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Suppliers join ticketholders in suing Ja Rule over the Fyre Festival shambles

By | Published on Monday 8 May 2017

Fyre Festival

With three lawsuits already filed by aggrieved ticketholders following the collapse of the Ja Rule-backed Fyre Festival at the end of the last month, the first litigation from one of the event’s suppliers has now surfaced.

According to Philadelphia magazine, a company called National Event Services – which was hired to provide medical support on site – sued the Fyre Festival companies, Ja Rule and his co-founder Billy McFarland last Wednesday, accusing the defendants of breach of contract and fraud, amongst other things.

In the lawsuit, NES says that it was hired by Fyre Festival organisers in January, first visiting the island in the Bahamas due to host the event in February. During that visit, it alleges, the festival’s management assured the company that they had “taken all necessary actions to ensure the successful staging of a first-class music festival”.

However, the legal filing continues, when NES staff arrived on the island of Great Exuma a few days before the festival was due to start, they “immediately discovered that the accommodations were uninhabitable, including bug infestation, blood-stained mattresses and no air conditioning”. They then discovered that the space where the NES team was expected to administer medical services was similarly inadequate, making it “impossible” for the firm to fulfil its contractual obligations.

Despite all this, NES staff decided to stay on site and set up as good a medical tent as they could “in response to obvious safety and health concerns for the people trapped on the island”. This goodwill gesture “left NES exposed to serving distressed patrons for an unprepared festival site”, the lawsuit adds.

Other allegations contained in the new litigation include that, while there is actually a permanent health clinic on Great Exuma, it was closed during the event, meanwhile no plane or helicopter had been hired in case a medical evacuation was necessary during the festival. The legal papers also say that Fyre Festival management had failed to secure cancellation insurance despite understanding that they had underfunded their event.

The medical services company wants compensatory, consequential and punitive damages, and – presumably aware that the Fyre Festival companies may not survive the fallout of the cancelled event – the lawsuit specifically requests that both Ja Rule and McFarland be individually and personally liable for the whole shambles.