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Fyre Festival reaches $2m settlement with ticketholders

Fyre Festival has reached a $2m settlement with 277 ticketholders of the ill-fated 2017 event.

The US Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York has approved the class action settlement with each ticketholder to receive $7,220 in pay-outs. The news comes almost four years after a $100m class action lawsuit was initially filed.

The festival, staged in April 2017, was marketed as a luxury event in the Bahamas, with some tickets costing as much as $100,000. The event ended up turning into a disaster with headline act Blink 182 pulling out, and patrons who had no way of leaving the island claiming that they were going without basic essentials such as secure accommodation, food, drink and electricity. The event was postponed after organisers admitted “we didn’t think security could keep up”.

Billboard reports that lawyers representing ticketholders for the Bahamian event have secured the settlement, however it still needs a vote of approval to take place on May 13.

Ben Meiselas, the lead attorney for the class-action suit, told Variety: “It’s a small but significant step for ticketholders who were defrauded and had their lives up ended as a result of the fraudulent conduct by [Fyre founder Billy] McFarland.”

The event was co-created by promoter Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule. McFarland pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and a second count to defraud a ticket vendor in March 2018 and was sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to forfeit $26m. He remains in prison.

In 2019, ticketholders tried and failed to get Ja Rule listed as a defendant on the $100m lawsuit seeking damages. The rapper, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, was initially presented as a co-founder of the so-called luxury music festival in the Bahamas but was removed from the lawsuit by a judge in July 2019. It was concluded that there was no evidence that he was aware the promises he was making over social media would not be honoured by McFarland and his team.

This year, Ja Rule announced that he is selling the infamous cheese sandwich tweet from the festival as an NFT (non-fungible token).

Image: A. Duarte / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Edited for size