A GoFundMe fundraiser for the Bahamian caterer who was stiffed of thousands of dollars from the Fyre Festival debacle has topped $130,000 and climbing.
Maryann Rolle, a restaurant owner in the Bahamas who was featured in Netflix’s Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, said she lost her life savings when she had to pay her employees after she was stiffed by Fyre co-founder Billy McFarland and his company.
Rolle, the owner of Exuma Point Resort, Bar & Grille, was part of the thousands of Bahamians who were never paid for their services in the lead up to the failed festival.
The festival was promoted as “the cultural experience of the decade,” a luxurious event on the Bahamian island of Exuma over two weekends last April and May 2017. It was promoted on social media by some of the world’s top models and influencers, enticing people to buy ticket packages ranging from $1,200 to over $100,000.
But the event was a disaster that unfolded for all to see on social media
Rolle’s emotional story in the documentary caught at the heartstrings of viewers, who have been donating to her fundraising campaign that has now surpassed its goal of $123,000. At press time, the fundraiser has collected just over $131,000.
“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,” she wrote. “My only resource today is to appeal for help.”
This isn’t the first poorly executed business venture from McFarland. The tech entrepreneur 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.
McFarland is now in prison serving a six-year sentence after admitting to o defrauding investors of $26 million in the 2017 Fyre Festival.
Ja Rule, who was one of McFarland’s partners, also apologized to Rolle for what happened.
“My heart goes out to this lovely lady… MaryAnne Rolle we’ve never met but I’m devastated that something that was meant to be amazing, turn out to be such a disaster and hurt so many ppl… SORRY to anyone who has been negatively [sic] effected by the festival… Rule,” he said on social media Monday.
You can donate directly to the fundraiser here.