New lawsuit hits Fyre Festival over claim that critics incited riots and violence

The latest legal action launched against the Ja Rule and Billy McFarland-founded event was filed in Florida last week

Fyre Festival has been hit with a new lawsuit which highlights how the festival allegedly threatened to sue Twitter users who criticised the disastrous event by claiming these critics could “incite violence, rioting or civil unrest.”

The Barbados-based festival hit the headlines late last month after its inaugural event was cancelled amidst chaotic scenes, which saw festivalgoers stranded, reports of no running water, and no correct safety protocol in place.

Fyre, which was co-founded by rapper Ja Rule and Billy MacFarland, have now been hit with a sixth lawsuit from angry ticketholders. Pitchfork reports that the new legal action was filed in Florida on Friday (May 5) by lawyers representing ticketholders Kenneth and Emily Reel.


The class-action lawsuit against Fyre alleges fraud, negligence, breach of contract, and other violations. While the pair are seeking an unspecified amount in damages – another lawsuit against Fyre is seeking $100 million – the Reels have also taken issue with the festival’s alleged cease-and-desist policy against Twitter users who criticised Fyre online during those chaotic days.

“As for those individuals who elected to speak negatively about the Defendants on social media, they are now being threatened with legal action via cease-and-desist letters,” the new complaint reads. “Specifically, if the social media comments were not taken down, the Defendants claim they could ‘incite violence, rioting, or civil unrest,’ with the caveat that if ‘someone innocent does get hurt as a result … Fyre Festival will hold you accountable and responsible.’”

One of the ongoing lawsuits against Fyre, meanwhile, concerned its social media policy – with the legal action alleging that 400 social media ‘celebrities and personalities’ were paid to promote the festival.