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Two Fyre Festival ticket-buyers win $5 million in damages 

By | Published on Wednesday 4 July 2018

Fyre Festival

Two men who attended the disastrous Fyre Festival have been awarded a neat $5 million in damages after suing the event’s co-founder Billy McFarland.

The Fyre Festival, of course, was meant to be a luxurious music experience in the Bahamas organised by McFarland and his celebrity best bud Ja Rule. But the event collapsed just as it was starting when it became clear organisers hadn’t put in place the infrastructure required for even a basic festival, let alone the luxury extravaganza ticket-buyers had been promised.

A flurry of litigation followed as punters, investors and suppliers all sued the Fyre Festival company – which then fell into bankruptcy – and McFarland and Ja Rule individually. McFarland also had to contend with criminal charges of fraud, for which he should have been sentenced already, except new fraud allegations have delayed things a little.

All of which means a lot of legal papers are presumably piled up on McFarland’s desk. Which is possibly why he failed to respond to the lawsuit filed in North Carolina by ticket-buyers Seth Crossno and Mark Thompson. But his failure to respond resulted in a default judgement in their favour last week.

Each plaintiff was granted $1.5 million in compensatory damages and an additional $1 million in punitive damages. The compensatory damages were in part to cover the financial losses Crossno and Thompson incurred when attending the festival, but also as compensation for the emotional distress the experience caused.

Ja Rule was also originally named as a defendant on the lawsuit, but a deal was reached to remove him from the legal claim. Which possibly means Crossno and Thompson will ultimately end up banging on the doors of whichever jail McFarland ends up in demanding their cash. Though the two plaintiffs reckon that, despite McFarland previously claiming to be broke, there may be some assets they can go after.

Meanwhile Crossno, a blogger who garnered some fame by live tweeting his Fyre festival experiences, hopes that, with legal matters now at an end, he’ll be able to write and talk more about the disastrous event. Indeed, according to Vice, he has a new podcast called Dumpster Fyre in the works and he recently applied to take ownership of the Fyre trademark. So maybe there’ll still be financial rewards from all this even if it turns out McFarland’s pockets are definitely empty.