Fyre Festival founders Ja Rule, Billy McFarland and Fyre Media were hit with a $100-million lawsuit on Sunday and were hit with another class-action lawsuit on Tuesday.
Personal injury lawyer John Giradri is representing Chelsea Chinery, Shannon McAuliffe and Desiree Flores in a breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and fraud suit, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
The suit, which was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges that Ja Rule and McFarland knew a month before the event was due to start that they couldn’t deliver the luxurious festival that they promised, but still took people’s money and offered no warnings to ticket holders.
The failed music festival was scheduled to take place in the Bahamas this past weekend but was postponed after spinning into chaos.
He claims that more than 400 social media influencers and celebrities were paid to promote it but didn’t disclose that, which is a violation of Federal Trade Commission rules.
According to FTC rules, if a “significant portion” of the person’s social media following is unaware that they are being paid by an advertiser for a specific post, “disclosures are needed.” Usually these types of posts need to include,”#ad.”
Guests were promised more than 30 musical acts, which included Migos and Blink-182, and the promotional material showed “stunning beachside villas, yachts with models draped over the top” and more.
“As plaintiffs began to grasp the dire nature of the situation, upon witnessing the complete lack of infrastructure necessary to host such an event, a panic enveloped the crowd,” Girardi writes. “Plaintiffs were stuck on the island, with no way off.”
The proposed class is defined as persons who purchased the tickets or travel packages to and/or attended Fyre Festival, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Hollywood Reporter also reports that the class is separated into three categories of harm: those who bought tickets or packages but didn’t attend after being made aware of the conditions; those who bought tickets and tried to go to the festival but didn’t make it to Exuma because flights were cancelled; and those who made it to the festival and were confined on the island for any amount of time.
The complaint seeks to bar the Fyre Festival organizers from putting on any similar events, “plus restitution, punitive damages and disgorgement of any profits.”
The federal class-action complaint claims the festival was “nothing more than a get-rich-quick scam from the very beginning.”
According to the suit, Fyre Fest’s lack of “adequate food, water, shelter and medical care” contributed to a dangerous situation where attendees were “stranded on the remote island without basic provisions.”
It states that the situation “was closer to ‘The Hunger Games’ or ‘Lord of the Flies’ than Coachella.”
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism issued a statement saying that “tourism is our number one industry,” and that they were “extremely disappointed” in the way the festival had unfolded.
Tickets for the festival cost anywhere from US$1,000 to US$125,000 for luxury group packages to the event.
The festival quickly went viral after reports of distressed guests were revealed on April 27.
Ja Rule has spoken publicly about the controversy to explain his side of the story.
He said the event was “NOT A SCAM,” and that “I truly apologize as this is NOT MY FAULT.”
On Sunday, Ja Rule took to Twitter again to issue an update on the situation.
“Relieved to share that all guest are safe, and have been sent the form to apply for a refund,” he wrote.
The Fyre Festival Twitter account added, “We’re heartbroken that we let down all the guests who put their faith in us. To our guests and staff — thank you again for your all patience as we navigate our next steps. We owe you an apology.”
In a statement to Rolling Stone, McFarland announced make-up dates for Fyre Fest for May 2018, and said that anyone who signed up for the event would be able to attend free of charge.
“Today is definitely the toughest day of my life,” McFarland said.
Ja Rule and McFarland released a statement to Billboard on April 28, promising full refunds and free VIP passes for next year’s event to those impacted.