Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos is accusing the festival's organizers of fraud
Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos filed a proposed $100 million class-action lawsuit against organizers on behalf of client Daniel Jung in California on Sunday, accusing the organizers of fraud, court documents obtained by PEOPLE confirm.
The lawsuit states the “festival’s lack of adequate food, water, shelter and medical care created a dangerous and panicked situation among attendees — suddenly finding themselves stranded on a remote island without basic provisions — that was closer to The Hunger Games or Lord of the Flies than Coachella.”
Jung says he paid $2,000 on his music festival ticket and airfare, according to the outlet. Instead of being met by the promised luxury accommodations and catered meals, however, he and fellow “festival-goers survived on bare rations, little more than bread and a slice of cheese, and tried to escape the elements in the only shelter provided by Defendants: small clusters of ‘FEMA tents,’ exposed on a sand bar, that were soaked and battered by wind and rain.”
The Bahamas may also file a suit of its own, says Variety.
The inaugural event was touted as a unique, multi-day music and arts festival with celebrity chef-catered meals and impressive accommodations. Tickets ranged from $1,500 to $12,000, with those who bought VIP passes getting access to a yacht.
In reality, the festival appeared to be half-finished when attendees started arriving on Friday and many bands — including headliner Blink 182 — had dropped out of the lineup. Festival-goers shared images on social media of their disappointing meals — cheese splayed on bread with a small salad for dinner — and their accommodations, which were little more than relief tents and mattresses. Attendees also complained about the lack of services and overall chaos involved in trying to get to the actual festival.
Ja Rule previously insisted the “luxury concert” was not a scam despite the sub-par accommodations.
“We are working right now on getting everyone of [sic] the island SAFE that is my immediate concern,” he wrote in a tweet on Friday. “I will make a statement soon I’m heartbroken at this moment my partners and I wanted this to be an amazing event it was NOT A SCAM as everyone is reporting I don’t know how everything went so left but I’m working to make it right by making sure everyone is refunded.”
He continued: “I truly apologize as this is NOT MY FAULT… but I’m taking responsibility I’m deeply sorry to everyone who was inconvenienced by this…”
This isn’t the first poorly executed business venture from Ja Rule and his business partner, McFarland. The pair previously founded Magnises, an “elite credit” card that had a $250 annual fee for discounted access to exclusive events — but customers claim that the card never delivered on the perks it was advertising.