fyre festival documentary fundraiser

Fyre, one of the two Fyre Festival documentaries that dropped last week, is a wall-to-wall showcase for frustrating to downright loathsome people. But there’s one truly sympathetic figure at the center of it all: Maryann Rolle, a restaurant owner who was hired to prepare food for the infamous, disastrous event. When the festival fell through, Rolle had to pay her staff out of her own pocket for the prep, taking a considerable financial loss int he process. Now, perhaps in an effort to prove that there’s still a modicum of good left in this nightmarish world, people have taken to GoFundMe for Rolle, raising over $160,000 so far.

Fyre, the Netflix documentary about the cataclysmic fuck-up that was the Fyre Festival, has at least one sympathetic person: Maryann Rolle. Rolle, a resident and restaurant owner in Great Exuma, where the festival was supposed to take place, was hired to prepare food for what was supposed to be the ultimate party, full of influencers riding jet skis with supermodels and sleeping in giant, breezy villas. As we all know, none of that happened. The festival, which was the brainchild of entrepreneur and accused con man Billy McFarland, was ill-conceived, and collapsed into anarchy as the guests started arrive. The festival was soon kaput, which left Rolle having completed a lot of work for nothing.

“I had 10 persons working for me just preparing food all day and all night, 24 hours,” Rolle says in the Netflix film. “I literally had to pay all those people… I went through about $50,000 of my savings that I could’ve had for a rainy day. They just wiped it out and never looked back.”

While it’s easy to experience schadenfreude at the expense of the rich kids who got swindled by the Fyre Fest, Rolle’s presence in the doc is a stark reminder that people really did suffer as a result of this debacle. And while the internet is usually the place where nightmares are born, sometimes, good things happen there too. Case in point: a GoFundMe for Rolle has already pulled in $179,243. The original goal was $123,000, and this obviously exceeds that. “As I make this plea it’s hard to believe and embarrassing to admit that I was not paid,” Rolle wrote on the GoFundMe page “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.”

For once, the internet came through. Good work, everyone! “This has been an incredible outpouring of support for workers affected by the Fyre festival,” said a GoFundMe spokesperson (via Mashable). “As ever, we’ll be working with the campaign organiser to make sure funds get to the right place safely and smoothly.”

 

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