Fyre Festival Caterer Who Lost $50,000 To Receive Six Figures In GoFundMe Donations After Documentaries Air
Fyre Festival infamously defrauded hundreds of attendees, who were promised lavish accommodation, gourmet meals from celebrity chefs and hot music acts, but were left stranded with soaking hurricane disaster tents, pitiful cheese sandwiches and little water.
But, while guests paid thousands of dollars for a nightmare experience, it was the Bahamian workers who were perhaps most impacted by organiser Billy McFarland's failure to follow through on his extravagant promises.
Bahamian caterer Maryann Rolle brought tears to viewers' eyes in new Netflix documentary, Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, when she claimed she used $50,000 (£38,000) of her own savings to pay staff after McFarland failed to compensate them.
Rolle, who runs the Exuma Point Bar and Grille, stated her life was "changed forever" after she pushed herself "to the limits catering no less than a 1000 meals per day".
Holding back tears onscreen, she said: "Personally, I don't even like to talk about the Fyre Festival. Just take it away and let me start a new beginning."
However, after the documentary aired, it became clear that thousands of people around the world were not willing to let her story go. In fact, after watching the show, people online have donated tens of thousands of dollars to help Rolle get back on her feet.
After a GoFundMe campaign was launched by the Bahamian, people flocked to donate with almost $160,000 given so far and the campaign still trending now.
The caterer moved people when she wrote in the description: "It has been an unforgettable experience catering to the organizers of Fyre Festival. Back in April 2017 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. 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 … I was left in a big hole! My life was changed forever, and my credit was ruined by Fyre Fest. My only resource today is to appeal for help."
But, although Rolle has finally been paid by generous people online, this certainly doesn't mean all is forgiven.
When Fyre Festival co-organiser Ja Rule took to social media to claim his "heart went out to" the caterer, he was attacked by Twitter users who questioned where his donation was.
"Does your heart go out with a check in the mail?" wrote one user, while another encouraged him to do the "right thing" putting: "How about someone does the right thing and pay her and the people who worked day and night without any compensation and empty promises. Apologies aren’t a fix. Take action and right the wrongs of this disaster."
In addition, dozens of other people savaged his claim that he had never met Rolle, posting screenshots of them together from the documentary.
The rapper, who was not arrested or charged in connection with the fraud, has denied accountability in the festival scam, insisting he too was swindled by McFarland.
In a post on Twitter, he wrote: "I had an amazing vision to create a festival like NO OTHER!!! I would NEVER SCAM or FRAUD anyone what sense does that make??? ... I too was hustled, scammed, bamboozled,hoodwinkedd, led astray!!! [sic]"