The Fyre Festival meltdown has turned into a potential legal nightmare. The Festival was set to begin this weekend and take place on Fyre Cay in the Bahamas. The Festival was marketed with ads featuring supermodels Bella Hadid and Hailey Baldwin and touted as a “once-in-a-lifetime music experience.” The Festival promised gourmet food, treasure hunts featuring cash and jewelry, and luxurious cabana accommodations. Tickets ranged in price from $1,500 to $50,000. A concert weekend in paradise – what could go wrong? A lot.
One day after the Festival was slated to begin, it was cancelled. Cabanas were replaced by disaster relief tents and the gourmet food turned out to be soggy cheese sandwiches presented in carry out boxes. There have been reports of stolen passports and luggage due to scarce security. The Festival first described these issues as “growing pains” then took down its website and replaced it with the following statement:
Fyre Festival set out to provide a once-in-a-lifetime musical experience on the Islands of the Exumas.
Due to circumstances out of our control, the physical infrastructure was not in place on time and we are unable to fulfill on that vision safely and enjoyably for our guests. At this time, we are working tirelessly to get flights scheduled and get everyone off of Great Exuma and home safely as quickly as we can. We ask that guests currently on-island do not make their own arrangements to get to the airport as we are coordinating those plans. We are working to place everyone on complimentary charters back to Miami today; this process has commenced and the safety and comfort of our guests is our top priority.
The festival is being postponed until we can further assess if and when we are able to create the high- quality experience we envisioned.
We ask for everyone’s patience and cooperation during this difficult time as we work as quickly and safely as we can to remedy this unforeseeable situation. We will continue to provide regular updates via email to our guests and via our official social media channels as they become available.
-The Fyre Festival Team
What is a group of scorned, wealthy Millennials to do? Most likely file lawsuits. While the price paid for the tickets will most likely be refunded, there are many potential claims that could be brought against the Frye Festival.
Negligence claims could be brought if it can be demonstrated that the Festival had a duty of care to its concertgoers, it breached its duty of care by failing to provide proper security and/or accommodations and that the breach resulted in injuries. For example, if a concertgoer injured their leg while staying in the tents, or a valuable possession was stolen due to lack of security, a negligence claim could be brought. The Festival would likely defend itself by arguing that that it owed no duty of care to the concertgoers.
Intentional infliction of emotional distress is also a potential claim, especially considering that concertgoers were looking forward to a weekend in paradise, but ended up in quite the opposite situation. IED requires a showing that the Festival’s extreme or outrageous conduct, intentionally or recklessly caused severe emotional distress. The emotional distress suffered must be severe – such as continued anxiety, depression or paranoia due to the experience.
False or misleading advertising claims could also arise, as well as various consumer claims that hinge on misrepresentation and providing false information to consumers.
Did you attend the Fyre Festival? Know someone who did? Please share your experience at firstname.lastname@example.org