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A GoFundMe Campaign Raised Over $169,000 For The Fyre Festival Caterer Who Lost Her Life Savings

Thanks to the new documentaries from Netflix and Hulu about the disastrous Fyre Festival, a GoFundMe campaign for Maryann Rolle—owner of the Exuma Point Resort who lost her life savings after the event failed to pay for the catering—has raised over $169,000.

After eight days of fundraising, Rolle has raised $169,912 and counting. The campaign’s original goal was $123,000. As of right now, the GoFundMe page has been shared over 6,500 times. 

Rolle first appeared in the new Netflix documentary FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened to detail the events and her involvement with the festival. According to the campaign, the resort catered the ill-fated event, and the space was completely booked by the event’s founder, Billy McFarland. 

“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,” the GoFundMe description reads. “My life was changed forever, and my credit was ruined by Fyre Fest.” 

In the Netflix documentary, Rolle revealed that she drained her life savings to pay her employees who prepared all the food for the event. 

“I had 10 persons working directly with me just preparing food all day and all night, 24 hours,” Rolles said. “I had to literally pay all those people. I am here as a Bahamian, and they stand in my face every day. I went through about $50,000 of my savings that I could have had for a rainy day. They just wiped it out and never looked back. Personally, I don’t even like to talk about the Fyre Festival. Just take it away and let me start a new beginning, ‘cause they really hurt me. I am really hurt from that.” 

Rolle later told CBS News that the festival owner still owed her an estimated $140,000 that was never paid. “I did it because I wanted the event to be a success,” she said. “I knew if it was a success they would pay me well. They assured me they would pay me well.” 

Of course, nothing promised or advertised about the festival happened. Basically, it was all a scam. Billy McFarland, the founder of Fyre Festival, promised attendees a luxurious weekend in the Bahamas filled with music, fancy accommodations, extravagant food, and Instagram models People reports. A photo of the food—bread, cheese, lettuce, and tomato—that was served to the people on the island of Exuma went viral. 

Rolle is one of many people on the island who were affected by Fyre Festival. According to Netflix’s documentary, many who worked on the festival also weren’t compensated. 

But it looks like Rolle is finally getting some justice. A photo of Rolle was posted on GoFundMe with her holding a sign that read, “THANK YOU GoFundMe” with a heart. 

Carissa Dunlap is a Her Campus News X Social Intern for Summer 2018. She is a current Publishing major and Journalism minor at Emerson College (Class of 2020). When she isn't perusing the YA bookshelf at the bookstore, she can be found watching dog videos on Facebook, at her favorite coffee shops, or relaxing on the beach. Follow her on Instagram @dunlapcarissa or Twitter @Caridunlap.