Fyre Festival was billed as the supremely luxurious, tropical island version of Coachella, with a marketing campaign that involved Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski frolicking in the crystal clear waters of the Bahamas and a killer line-up, but it turned out to be one of the largest scams of the century.
The brainchild of Ja Rule and entrepreneur Billy McFarland saw hundreds of guests – who had all paid between $2131-$4000 for tickets – stranded on Exuma Bay, with no infrastructure, no musical acts – save a local Bahamian band – and disaster relief tents in place of the luxury accommodation they were promised.
The Netflix documentary, Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, released earlier this week documents in detail the disaster that was Fyre Festival. Despite the documentary being praised for bringing to light the extraordinarily disastrous efforts of those involved, it also brought to the forefront the story of Maryann Rolle.
Rolle, a restaurant owner on Exuma Bay, was forced to spend $50k of her own savings to pay her workers after the festival organisers scam.
"I went through about $50,000 of my savings," Rolle explains on camera during Netflix's Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. She was hired by the festival to feed three meals a day to more than 200 workers on-site. "They just wiped it out and never looked back."
Twitter was outraged by Rolle's story, and a GoFundMe was set up that has now raised more than $140K.
The project, which was started by Rolle herself, is now trending on the fundraising website.
"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," she wrote in the description for the fundraiser. "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."
Donate to Maryann Rolle here.