Ticket Seller Sues Fyre Festival, Claims Consumers Haven't Gotten 'A Penny' Back
Lawsuit alleges organizers defrauded the ticketing company into handing over $3.5 million in sales making refunds impossible.
As lawsuits mount against last month's ill-fated Fyre Festival in Bahamas (six at last count), news of yet another has surfaced, this time on the behalf of a ticketing vendor who says the promoters have yet to refund "a penny" to any of its clients.
Tablelist, which describes itself as a "startup online ticketing and nightlife platform" founded in 2013, filed a lawsuit against the Fyre Festival for $3.5 million to refund money to its customers.
The suit was filed in Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston, Mass. and accuses Fyre Media, Inc. and its high-profile promoters William McFarland and Jah Rule (a.k.a Jeffrey Atkins) as well as Grant Margolia and Carola Jain of breach of contract and fraudulently deceiving Tablelist and ticket purchasers.
The Tablelist accused the Fyre organizers, like most of the other lawsuits have already, of conducting "a fraudulent, highly orchestrated scheme" which was "falsely marketed as an 'exclusive, luxury' event." That misimpression convinced the company to provide ticketing-processing services for the festival.
The suit also asked the court to award damages for the impact to Tablelist’s business. The company said it had to lay off 40 percent of its workforce while it focused on litigation.
The Fyre Festival allegedly assured the ticketing company that the event was "well-organized and well-funded, pointing to high-profile celebrity endorsements, headlining musical acts, significant sponsorship deals, and held a competitive bid process for the ticketing vendor role."
Based on these assurances, Tablelist said it sold more than $3.5 million in concert tickets and VIP experiences and gave "nearly every dollar to the Fyre Festival organizers." The ticket seller said it retained ten percent in escrow for any potential consumer credit card chargebacks and ticket refunds and a transaction service fee.
After the event’s cancelation, the complaint states that Tablelist immediately demanded that Fyre Media return the millions they had received through ticket sales. Despite announcing that “all festival goers this year will be refunded in full,” festival organizers never "remitted a penny to Tablelist to pass along to consumers," according to a release put out by Tablelist.
Ticket purchasers are pursuing millions of dollars in chargebacks through their credit cards which apparently vastly exceeds the Tablelist's escrow fund.
"Like so many other companies, investors and endorsers, Tablelist – and our customers – are victims of a fraud,” the ceo of Tablelist Julian Jung said in a statement.