A Bahamian caterer and co-owner of the Exuma Point Bar and Grill, Maryann Rolle, appeared on Netflix’s documentary, FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, to share her side of the failed Fyre Festival.
The festival’s creators and promoters, she says, never paid her for making food for the partygoers. After working day and night with a staff of locals to make food, she had to pay them from her own savings, claims Rolle.
The scam prompted a GoFundMe campaign on her behalf, meant to compensate her for the savings she dipped into to pay the hard-working food service staff. But, she says, she was almost scammed again after a friend refused to release the funds to Rolle.
The Failed Fyre Festival
The Fyre Festival was billed as 2017’s biggest party in the Bahamas, drawing influencers and celebrities from around the globe for a massive music festival that was meant to be the next Coachella.
Things didn’t pan out that way: The festival was fraught by logistical problems and turned out to be anything but the destination “luxury music festival” it had promised. The tents provided weren’t even furnished, and the handlers seem to have pocketed nearly $30 million from investors for themselves.
Rolle, along with ten staff members, says she worked to provide over 1,000 meals per day to partygoers. But the Fyre Festival’s handlers and owners, she claims, never paid her what she was owed for her labor.
Eventually, Rolle turned to her own life savings of $50,000 to pay her staff.
Rolle’s GoFundMe Campaign
A GoFundMe campaign with an initial goal of $123,000 was launched on Rolle’s behalf to help repay her for her labor and time. Over 4,000 donors contributed, and the campaign eventually made nearly $140,000 in just one week.
Rolle’s friend, however, was managing the GoFundMe campaign, and refused to release Rolle’s funds to her once the campaign concluded. After Rolle turned to GoFundMe to explain the situation, they eventually released some of the funds that had been raised to her.
Hopefully, this is the last in an especially corrupt chapter and the last that Rolle has to hear about the notorious Fyre Festival.