000 tickets in total on both weekends, was canceled the morning it was due to start after many attendees had arrived. (The debacle spawned two documentaries on Hulu and Netflix.)

Fyre attributed his cancellation to a combination of factors, including the weather. However, some Fyre employees later said that higher-up companies invented extravagant accommodations like a $ 400,000 Artist’s Palace ticket package that included four beds, eight VIP tickets, and a dinner with a festival performer, just for the sake of it see if people would buy them. (There was no such palace.) Production team members were no longer paid as the festival date approached.

Mark Geragos, another attorney for the firm who represented ticket buyers in Tuesday’s settlement, filed the first $ 100 million class action lawsuit days after the event that found Ja Rule and McFarland had known for months had that their festival “dangerously underequipped and posing was a serious danger to everyone present. “McFarland faced a second class action lawsuit two days later.

A hearing to approve the settlement on Tuesday is scheduled for May 13th.

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Robert Dunfee