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“Unjust enrichment” included in Fyre Festival lawsuit seven

By | Published on Thursday 11 May 2017

Fyre Festival

You know what it’s like, you sit down to write your lawsuit against Ja Rule and his best bud Billy McFarland over the whole Fyre Festival debacle, all ready to talk “breach of contract” and “negligent misrepresentation”, and then – with that disastrous luxury island party on your mind – you suddenly have a yearning for a mediocre cheese sandwich. But when you return from the kitchen, six other people have got their litigation already filed. How the hell do you make your lawsuit stand out? What’ve you got that’s in anyway original? I know, “unjust enrichment”. Boom, sorted! Yes, Fyre Festival lawsuit number seven has been filed.

The litigation has been mounting ever since the Ja Rule-backed luxury festival in the Bahamas collapsed into chaos just as it was about to kick off. The latest class action against the event’s organisers, published by Pitchfork, has been filed in the New York courts and, in addition to the breach of contract and misrep allegations made in the other lawsuits, also lists alleged violations of New York State’s business laws. Oh yes, and the “unjust enrichment”.

A stand-out allegation in the new lawsuit, filed on behalf of ticketholders Sean Daly and Edward Ivey, is that the Fyre Festival continued to encourage its rich kid punters to upgrade to VIP packages and to put more money onto their Fyre Bands, a cashless payment system, even after it had become clear to management that the event wasn’t going to go ahead. The new legal filing also reckons that artists and certain key employees were told the event was being cancelled before thousands of uninformed festival-goers set off for the island of Great Exuma.

The new legal filing also lists five promises that it says Fyre Festival communications made that were, it argues, untrue. This includes that the event would take place on a private island; that the island was previously owned by infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar; that food and beverages would be provided, including VIP food packages and upgrades; that the living quarters would be fully furnished permanent structures; and that the event would be attended by celebrities and that top-level musical talent would be performing. It’s not clear if, on that last point, the lawyers are pointing out that no artists showed up, or whether they are questioning whether or not the acts that had been booked to play were “top-level”.

A number of the lawsuits already filed in relation to the Fyre Festival have been class actions open to any ticketholders to join. Which means yet more stress for all those Fyre punters: which class action to join? A colleague of celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos who filed the first lawsuit has said 300 ticketholders have now signed up to join that class, though that might actually mean even more people as there were multi-person tickets on sale. The Daly/Ivey-led class action is late to the party but, hey, it’s got “unjust enrichment” on its list of claims. Good times.