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A Fyre Festival caterer, who says she lost her life savings by working the event, has received more than $160,000 in donations from well-wishers via a GoFundMe campaign.
In a new Netflix documentary chronicling the shambles of the 2017 festival, Bahamas restaurateur Maryann Rolle claims she was left broke after helping feed stranded attendees amid the chaos.
After the documentary Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened was released, Rolle started a fundraising page and has since surpassed her $123,000 goal by more than $43,000.
“It has been an unforgettable experience catering to the organizers of Fyre Festival,” Rolle wrote on her campaign page, before explaining what went down. “Back in April 2017, I pushed myself to the limit catering no less than a 1,000 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,” she continued. “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. There is an old saying that goes ‘bad publicity is better than no publicity’ and I pray that whoever reads this plea is able to assist.”
The largest contribution was $20,000 and came from Elliot Tebele -- creator of the popular Instagram account and digital marking agency F**kJerry -- who also worked at the festival. Another $10,000 donation was made in F**kJerry's name.
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The drama -- which has also been highlighted in Hulu’s new Fyre Fraud documentary -- saw guests turn up to Great Exuma Island in the Bahamas expecting a luxury music festival, only to find an unfinished site, tents dismantled, poor staffing, gourmet meals replaced by sandwiches and closing headliner Blink 182 subsequently cancelling their performance.
Several attendees filed lawsuits, while Billy McFarland, who co-founded the event with rapper Ja Rule, was sentenced to six years in federal prison for wire fraud and using fake documents to attract $26 million from investors.
Meanwhile, Ja Rule expressed his sympathy for Rolle on social media.
“My heart goes out to this lovely lady … MaryAnn 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…” wrote the musician, who claims he was also a victim of the festival and was “hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, lead astray.” “SORRY to anyone who has been negatively effected by the festival… Rule.”