A music festival, Fyre Festival, that promised live music, food, fun and a Caribbean getaway left its attendees burned. Not physically burned – just financially.
Attendees paid money for promises of a beautiful vacation, luxury food and accommodations, and A-list celebrity talent. Instead they got makeshift tents, no food and no music. Musician Ja Rule promoted and backed the event.
As a result, one attendee, Daniel Jung, filed a $100 million class action lawsuit against the festival owners. The lawsuit claims that the organizers charged attendees thousands (some tens of thousands) of dollars only to be “stranded on a remote island” without food. With allegations of fraud, breach of contract and false advertising, the lawsuit names Fyre Media, Billy McFarland and Ja Rule.
The lawsuit discloses that organizers alerted their celebrity talent and performers ahead of the festival that they should not attend. The festival also left attendees in conditions without food and shelter. The social media backlash that resulted with the hashtag #fyrefestival yielded photographic evidence of what was compared to “FEMA tents” for lodging, lack of food, no security, no medical staff, as well as some wild animals.
“Tent city & cheese sandwiches,” was one attendee’s observance.
Luxurious food included cheese sandwiches.
When attendees tried to leave, the structure of the festival left them without cash to do so. The event was promoted at cashless with money pre-loaded to electronic wristbands. Not only were there no ATMs, there was no means to convert their festival-specific funds to pay for transportation to get to the airport.
Fyre Media offered an explanation of how the disastrous festival took place and Ja Rule issued an apology. Fyre has offered full refunds, and even invitations back to next year’s event with VIP passes.
No word yet how they will provide VIP passes for every attendee this year at next year’s event, but we’re sure the organizers will decide a week ahead of time.