Two attendees of the controversial and failed event Fyre Festival have been awarded $5million in damages.
The chaotic festival hit headlines last year. Advertised as a ‘luxury’ music event featuring first-class accommodation, Fyre Festival soon descended into a dystopian nightmare-like farce. As a result, the company behind it was later forced into bankruptcy.
In March, organiser Billy McFarland admitted two counts of wire fraud. Each count could hold a punishment of up to 20 years behind bars. McFarland reportedly secured a deal that called for him to serve between eight and 10 years in prison. It’s also said that he requested leniency with no incarceration.
Earlier this month, the entrepreneur faced a new set of charges connected to a separate ticket scam, post-Fyre Festival.
Now, while being hit with class action and investor suits, two plaintiffs have received $5million. As Vice News report, Seth Crossno and co-plaintiff Mark Thompson filed a 47-page lawsuit against McFarland back in May last year. Last Thursday (June 28), the judgment was granted in absentia after McFarland failed to respond to over a year’s worth of court proceedings.
The lawsuit states that Crossno and Thompson forked out $13,000 on VIP packages to the festival. The tickets promised to include artist passes and a “residence consisting of four rooms and a living area”. According to the suit, the pair left the location after spotting a Bahamian native “walking around and near the site with a machine gun”.
Crossno gained popularity online after live-tweeting the shambolic event. He’s now said that he’s happy with the verdict and that he is free to speak publicly about his experience. In turn, he’s working on a new podcast about the event, titled ‘Dumpster Fyre’.
Meanwhile, Mcfarland is due to be sentenced on his wire fraud charges next month.