Nearly four years after Fyre Festival turned out to be a disaster, the trustee of Fyre Festival assets has reached a settlement with 277 of the event’s ticket holders for $7,220 each. The class-action lawsuit’s settlement was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York on Tuesday, April 13.
Ben Meiselas, the lead lawyer on behalf of the ticket holders, issued a statement on the settlement, “It’s a small but significant step for ticket holders who were defrauded and had their lives up ended as a result of the fraudulent conduct by [Fyre co-founder Billy] McFarland.” However, due to the presence of multiple creditors involved with the chaotic aftermath of the festival, Meiselas added that each ticket holder might not receive the full $7,220. Meiselas can only promise that “there will be monetary relief in some form or fashion,” but the settlement will need approval during a hearing scheduled for May 13.
The class-action lawsuit was originally filed by celebrity attorney Mark Geragos of the Geragos & Geragos law firm (which Meiselas works for) the day after the failed festival would have ended. The lawsuit originally sought $5 million in damages for alleged fraud, breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith, and negligent misrepresentation, anticipating 150 ticket holders to join the lawsuit.
Fyre Festival had been organized by Billy McFarland in collaboration with rapper Ja Rule, who hoped to create a luxury festival on an island that has reportedly previously been owned by Pablo Escobar. It was advertised by models and celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and tickets were sold from anywhere between $1,500 to at least $100,000. Attendees hoped to enjoy private beaches, yachts and catered food, none of which came to fruition.
Several other lawsuits were filed over the following week as it became clear that Fyre Festival organizers had continued borrowing millions of dollars to try to save the event instead of calling it off in time to avoid disaster. After a criminal investigation, McFarland was arrested and charged with fraud, to which he initially pleaded ‘not guilty’ but later switched to ‘guilty.’ He was eventually sentenced to six years in prison. Among the other lawsuits was a settlement to two attendees for $5 million in damages, a settlement to investors for $27.4 million and a settlement with the artists who had been paid to play the festival, including Blink-182, Major Lazer and Disclosure among others.