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Time in court looms on the horizon for the organizers of the doomed Fyre Festival, the failed live-music event scheduled to debut in April on the Great Exuma island in the Bahamas. The event managers, including early-2000s rapper Jeffrey "Ja Rule" Atkins, allegedly priced the tickets for the luxury event from $1,200 up to $100,000 for certain packages, and they touted the event as the next Coachella. However, the Fyre Festival was such a disaster that the shows never even got started, costing concertgoers additional time, money, and travel headaches as they had to leave the island early. Now, a patron named Daniel Jung is suing Ja Rule and his colleague Billy McFarland as well as the rest of the Fyre Media event organizers for a whopping $100 million minimum. Jung's documents reveal that when he showed up for the party in paradise, he found himself in a war zone. Check out what Jung wrote in the paperwork:
The 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--that was closer to The Hunger Games or Lord of the Flies than Coachella.
Yikes! As TMZ tells it, Ja Rule and Billy McFarland have to face the music after purportedly defrauding each attendee of the Fyre Festival out of thousands of dollars. Initially, the event boasted acts like Blink-182, who pulled out of the event at the last minute on April 27. The organizers promised accommodations in "modern, eco-friendly, geodesic domes," which sounds like glamping, but the photos of the campground showed basic tents with sparse amenities. Fyre Festival also marketed itself with help from supermodels like Gigi Hadid (who has apologized for promoting it) and Kendall Jenner (who has not). In the aftermath of the event, even the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism apologized for the embarrassing gaffe on Bahamian land.
Daniel Jung hopes to get about 150 other concertgoers on his side to begin a class action suit against the event organizers, whom he claims tricked people in a scam to get rich. Jung hired attorney Mark Geragos, who previously worked with Kesha. The lawsuit alleges Ja Rule instructed other celebrities not to attend the event because he knew it would be a disaster. But who knows whether the court will find the organizers at fault. According to Ja Rule, he is not to blame, and on Friday he took to social media to make that point clear, writing,
Reportedly, Billy McFarland has been responsible for luxury services that haven't panned out in the past, and the Better Business Bureau has received complaints about his business practices in the past. Both McFarland and Ja Rule are, of course, innocent until proven guilty in this matter. Still, it sounds like McFarland has faced similar problems before and it does not reflect responsibly when Ja Rule writes, "this is NOT MY FAULT." It sounds like this case could get really ugly. We'll keep you posted as details arise.