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Fyre Fest caterer who was left broke has received $160,000 in donations
Maryann Rolle paid workers nearly $50,000 from her own savings account.
Netflix’s Fyre Festival documentary is cooking up a storm as viewers realize in incremental horror the tragedy of a much-hyped music festival that didn’t deliver on its promises and left people stranded.
Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, the 90-minute long documentary, explores the failed attempt at the music festival that was billed to be “the next Coachella” but instead ended up with caterers and performers who canceled last minute, angry customers, and a host of workers who were left unpaid in the Bahamas island.
One story that stood out for many viewers is that of Maryann Rolle, a restaurant owner who says she was left providing food for thousands of guests stranded in the Bahamas island after the festival was “postponed” and the organizers left.
In the documentary, the woman identified as Rolle by Jezebel says she paid the workers a collective $50,000 from her savings account.
“They just wiped out and never looked back,” she says in an emotional state, adding that it pains her to even talk about the Fyre Festival. “I am really hurt from that. To see nobody return to say “Let me take care of what she has done. We know she has done right.’”
Following the release of the Netflix documentary, and just in time for the Hulu documentary release just a few days later, Rolle picked up on the hype and started a GoFundMe page in the hope that she can make up for the huge sum of money she lost that week.
“I pushed myself to the limit catering no less than a 1000 meals per day. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were all prepared and delivered by Exuma Point to Coco Plum Beach and Roker’s Point where the main events were scheduled to take place. Organizers would also visit my Exuma Point location to enjoy the prepared meals,” she wrote in a GoFundMe page started on Saturday. “Fyre Fest organizers were also checked into all the rooms at Exuma Point Resort.”
“As I make this plea it’s hard to believe and embarrassing to admit that I was not paid,” she wrote. “I was left in a big hole! My life was changed forever, and my credit was ruined by Fyre Fest.”
As of Tuesday morning, the goal surpassed her original intended amount of $123,000, and she raised more than $160,000 from about 5,000 donors. GoFundMe has verified the account, so we all know the money is (finally) going into the right pocket.
Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque