The gift that keeps on giving, the Fyre Festival is being sued for $3.5 million for taking the event presale revenue and not returning it to the ticketing company, Tableist, which is now left holding the bag scrambling to refund attendees their payments.
The suit, filed in Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston, Mass., accuses Fyre Media, Inc., and its high-profile leaders William McFarland; Jeffrey Atkins (Ja Rule); Grant Margolin; and Carola Jain of breach of contract, and fraudulently deceiving Tablelist and ticket purchasers. The suit also asks the court to award damages for the impact to Tablelist’s business.
“Like so many other companies, investors and endorsers, Tablelist – and our customers – are victims of a fraud,” said Julian Jung, Tablelist CEO.
The complaint states:
Fyre organizers conducted a fraudulent, highly orchestrated scheme to convince Tablelist to provide ticketing-processing services for the festival, which Fyre falsely marketed as an “exclusive, luxury” event. Event organizers presented Tablelist with numerous assurances the festival would be well-organized and well-funded, pointing to high-profile celebrity endorsements, headlining musical acts, significant sponsorship deals, and a competitive bid process for the ticketing vendor role, according to the complaint.
Tablelist unfortunately held back only 10% of ticket sales in escrow leading to the troubles for the table-booking and ticketing service. Even after the event was canceled, Fyre kept the entire passthrough of funds. The company indicated that they have had to lay off 40% of their staff just to remain solvent during this business crisis.