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Ticketing company joins the Fyre Festival lawsuit bandwagon

By | Published on Wednesday 17 May 2017

Fyre Festival

It’s been a couple of days since we last reported on anyone filing a lawsuit against the disastrous Fyre Festival, hasn’t it? Don’t worry, the litigation is still flowing in. Now a ticketing company is suing so that it can refund its customers their money.

Fyre HQ kickstarting a refunds process as soon as it became clear the luxury island event wasn’t going to happen. However, ticketing firm Tablelist says it is yet to get back the ticket sales monies it had previously handed over to the event’s promoters. As a result, it is unable to action the all of the refunds that have been claimed.

The ticketing company says that it passed on 90% of the ticket sales revenue that it processed to the Fyre company, keeping back just 10% in escrow to cover refunds, fees and other charges, which – of course – does not get close to covering all the money now being reclaimed by ticketholders.

“Despite announcing that ‘all festivalgoers this year will be refunded in full’, festival organisers never remitted a penny to Tablelist to pass along to consumers”, says the ticketing firm in a statement. “Ticket purchasers are now pursuing millions of dollars in chargebacks – working through their credit card companies to receive refunds – which vastly exceed the depleted escrow fund”.

Tablelist is seeking $3.5 million to cover those refunds, and to compensate for the damage caused to its business by the Fyre debacle. The company says that the collapse of the festival has already had a significant knock-on effect on its business, resulting in 40% of Tablelist employees being made redundant.

As well as the Fyre Festival company itself, the lawsuit also names founders Billy McFarland and Ja Rule as defendants, plus Marketing Director Grant Margolis and investor Carola Jain. It accuses them of breach of contract, and of defrauding both Tablelist and its customers.

Like several other lawsuits, Tablelist’s legal filing alleges that the whole Fyre event was set up as a fraudulent money-making operation, which was “falsely marketed as an ‘exclusive, luxury’ event”.

“Like so many other companies, investors and endorsers, Tablelist – and our customers – are victims of a fraud”, says the company’s CEO Julian Jung. “Fyre Festival organisers completely left us hanging out to dry as the middleman between this disastrous event and our ticketholders. All the money sits with Fyre, and we’re fighting back to get those funds to our customers, where they belong”.

As previously reported, Fyre HQ sent out forms for ticketholders to fill out in order to process refunds soon after the event was cancelled. Customers were also given the opportunity to exchange their 2017 ticket for a VIP pass to the 2018 edition of the event, in lieu of a refund. A rep for the company at one point claimed that over 80% of people were choosing this option. But even if that is the case, the likelihood of the festival going ahead next year now seems incredibly remote.

This legal action brings the number of lawsuits filed in relation to Fyre Festival up to at least eleven. More could still be filed, possibly from other financial backers – including the previously mentioned Carola Jain – or from suppliers and staff who are still owed money.