Judge Rules Fyre Festival Attendees Will Receive $7,000 Settlement
After a disastrous event in 2017, Fyre Festival attendees will finally be compensated after being scammed out of $1,000 to $12,000 and being stranded in the Bahamas. A settlement was reached on Tuesday for the 277 attendees to receive $7,220 each, $2 million in total, after a conclusion of the lawsuit against its organizers.
“Billy [McFarland] went to jail, ticket holders can get some money back, and some very entertaining documentaries were made,” Ben Meiselas, a partner at California-based Geragos & Geragos who represented the ticket holders, told The New York Times. “Now that’s justice.”
A U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York set a May deadline to object. The plaintiff is Gregory Messer, the Chapter 7 trustee of the estate of Fyre Festival LLC. The ruling is still subject to a vote of approval on May 13. The payout figure could drop depending on Fyre Festival’s bankruptcy case.
The event itself drew people in with promises of a luxury festival experience that included performances from artists such as Major Lazer and Migos. Attendees arrived to find tents and cheese sandwiches as their accommodations, a far cry from the website’s promises. The festival was canceled on its opening day and attendees were offered a refund.
Organizer Billy McFarland apologized and said he was “committed to, and working actively to, find a way to make this right.”
McFarland and his co-organizer Ja Rule faced multiple lawsuits in the aftermath of Fyre Festival, and McFarland was arrested in 2017. He pled guilty to fraud charges relating to the festival and his company NYC VIP Access, which sold fake tickets to events such as the Met Gala. He was sentenced to six years in prison in 2018 while Ja Rule was cleared of wrongdoing.
Other lawsuits related to Fyre festival have already been settled. In 2018, a North Carolina judge awarded $5 million in damages to two attendees, Seth Crossno and Mark Thompson, who had sued McFarland. Last May, Kendall Jenner agreed to pay $90,000 for promoting the festival in a social media post.