A new lawsuit filed against the organizers of Fyre Festival claims those who criticized the now-infamous event were threatened with cease and desist notices.
Kenneth and Emily Reel, a couple from North Carolina who planned to attend the festival but wound up getting stuck in Miami after paying $4,600 for a VIP villa, filed a $5 million lawsuit against Billy McFarland, Jeffrey “Ja Rule” Atkins, Fyre Media, Fyre Festival, 42West and Matt Projects for fraud and breach of contract, Rolling Stone reported. The lawsuit outlines details similar to multiple others filed against the organizers, including false representation of an event that was all-around “dangerously under-prepared and under-equipped.”
As for those individuals who elected to speak negatively about the Defendants on social media, they are now being threatened with legal action via cease and desist letters. Specifically, if the social media comments were not taken down, the Defendants claim they could “incite violence, rioting, or civil unrest,” with the caveat that if “someone innocent does get hurt as a result … Fyre Festival will hold you accountable and responsible.”
The lawsuit takes aim at social media posts from “Fyre Starter” influencers like Kendall Jenner and Hailey Baldwin, who did not accurately label their promotions.
“Almost all of the 400 influencers who shared the promotional videos and photos never noted the posts were actually advertisements — despite the fact that the Federal TradeCommission requires social media users to clearly and conspicuously disclose their relationships to brands.”
Additionally, the lawsuit says the “vague and deceptive refund ‘application’ is just another illusory promise by Defendants designed to mislead distressed ticket holders.” Last week, the organizers apparently circulated forms to ticket purchasers offering them free tickets to a 2018 Fyre Festival instead of refunds, according to Vice.
“Would you prefer to exchange your 2017 ticket(s) for additional 2018 VIP passes, as opposed to receiving a refund? (Ex: If you purchased 3 passes for 2017, you would receive 6 total 2018 VIP passes),” the form says. “We have received support and commitments from several musicians to perform at next year’s event. We would be so thankful to have your support as well.”
Read the full lawsuit below.