Fyre Festival ticket holders have been awarded $7,200 each after reaching a settlement in their class-action lawsuit against the failed event’s organizers, per Rolling Stone. A hearing will be held on May 13 to approve the settlement.
“It’s a small but significant step for ticketholders who were defrauded and had their lives up ended as a result of the fraudulent conduct by [Fyre founder Billy] McFarland,” Ben Meiselas of Geragos and Geragos, lead attorney for the class-action lawsuit, said, noting each of the 277 ticket holders in the suit may not receive the entire agreed upon amount due to the involvement of several creditors. However, Meiselas promises that “there will be monetary relief in some form or fashion pending approval.”
The man behind the Fyre Festival debacle, Billy McFarland, was sentenced in 2018 to six years in federal prison on fraud charges. He was also ordered to pay back $26 million to investors that he confessed in a recent podcast were “knowingly lied” to. “I knowingly lied to them to raise money for the festival. Yes. And that’s what the crime was,” McFarland admitted. “The crime was inexcusably lying about the status of the company to get the money I thought I needed for the festival.”
It was reported last month that the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office planned on recouping McFarland’s $26 million debt to investors by auctioning off “an assortment of the ‘real thing’ Fyre Festival-branded” merch. These funds would then be used to pay off investors, as well as attendees involved in the class-action lawsuit settled earlier today.
The Fyre Festival fiasco has been well-documented—no pun intended—with both Hulu and Netflix releasing documentaries in 2019 detailing the event’s downfall from different perspectives. Hulu’s Fyre Fraud touts its interview with McFarland, which “offers us a window into the mind of a con artist, the insidious charm of the fraudster and how they can capture our imaginations, our investment, and our votes in the age of Trump.”
Netflix’s FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened takes a slightly different approach by speaking with the organizers who worked alongside McFarland as they attempted to do anything they could to salvage the festival. Remember Andy King’s infamous water supply story?