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More lawsuits fired at Fyre

By | Published on Tuesday 9 May 2017

Fyre Festival

Count them, people. Chalk them up on your Failed Festivals Board, and maybe buy in some more chalk. The number of lawsuits now filed against the organisers of the shitstorm that was the Ja Rule-backed Fyre Festival – in part cancelled after a storm affected the event’s ability to deal with the shit – has reached six. Happy days.

By the end of last week, just seven days after Fyre Festival management confirmed that they were abandoning their luxury shindig in the Bahamas before the party had even started, three class action lawsuits had been filed seeking millions from the team behind the shambolic event. Which is one of the problems with creating festivals aimed at rich kids – your punters all have legal representation.

While ticketholders were busy briefing their attorneys in the wake of the Fyre Festival collapse, the company hired to provide medical support at the event also went legal last week, claiming that the festival’s promoter had failed to deliver on its contractual commitments, and had left its staff “exposed to serving distressed patrons for an unprepared festival site”.

Rolling Stone reports that two more lawsuits have now been filed against the doomed festival. Another class action, and one by a couple called Kenneth and Emily Reel who, interestingly, are also suing the event’s PR agency 42West and advertising company Matte Projects on the basis both firms “did not take any steps, let alone reasonable steps, to ensure that their promotional materials and marketing campaigns were accurate”.

The Reels had paid $4600 for a VIP villa at the festival, but never left Miami airport, after planes due to take ticketholders to the island hosting the party were grounded as the chaos onsite unfolded. In many ways those left sitting in aeroplanes or airports actually got a better deal than those who made it to the wholly unprepared Fyre Festival site.

Says the couple’s lawsuit, “defendants sold tickets for a music festival of unparalleled luxury. In reality, Fyre Festival was the opposite. The event fell woefully short of what was advertised in virtually every way. Instead of world-class cuisine and entertainment, concert-goers found themselves without adequate food, water, shelter, and basic medical care. Still others [en] route to the event found themselves stranded in Miami, Florida unsure of how to proceed or of what was occurring on the island”.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, the lawyer repping the Reels – Jeffrey Backman – added: “Anyone who suffered damages from this fiasco needs to be made whole. The defendants also need to understand financially that they cannot commit fraud and get away with it in the hopes of becoming legends”.

At the end of his remark there, Reels is presumably quoting the member of the Fyre Festival marketing team who – after being told by those with experience in festival production that there was no way the event could be delivered on the available budget and timeline – allegedly declared “let’s just do it and be legends, man”.

Though to be fair, as the litigation continues to pile up in relation to this event, it’s certainly true to say that the Fyre Festival 2017 has become legendary. So, to summarise, that’s six lawsuits and counting.