Fyre Festival organizers accused of fraud in $100M class action suit

The suite accused the Fyre Festival and its organizers of fraud.

ByABC News
May 1, 2017, 7:29 AM

— -- A $100 million proposed class-action lawsuit filed on Sunday accused the Fyre Festival and its organizers of fraud, alleging the music festival'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."

The suit, filed by Daniel Jung on behalf of himself and all festival attendees, claimed the festival, which was promoted as a supermodel-filled luxury concert event, was closer to ““The Hunger Games” or “Lord of the Flies” than Coachella.” It seeks damages "in excess of" $100 million.

Multiple concertgoers said they were left stranded on the private island of Fyre Cay over the weekend after officials placed the event site on lockdown because, according to the tourism ministry, Fyre organizers had allegedly failed to pay customs duty taxes on items imported for the event.

Ticket packages for the now-postponed event reportedly sold for between $4,000 to as as much as $100,000 per person, according to the suit and ticket purchasers.

In a statement released on Sunday, Jung’s attorney, Mark Geragos, whose past clients include Michael Jackson and Chris Brown, said Fyre organizers "need to step up and make this right but unfortunately, the opposite has occurred."

The suit slams organizers, claiming the festival "was nothing more than a get-rich-quick scam from the very beginning" and that they "intended to fleece attendees for hundreds of millions of dollars by inducing them to fly to a remote island without food, shelter or water—and without regard to what might happen to them after that.”

The suit also alleges that concertgoers were left without money to pay for basic transportation, such as local taxis or buses because organizers told attendees to upload money to a wristband for use at the festival rather than bring any cash.

Filed in the Central District of California, the suit asserts claims of fraud, breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith, and negligent misrepresentation.

It names the festival’s creators -- rapper Ja Rule and tech entrepreneur Billy McFarland -- as well as the Delaware-based Fyre Media entity as defendants.

The organizers did not immediately respond to ABC News's attempts to reach out for comment on the tourism ministry's statement and the lawsuit.

Ja Rule, listed in the suit as Jeffery Atkins, released a statement via Twitter on Friday, saying he was "heartbroken" about that the event and "was not a scam as everyone is reporting." He also said that it was not his fault, but he is "taking responsibility."

On Saturday, the organizers promised in a statement posted to the festival's website that "all festival goers this year will be refunded in full. We will be working on refunds over the next few days and will be in touch directly with guests with more details."

The organizers said all guests from this year will have free VIP passes to next year’s festival, according to the statement. They said the 2018 festival will be held at “a United States beach venue."

ABC News' Joshua Hoyos contributed to this report.