×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Attorney Recalls How the Fyre Festival Was Brought Down, Step by Step

Ben Meiselas wasn’t just a central figure in the class-action cases against the disastrous 2017 Fyre Festival — he’s also a star of both the Hulu and Netflix documentaries of the event. For anyone who doesn’t know, the Fyre Festival was advertised as a luxury event with gourmet chefs on a beautiful island where Migos, Blink-182 and others would perform. Instead, all it offered was flimsy tents, boxed lunches and no music, once the performers heard that the festival had become a fiasco. As he details below, Meiselas and his boss, attorney Mark Geragos, got involved as soon as outraged reports about the festival began emerging — and ultimately organizer Billy McFarland was found guilty of wire fraud and is currently serving a six-year prison sentence. In recalling the sequence of events, Meiselas almost sounds like he’s recapping a triumphant football game.

SATURDAY, 
APRIL 29, 2017
“The festival was supposed to start on Friday. Mark and I were at a conference in Las Vegas, and we got a call on Saturday from people saying that the festival had been postponed, and they were trapped on the island [unable to get flights out]. They said they were getting cease-and-desist letters saying that if they told people or posted on social media that they were trapped, they would be sued.

“Mark and I realized that active fraud was going on, so we dropped what we were doing and drafted the complaint that day. I dictated it to an associate who came in on Saturday specifically to deal with it, and it’s actually a really great legal document — it has pictures of the cheese sandwiches and tents [which the attendees received instead gourmet food and luxury accommodations], going through the fraud, explaining what they said would happen as opposed to what actually did.”

Fyre Festival

SUNDAY, 
APRIL 30, 2017
“We filed the class action on Sunday, I flew back to Los Angeles and wrote the press release about the [lawsuit] in an Uber on my way to a concert by The Weeknd, and filed it from my phone. I still remember my phone buzzing like crazy in my pocket as I was sitting there watching the show. The complaint went as viral as the news about the event — no one had really filed a class-action like that, against a phony festival.”

MAY, 2017
“Within four or five days we had all this whistle-blower information that [Fyre] was also a financial fraud, so we amended the complaint to be clear it was a criminal enterprise. The FBI came in shortly thereafter and engaged in a full-fledged criminal investigation, and now [chief Fyre executive] Billy McFarland is in prison.”

 

More Music

  • Lady Gaga Vegas Residency

    Lady Gaga Talks Importance of Pronouns, Gay Pride During Rousing Speech

    Lady Gaga was all about pride during her SiriusXM show at Harlem’s Apollo Theater Monday night. In between songs, the “Born This Way” pop star gave a rousing speech about the importance of asking people’s pronouns and the necessity of gay pride. She also referenced transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson who was widely credited with [...]

  • Billy Eichner Power of Pride Variety

    Billy Eichner on Taylor Swift's 'Calm Down' Backlash

    When Taylor Swift released her “You Need to Calm Down” music video, it seemed like every member of the LGBTQ in Hollywood was included — except for Billy Eichner. “I’m still not gay enough for Taylor Swift — or too gay — I don’t know what it is,” Eichner joked at Variety’s Power of Pride [...]

  • Jason Aldean' Today' TV show, New

    Jason Aldean Concert Cancelled Due to Severe Lightning (Watch)

    A Saturday night performance by Jason Aldean at the Country Stampede Festival in Topeka, Kansas was canceled due to a major lightning storm. According to local news, inclement weather troubled the three-day country music gathering. Rainstorms delayed the concert on multiple occasions, until eventually organizers called off Aldean’s headlining June 22 show. Watch video below [...]

  • Ewen Bremner as Alan McGee in

    Danny Boyle-Produced ‘Creation Stories’ Adds Jason Isaacs, Steven Berkoff

    Jason Isaacs, Steven Berkoff and a host of other new names have signed on for “Creation Stories,” the film being exec-produced by Danny Boyle about Creation Records co-founder Alan McGee. The producers also unveiled the first shots of Ewen Bremner (“Trainspotting”) as the music mogul. Production is underway on the Irvine Welsh-penned project, with “Lock, [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Video of Jussie Smollett With Rope Around His Neck Released by Chicago Police

    The Chicago Police Department released new surveillance footage and files in regards to the Jussie Smollett hoax case on Monday, including one that shows the “Empire” actor shortly after the alleged attack. In one of the videos, police body-cam footage shows authorities entering Smollett’s Chicago apartment, led by his manager, Frank Gatson. Smollett is found [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content