Funny as it was for us on the mainland, the Fyre Festival was more than a bit of schadenfreude. Founder Billy McFarland recently pled guilty to two counts of federal wire fraud in connection to the scandal, and he’s currently facing new charges regarding his involvement in another scam. He’s also the defendant in a whole slew of class action and investor suits, one of which just saw its plaintiffs receive $5 million in damages.
Per Vice News, blogger Seth Crossno and co-plaintiff Mark Thompson, who both live in Raleigh, North Carolina, filed a 47-page lawsuit against McFarland in May 2017. This past Thursday, the judgment was granted in absentia after McFarland failed to respond to more than a year’s worth of court proceedings. According to the lawsuit, the pair spent roughly $13,000 on luxury VIP packages for the festival, but, like everyone else who attended the festival, found a post-apocalyptic tent city.
Crossno, who, via his Twitter account, became one of the main chroniclers of the festival’s failures, is planning on starting a podcast about the event called Dumpster Fyre.
Next month, McFarland will be sentenced on the aforementioned wire fraud charges, but that doesn’t account for the new charges, which will be dealt with at a later date. Odds are this guy is going away for quite a while. Ja Rule, with whom McFarland organized the festival, seems to be skating by, however. The rapper was apparently named in Crossno and Thompson’s suit initially, but, according to the duo’s lawyer, was removed after everyone “amicable decided to move on to other business matters.” Weird.
As a bit of background, in June 2017, McFarland was arrested on charges of providing false financial information to potential investors of Fyre Fest. The 2017 Bahamas music festival was billed as an upscale boutique experience providing luxury villas and catered meals with performances from artists such as Migos, Major Lazer, Blink-182, and Disclosure. However, as all of the above indicates, that wasn’t the case.
A documentary about the festival will air on Hulu next year.