Organizers of the failed Fyre Festival reached a $2 million class-action settlement with attendees on Tuesday.
This means that each of the 277 ticket holders could receive about $7,200 if the final amount is approved by the court, according to People.
Commenting on the settlement, Ben Meiselas, the lead lawyer representing the ticket holders, said he was happy to see that justice was served.
“Billy [McFarland] went to jail, ticket holders can get some money back, and some great documentaries were made,” he said. “Now that’s what I call justice.”
McFarland, the festival co-founder, pleaded guilty in 2018 to two counts of wire fraud in connection to the event. He admitted to defrauding investors of $26 million and over $100,000 in a fraudulent ticket-selling scheme after his arrest in the scam. McFarland is currently serving a six-year prison sentence.
Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against him and co-founder Ja Rule and there have been two documentaries made on the demise of the festival, which took place in 2017 on the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas. Attendees paid up to $12,000 for tickets, expecting that they would spend a weekend in luxury accommodation, eating gourmet meals, and enjoying performances from bands including Blink 182, but instead arrived to a location that was “a complete disaster,” BBC noted at the time.
The luxurious accommodation turned out to be leaky tents, the gourmet food was cheese sandwiches handed out from the back of a truck. Several music acts had also pulled out of the festival.
Upon imposing his sentence, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said McFarland was “a serial fraudster.” She added that he deserved a lengthy prison term because he disrespected the criminal justice system by lying to law enforcement agents when they learned about the ticket-selling business.
McFarland later spoke about his regret to People.
“I am incredibly sorry for my collective actions and will right the wrongs I have delivered to my family, friends, partners, associates and, you, the general public,” McFarland said. “I’ve always sought — and dreamed — to accomplish incredible things by pushing the envelope to deliver for a common good, but I made many wrong and immature decisions along the way and I caused agony. As a result, I’ve lived every day in prison with pain, and I will continue to do so until I am able to make up for some of this harm through work and actions that society finds respectable.”
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