Fyre Festival went up in flames last weekend in every sense but the most literal one. The inaugural two-weekend luxury music fête in the Bahamas had pledged supermodels and jet skis; what it delivered was threadbare tents and sad desk lunches.
Festival organizers canceled the entire event on Friday and issued an apology on their site on Saturday—but not before panicked attendees flooded social media with messages about being starved, stranded, and scammed. (Tickets had cost up to $250,000.) That last complaint is now being formalized in a $100 million proposed class-action lawsuit, filed this weekend in California by Daniel Jung, who spent $2,000 on tickets and airfare to attend the festival-that-wasn’t. Per the filing:
[Fyre’s] lack of adequate food, water, shelter, and medical care created a dangerous and panicked situation among attendees—suddenly finding themselves stranded on a remote island without basic provisions—that was closer to The Hunger Games or Lord of the Flies than Coachella.
Jung’s suit alleges fraud, breach of contract, and negligent misrepresentation and names the festival’s co-creators, entrepreneur Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule, as defendants.
Though neither have responded directly to the lawsuit, Ja Rule did post to Twitter on Friday that he was “heartbroken” over the chaos and “truly apologize as this is NOT MY FAULT, but I’m taking responsibility.” (Perhaps he should be cut a little bit of slack; pulling off Coachella is harder than it looks.)
As a show of apology, Frye is offering all attendees of the non-festival a full refund—as well as free VIP passes to next year’s festival, which will take place at a beach venue in the US.
Said McFarland in an interview today (May 1) with ABC News, “We had this mega-thing on our hands and we never thought it would take the life that it did, so we went out to build what we now know is almost creating a city out of nothing.” He added, “We took a big jump here.” And: “It failed.” Whether those words bode well for the festival’s 2018 iteration—or rather, its real first run—is up to you, prospective attendee, to decide.