It’s been two years since the famous fiasco known as Fyre Festival lured thousands of people to the Bahamas with the promise of a stacked musical lineup, celebrity meet and greets, and luxurious amenities. Those festivalgoers were met with disorganization, disaster relief tents, and an island that was underprepared to feed the masses that descended upon their shores. In the days leading up to the failed festival, artists and celebrity influencers who were supposed to attend like Blink-182, Migos, Lil Yachty, Pusha T, Kendall Jenner, and Emily Ratajkowski dropped out of the event. Now, the trustee of the Fyre Festival Bankruptcy is attempting to recover the roughly $11 million paid to the performers, vendors, and social media influencers by the event’s organizer, Billy McFarland – now serving a six-year prison sentence for his mismanagement of the event.
In one lawsuit, the trustee seeks $500,000 paid to Blink-182, one of the event’s headlining acts. The trustee also seeks $275,000 and $300,000 from Kendall Jenner and Emily Ratajkowski, respectively, which they received in exchange for their Instagram posts promoting the festival. In a majority of the fourteen new lawsuits, the trustee argues the payments should be voided as fraudulent transfers pursuant to § 548 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code because they were part of McFarland’s scheme to defraud investors. In addition, the trustee has also made claims for recovery based on preferential transfers to certain defendants pursuant to § 547 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The suits against Jenner and Ratajkowski, both models and social media influencers, demonstrated a “clear lack of good faith” by failing to disclose that they were paid for the posts and their decisions not to attend due to problems with the festival itself. The suits allege the models and their agencies were “uniquely aware” of these problems and failed to share them with their followers and fans. The trustee also filed suits against agencies that represent artists who were in the original lineups for the festival, vendors including a yacht company and a catering company, and millions transferred to the festival’s parent company – Fyre Media.
Models, Musicians Face Lawsuits Over Fyre Festival Payments
The cases are Gregory M. Messer v. Kendall Jenner 1:19-ap-1347; Gregory M. Messer v. International Creative Management Partners, LLC, et al, 19-01346; Gregory M. Messer v. DNA Model Management, LLC, EMRATA Inc., and Emily Ratajkowski, 1:19-ap-01344; Gregory M. Messer v. Creative Arts Agency, 1:19-ap-1343, etc.
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