Elements festival facing lawsuit claiming terms similar to Fyre Fest – Billboard

Disgruntled spectators filed a class action suit on Tuesday on behalf of thousands of people who attended the Elements Music and Arts Festival in September, a troubled EDM festival that drew comparisons to the infamous Fyre Festival.

Held over the Labor Day weekend, the Elements Festival drew thousands of fans to rural Pennsylvania with line-up featuring EDM mainstays like Diplo, CloZee and Griz. But in the days that followed, fans flooded social media with complaints of muddy conditions, poor staff, little water and a 10-hour wait to enter.

In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court that echoed the complaints, three Elements attendees accused the event’s organizers of gross negligence, deceptive marketing practices and other wrongdoing for an “under-festival. effective, disorganized and unsanitary ”.

“Elements Festival was a completely disorganized mess and did not deliver the experience advertised by the defendants, which became evident upon the arrival of attendees,” spectators’ lawyers wrote.

In a statement released after the event, festival organizers apologized for the problems and largely attributed them to Hurricane Ida, which caused extreme rainfall in the region in the days leading up to the event and forced changes in weather. last minute. They admitted that they “should have communicated these challenges earlier and better” and promised “to do better” during the 2022 event.

But Tuesday’s trial said the problems went far beyond a simple weather problem. In addition to weather-dependent planning failures, the lawsuit cited key failures around COVID-19 safety protocols, as well as a failure to provide enough water to fans who weren’t allowed to bring much. of water.

“The defendants had essentially ignored the arrival of Hurricane Ida in the region, had not provided sufficient staff for the music festival, had not correctly selected participants for COVID-19, had not sufficiently food and water, [and] the accommodation was not as advertised, ”fan lawyers wrote. “All of this, combined with the lack of basic equipment for the participants, created an uncomfortable and dangerous situation. “

As defendants, the lawsuit named Elements Production LLC, BangOn! NYC and Tested Contained Retreats LLC, as well as individual co-founders Brett Herman and Timothy Monkiewicz. A representative of the festival organizers said Billboard they had not yet been served on the trial, but that “thousands of people enjoyed the festival, and we look forward to 2022”.

Notably, the case was filed by the California law firm Geragos & Geragos, which represented fans in a similar case against the organizers of the Fyre Festival – the spectacularly failed 2017 event in the Bahamas that made headlines, spawned several documentaries and led to a six-year prison sentence for its founder.

The Fyre Festival lawsuit resulted in a settlement of around $ 2 million split among hundreds of fans, although the total is likely less than it could have been, as the Fyre Festival company declared bankruptcy in the result of the disastrous failure.

The new lawsuit has been filed as a class action suit, meaning it could potentially represent any Elements attendee who suffered harm at the festival. Lawyers for the fans did not include a specific number of potential plaintiffs, but noted that “thousands of people” had purchased tickets.

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