2 Fyre Festival Attendees Awarded $5 Million in Lawsuit Against Co-Founder
Two attendees of last year’s problem-plagued Fyre Festival in the Bahamas won $5 million in a lawsuit against one of the concert’s co-producers, Billy McFarland.
Attendees were expecting an amenity-filled VIP music festival featuring Disclosure, Blink 182 and more, but instead they had to endure chaos, boxed lunches, tents and a long wait to fly back to the mainland.
On Thursday, a judge in North Carolina awarded co-plaintiffs Seth Crossno and Mark Thompson each $1.5 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages, Crossno’s lawyer, Stacy Miller, told news site Vice. The two initially asked for a minimum of $25,000 in damages.
Rapper Ja Rule, who was another Fyre Festival co-producer, was initially named in the suit, but he was later removed. “We worked with [him] and his attorney and amicably decided to move on to other business matters,” Crossno told Vice.
The decision was made in absentia, according to Variety, as McFarland “failed to respond to more than a year’s worth of court proceedings.”
In March, McFarland, 26, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud related to defrauding investors and a ticket broker with Fyre Festival. He had been out on $300,000 bail, but was arrested last month on new charges and is currently in jail. In June, he was charged by federal prosecutors with another count of wire fraud and a count of money laundering for allegedly selling fraudulent tickets to upscale events like the Met Gala and the Grammy Awards through the company NYC VIP Access, while out on bail.
He is scheduled to be sentenced for the first two charges that he pleaded guilty to next month.