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Fyre Festival ticket holders likely to get just $281 in compensation

By | Published on Tuesday 20 July 2021

Fyre Festival

People who bought tickets for the monumental shambles that was the 2017 Fyre Festival are set to receive damages of – wait for it everybody – you’re going be excited about the big cash haul all these guys have incoming! Because, we can confirm, drum roll please, that every single one of them is set to get no less than two hundred and eighty one dollars. Kerching!

As you all surely remember, Fyre Festival was promoted by a flurry of social media influencers – and a certain Ja Rule – as a luxury music event in the Bahamas. But it turned out the whole thing was being run by a clueless fraudster called Billy McFarland, resulting in a legendary shit-show, whereby the whole event fell apart just as people were arriving on the island that was hosting the party.

As the event collapsed and all the connected companies went bankrupt, McFarland was prosecuted for fraud, and the civil lawsuits started to stack up too, as suppliers, investors and ticket-holders all went legal. A class action for the latter was filed almost immediately and earlier this year it was announced a settlement had been reached with the trustee overseeing the bankruptcy of the Fyre companies.

Said trustee had been very busy indeed trying to get back fees that were paid to some of the artists who had been set to play the failed event and to the influencers who had promoted it on social media. When the settlement of the ticket holder class action was confirmed in April, it was thought there might be about $2 million available to share between class members. Which equated to about $7,220 per class member.

However, it turns out, the monies available are more like $1.4 million. Trustee Gregory Messer explains in court papers that “obtaining recoveries in the case was extraordinarily difficult and challenging given the lack of books and records” and because “any physical assets that could have been liquidated were already seized by federal prosecutors”.

Fraudster McFarland being subsequently jailed didn’t help much either. And while some artists and influencers did return some money, most were unsurprisingly not keen to repay any fees they’d received. Meanwhile, McFarland’s recent stint as an incarcerated podcaster hasn’t resulted in any secret stash of assets being revealed.

Still, $1.4 million, that’s pretty good isn’t it? Oh, legal and accountancy fees of $1.1 million you say? And payments to other parties cutting the ticket holder class’s take down to $78,000 you say? Ah well, $281 each is better than nothing, surely? I mean, with that, you could get yourself an annual subscription to both Netflix and Hulu and watch both their respective Fyre Festival documentaries once a week for a year. Result!

The final settlement proposed by Messer is still to be confirmed by the judge overseeing the case.