Fyre Festival Draws Fiery Criticism, Sparks Lawsuits

Lured to an island in the Bahamas, attendees of last week’s disastrous Fyre Festival arrived with high expectations. The music festival, organized by rapper Ja Rule, promised pristine beaches, luxurious tents, meals by world-renowned chefs, and music from big names like Blink-182, Migos, and Major Lazer. They expected a weekend full of great music, beautiful people, and stylish partying.

Instead, this is what attendees got:

“A lack of adequate food, water, shelter, and medical care . . . bare rations, little more than bread and a slice of cheese . . . a small cluster of ‘FEMA’ tents . . .  soaked and battered by wind and rain.”

Crushed Expecations

The quote comes from a class-action lawsuit filed by disillusioned Fyre Festival attendees. The lawsuit, filed by one attendee on behalf of the group, asks for $100 million in damages. The lawsuit alleges that the organizers of the festival, Ja Rule and Billy McFarland, knowingly and falsely promoted “the island experience,” which “demonstrates that the Fyre Festival was nothing more than a get-rich-quick scam from the very beginning.” The lawsuit claims that the organizers planned to scam the attendees, “without regard to what might happen to them” after they arrived to decrepit conditions, poor infrastructure, and minimal food.

Who Is Responsible?

The lawsuit against Ja Rule and McFarland focuses on fraud and breach of contact. Attendees shelled out thousands of dollars, drawn in by the advertising they had seen. By convincing them that the festival would be safe, exciting, and worthy of their money, the organizers mislead them. They had a duty to deliver on their promises to their consumers, and like the festival itself, fell flat.

The lawsuit also names supermodels like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowsk as defendants. Among other models and social influencers, they partook in the promotion of the festival, which makes them complicit in the fraud.

Real Harm

The lawsuit also touches on elements of personal injury and endangerment. It states that “the Defendants had been aware for months that their festival was dangerously under-equipped and posed a serious danger to anyone in attendance.” It also claims that the organizers warned people not to attend, therefore showing that they knew it would be a failure.

By providing inadequate food, water, shelter, and medical care, Fyre Festival put its attendees in a very dangerous position. Dehydration, sun poisoning, and exposure could have easily occurred. Without proper medical supplies or personnel, a minor injury or illness could have turned fatal.

The internet is having a blast ridiculing Fyre Festival, and you can’t exactly blame them. The whole situation is absurd, and provides great fuel for those who wish to mock wealthy, privileged, and image-obsessed millennials. But in reality, Fyre Festival was harmful. Everyone involved should be taking the lawsuit very seriously. We might be laughing, but the deceived victims of Fyre Festival are not — and looking at the numbers in that lawsuit, we doubt the organizers are amused with their self-created fiasco.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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