If you haven’t seen the new Netflix documentary, FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, it tells the baffling story of how a luxurious festival in the Bahamas was founded and ultimately crumbled, resulting in co-founder, Billy McFarland, being sent to prison for fraud. The clusterfuck of an event also left its caterers unpaid, resulting in restaurant worker, Maryann Rolle, having to pay her staff using her own life savings.
For those who need a little background, Fyre Festival was meant to be an exclusive tropical wonderland created by entrepreneur, Billy McFarland, and rapper, Ja Rule. It was heavily marketed with famous models and flashy videos, but failed to deliver, with just about everything imaginable going wrong. It should have been called off, but went ahead anyway, with all the acts being cancelled, awful crisis accommodation tents, and attendees left totally ripped off.
Rolle, who owns Exuma Point Bar and Grill on the island, was interviewed throughout the doco and towards the end revealed that she had to pay her workers $50,000 out of her own life savings. It’s a shattering prospect and you can’t help but feel for the poor woman who was totally fucked over by what may be the most poorly planned event of all time.
Left with no other option to recoup the money, Rolle and her husband, Elvis, created a GoFundMe, which has just slipped past the $100,000 mark at the time of writing, only days after the documentary’s release.
“It has been an unforgettable experience catering to the organizers of Fyre Festival,” the description reads. “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.”
“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.”
It’s always nice to see folks pitch in and help after a tough time. As for McFarland, he’s currently serving six years in prison for defrauding investors.