In 1969, 300,000 people flocked to the Altamont Speedway in California to attend what many of them hoped would be the West Coast equivalent to Woodstock and watch the likes of the Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane, and the Grateful Dead get their jam on.
Somewhere along the way, someone decided it would be a good idea to hire the Hells Angels to do security and their unconventional method of crowd control culminated with the fatal stabbing of a concertgoer that ensured the gathering would go down in infamy.
Thirty years later, Generation X got a debacle of its own in the form of Woodstock ’99, a gathering of 400,000 people that quickly descended into anarchy and will best be remembered for the violence that marred the festival.
Well, that and this iconic performance by Kid Rock.
While it might not have been as disastrous as those two events, some millennials got a taste of what they were like courtesy of Fyre Festival when they arrived in the Bahamas in 2017 only to be greeted by janky transportation, waterlogged lodging, and the world’s most infamous sandwiches.
Earlier this year, we were treated to an in-depth look at the now-legendary shitshow thanks to competing documentaries from Netflix and Hulu that tried to uncover how things went so wrong.
The brunt of the blame was placed on serial fraudster and Fyre Festival mastermind Billy McFarland, who is currently serving a six-year stint in prison for his role in the scam.
However, there was one other figure the documentaries didn’t exactly portray in the most flattering light: Ja Rule, who was seemingly by McFarland’s side every step of the way.
The rapper wasn’t exactly thrilled with the films and has continued to proclaim his innocence, and while the caterer who got royally screwed tried to shame him into reimbursing her, he’s refused to make any amends.
Mr. Rule found himself on the receiving end of a class-action lawsuit last year when an anonymous festivalgoer named him as a defendant, but according to the New York Daily News, it looks like he’s officially off the hook.
Earlier this week, a judge ruled Ja—as well as Fyre marketing guru Grant Margolin—can’t be held liable for scamming people, saying:
“[Ja Rule] and Margolin were participants in organizing or promoting a large-scale event. There is no assertion that the Festival when first conceived or introduced to the public was intended not to go forward or that defendants intended not to perform by organizing the advertised amenities and accommodation.”
Now that his name is in the clear, Ja Rule can turn his full attention to developing an app that’s hilariously similar to the one that spawned Fyre Festival. I guess only time will tell if those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.