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Fyre Festival hit with another lawsuit centered around model influencer ads

Famous faces that advertised the festival are in the hot seat now

  • Valerie Lee
  • 3 May 2017

The disastrous "luxury" Fyre Festival has already been served with a $100 million class action lawsuit, and organizers better have saved a budget to lawyer up as yet another suit has been filed against the festival.

Personal injury attorney John Girardi is representing Chelsea Chinery, Shannon McAuliffe and Desiree Flores, filing the lawsuit this Tuesday in Los Angeles for a breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and fraud.

The suit specifically centers around the festival's controversial use of "social media influencers" as their primary marketing tactic, which called upon models like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski to share enticing posts on their popular Instagram pages to spread the word about Fyre Festival, which was essentially unknown at the time. The suit argues that the posts (all of which were not labeled as a sponsored or paid ad, except for Emily Ratajkowski's, which is required by the Federal Trade Commission) falsely advertised that the festival would be attended by the celebrities and other similar individuals.

According to THR, the proposed class offers three tiers of "harm" for ticket holders of Fyre Festival: those who bought tickets or packages but did not attend after being made aware of the conditions, those who bought tickets and tried to go to the festival but weren't able to make it to Exuma because flights were canceled and those who made it to the festival and were confined on the island for any amount of time.

New information has since been revealed since the unveiling of the entire Fyre Festival incident, including especially damning stories from a company that organizers contacted to supply toilets and showers for the site. Contacted only in April a few weeks ahead of the festival, the company promptly told the organizers that "all the money in the world wouldn’t get trailers for toilets and showers past customs in time, because that takes weeks to process", according to Vice.

Apparently, organizers attempted to wave off the company's concerns by saying, "it’s only for a weekend, you don’t have to worry about customs."

Co-founder Billy MacFarland and his team were, unsurprisingly, running low on cash funds close to the festival's supposed debut. Despite selling itself as a luxury escape and over-the-top seeming price tags, most ticket buyers spent $500-$2,000 on few and largely discounted tickets. Allegedly, MacFarland had begun to tell VIP celebrity attendees not to come on Thursday ahead of the event.

However, following intense publicity after the event's downfall, MacFarland and Ja Rule (the festival's other co-founder) seem determined not to give up, sending out an email to ticket holders that offered free admission to the 2018 event in lieu of refunds and claims to seek to sue those that compared the Fyre Festival grounds to a "refugee camp" upon their arrival.

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