Social-media posters who complained about the Fyre Festival online were hit with cease-and-desist letters, according to a new lawsuit filed in Florida against the infamous event’s organisers.
The class-action suit, which is seeking $US5 million in damages, alleges that Fyre Festival attendees were sent letters requesting that they take their negative social media posts down.
“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,'” the complaint reads.
The complaint also includes screenshots of tweets from Fyre Festival attendees complaining about the lack of proper shelter, food, and organisation at the festival. Festivalgoers arrived on the island of Great Exuma on April 27 but found a lack of food, shelter, and organisation. As it became clear that the luxury music festival would not happen as planned, efforts to leave were hampered by a lack of infrastructure for getting people off of the island.
The suit was filed by Greenspoon Marder in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, “a region considered to be the ‘hub’ for Fyre Festival,” according to a press release. It alleges fraudulent misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, fraud in the inducement, breach of contract, and violation of various state consumer protection laws.
Fyre Festival organisers Billy McFarland and Ja Rule are facing several other class-action suits, including one seeking $US100 million in damages, which was filed earlier this week.
This new suit also names as defendants two PR firms that were tasked with promoting the event: 42West and Matte Projects.
“Even with the slightest bit of due diligence, we believe that the PR agencies knew or should have known that what they were promising could never be delivered,” Jeffrey Backman, a shareholder at Greenspoon Marder and co-counsel for plaintiffs Kenneth Reel and Emily Reel, said in a press release.
A host of supermodels had promoted the festival on social media, including Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Emily Ratajkowski, and Bella Hadid. Blink-182, Major Lazer, Migos, Tyga, and Disclosure were among the artists scheduled to perform, according to the festival’s promotions.
Tickets started at $US1,200, but reports have said that some attendees paid close to or over $US100,000 for the weekend.