A US federal court has dismissed a class-action lawsuit against Fyre Festival co-founder Ja Rule which claimed the rapper falsely promoted the disaster festival.
The lawsuit alleged that Jar Rule and Fyre’s Chief Marketing Officer Grant Margolin had wilfully made false claims via social media advertising about the festival’s luxury amenities, catering, and performances.
The 2017 event was promoted by a fleet of Instagram influencers and models, and was announced via a video starring the likes of Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and Hailey Bieber which made the festival look like a chance to party up-and-close with them.
In reality, it was an utter disaster, with bands cancelling last-minute and lack of proper food or water or amenities, as documented both live on social media and in two documentaries by Netflix and Hulu. The scenes were akin to a frat boy remake of Lord Of The Flies, with the earliest attendees being fed alcohol for as long as possible to postpone the inevitable clusterfuck, which saw patrons scramble to find bed, shelter and food for the night.
Despite this, the US District Court for the Southern Court of New York has rules that Ja Rule and Margolin weren’t aware of how it’d go down.
“Atkins and Margolin were participants in organising or promoting a large-scale event,” the judge wrote (via CNet). “There is no assertion that the Festival when first conceived or introduced to the public was intended not to go forward or that defendants intended not to perform by organising the advertised amenities and accommodation.”
Part of the ruling determined that the lawsuit hadn’t specified which promotions where false, ruling that the language Fyre used was too vague to have a tangible expectation.
“The Court agrees that the subjective qualifiers of ‘FOMO-inducing’ and ‘Coachella x1000’ are too ‘exaggerated, blustering, and boasting’ for a reasonable consumer to rely on,” the judge ruled, discussing Ja Rule’s tweets, which reference “fear of missing out” and the annual Coachella music festival.
Ja Rule has repeatedly denied culpability for the festival, saying he “too was hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hook-winked [and] lead astray” by co-founder Billy MacFarland.
MacFarland is currently serving a six-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to two counts of wire fraud, and paid US $26 million.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has also banned McFarland from ever holding a director/officer position, and subjected Margolin and Fyre Festival contractor Daniel Simon to seven- and three-year bans, respectively. It now seems like Margolin is working as a ‘business tutor’.
Ja Rule has not been charged yet, but still faces several ongoing lawsuits. For a refresher on the festival, revisit our recap of Netflix’s documentary. A fortnight ago, a German hip-hop festival tried its hardest to out-disaster Fyre by cancelling last-minute, as people lined-up to enter. It didn’t go down well.