A North Carolina judge has awarded two men $5 million in damages stemming from their attendance at the botched Fyre Festival music event that was originally planned to take place over two weekends in Bahamas during April-May 2017.
Festival founder Billy McFarland sought to draw rich people and social media influencers to his event with the promise of an exclusive luxury getaway. Fyre Fest promised a private island, yachts, prime beach camping tents with comfy beds, supermodels everywhere, a $100,000 scavenger hunt with cash hidden around the island, and so much more. Instead, the failed event left attendees stranded with no food, shelter, or entertainment.
McFarland is in the process of receiving his comeuppance. The two North Carolina men, Seth Crossno and co-plaintiff Mark Thompson, filed a nearly 50-page lawsuit against McFarland in May of 2017. Vice reports that each plaintiff was granted $1.5 million in compensatory damages plus an additional $1 million in punitive damages.
Crossno and Thompson live-tweeted from the disastrous festival grounds under the name @WNFIV.
The plaintiffs were initially seeking $25,000 in damages. Court proceedings took numerous items into consideration in handing down the ruling, including the cost of flights, hotels, and the mental anguish of being left stranded. The lawsuit indicated that Thompson and Crossno spent approximately $13,000 on their luxury packages for the festival.
It’s just the beginning for McFarland. Last year, he was charged with two counts of wire fraud related to Fyre Festival.In March of this year, he plead guilty in court to both charges. This past June, McFarland was charged for scamming 15 people out of $100,000, selling fake tickets to events such as the Met Gala, Burning Man, Coachella, and The Grammys, while on bail.
“We feel confident about collecting,” Crossno’s lawyer Stacy Miller told Vice. “I can’t tell you a whole lot about how we’re going to collect it, but we feel confident about it. We have to stay mum on our strategy.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of people looking to collect, but we’ll be first.”